India and US: Natural allies

Over the course of the last half-century, I have had numerous opportunities to watch India’s evolution, first from the vantage point of a student of international relations and then for two decades as a journalist.

During my eight years in government during the 1990s, I also had a chance to participate in the effort by the Indian and the US governments to put the bilateral relationship on a sounder — indeed, a transformed — footing than had been the case in the first four decades after Indian Independence…. I first visited India 42 years ago.…

In October 1974, Kissinger embarked on a seven-nation diplomatic tour starting with Moscow.… The Soviets, however, were not about to extend their hospitality to me. I was persona non grata because of my role in translating and editing Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs. The material for the two volumes was surreptitiously recorded and spirited out of the country while he was under virtual house arrest, since his ouster from the leadership 10 years before. The second volume, published earlier in 1974, particularly irked foreign minister Anatoly Gromyko, who sent a message to Kissinger’s plane over the Atlantic, denying me a visa.

After I was unceremoniously dropped off in Copenhagen during a fuelling stop, I hopscotched to New Delhi, which would be Kissinger’s second stop after Moscow. On the personal front, my several days of free time were immensely gratifying. I made friendships that lasted for decades.


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