13 May, 2021

‘B’ For Bofors, ‘N’ For Nobody?

The Bofors affair wasn’t a scam at all. It was a sting mounted by the mysterious ‘N’ of the Ardbo diaries.

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‘B’ For Bofors, ‘N’ For Nobody?

Since the BJP established their democratic credentials by howling me down two sentences into my response to Arun Jaitley on the floor of the House, perhaps you might let me exercise my right of reply to Chitra Subramanian, who is once again raking up the ‘smoking guns’ of the Bofors affair (Outlook, May 4).

Chitra concedes that the Bofors guns purchased by the Rajiv Gandhi government were excellent guns, with the “shoot and scoot” capacity that no other competitor had to combat the heat-seeking radar furnished just then by the Americans to Pakistan. The Bofors guns irrefutably proved their worth at Kargil. They were also purchased, as Chitra concedes, at a “competitive price”, indeed a damned good price.

Why on earth would anyone seek a bribe or pay one for a gun that was the best on offer, sold at the best available price, with several guns thrown in for free at the end of hard commercial negotiations, and with not...

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