Indira Gandhi's letter to T.N. Kaul

Print edition : April 03, 2015

Prime Minister’s House, New Delhi 30.5.66

Dear Tikki,

In spite of your assurances, the situation vis a vis the so-called leftists—whether of the Congress or outside—has not eased. Their attitude is increasingly and openly hostile.

Patriot, Link, Century, Blitz, etc. are gunning for me the whole time—not just as for a policy is concerned but even personally—with regard to my house and so on.

They are also propagating rift between Kamaraj and me. It was because of this that K.D. Malaviya lost the election to our Central Election Committee. Neither Kamaraj nor K.D. took any of us into confidence. Otherwise we would certainly have helped him to win. Patel & co are doing their best to bring down Kamaraj and I am afraid that they will succeed if Kamaraj wants to play a lone hand. The leftists are deliberately attempting to drive a wedge between us.

VKKM has, as you know, been hostile and contemptuous all along. He wants a high up job or he wants to be sent to Cairo and other places. If I could trust that he woul support the government, I would try to find an excuse to send him. But his last visit to Cairo has caused Nasser to distrust Government of India. With Menon it is personal nd there is not much I can do. I have had many conversations but while he rejects the programmes we are initiating, he has no alternative suggestion.

With regard to the Communists and their sympathisers, it is a deliberate policy move. When I returned from America even afte the Fertilizer and Foundation were being talked about, many Communists met me and congratulated me and on my US trip, saying that they were bound to criticise in the Huse but actually I had done very well. Suddenly a week or so late, everybody’s attitude changed—until today’s paper reports the CPI Secretary saying that I was changing policies far more than Shastri!

Another example—K.N. Raj, the economist had been advocating certain policies some months ago. When asked about them, he said “that policy would have been all right a year ago but this government is a petit bourgeois one and nothing it does can be right. He is wanting to stand for Parliament and has been promised Communist support and a seat from Kerala.

The long and short of it is that there is a general feeling and I must confess it certainly seems feasible and possible that these views are the reflection of Soviet thinking and instruction. Had the Ambassador been here, I would have talked to him but he is hardly ever in India.

If this is indeed so, then what is the purpose of my visiting Moscow? Without trust, nothing fruitful can emerge.

Our economic situation is as bad as it cn be. I do not see any way out except to follow some of the World Bank’s advice and to get as much aid as we can. If the Soviets could have given massive aid to help to resurrect our economy we could not have to go to the U.S. But as things are, there is no other way.

With starvation, stoppage of industry, rising unemployment and so on starring us in the face, we have no recourse but to give top priority to the economic situation. A weak nation cannot resist foreign influence but I am convinced that with aid now, we can become strong and stand on our own feet. What is the alternative, especially because of the lack of discipline and support?

Please give some thought to this before pressing me to come to Moscow.

If I am unable to put through what I consider necessary for salvaging the situation, I must resign. I simply cannot remain and watch the country drifting down and down.

There are rumours that Chavan, Sanjeeva Reddy and other Ministers may resign en bloc so that the government falls. By this way Chavan played a major role in defeating K.D. and was responsible for getting S…….. as a candidate. Kamaraj played a role in getting so many votes for Sanjeeva Reddy.

I hope you are well.

Indira

Shri T.N. Kaul, Ambassador of India, Moscow

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