18 September, 2020

"The Foreign Office Has Been Proved Stronger Than Pm"

A day after he was named officer on special duty in the prime minister's office by I.K. Gujral, Prof Bhabani Sengupta, 75, writer and foreign policy analyst known for his controversial views, resigned in the wake of an unprecedented uproar in Parliam

"The Foreign Office Has Been Proved Stronger Than Pm"

How do you respond to allegations that you might have been a security risk in the PMO?

News reports that said I was a security risk really surprised me. I didn't realise that I was that kind of a Goliath. The two newspapers that started this were The Indian Express and The Asian Age , and in both cases, coincidentally, the reporters were women. One of them even suggested I was intellectually superior to the PM. Another described me graciously as a scholar and a writer of sorts, and a maverick who could not be trusted with foreign policy secrets.

It also surprised me that a letter I had written to the New York Times in May 1974 could be retrieved in 24 hours and handed over to (former PM) Chandra Shekhar. This suggests intelligence officers were helping him, as there is no other way he could have got this letter in such short a time. Chandra Shekhar, in his wisdom, said the letter was against national policy and that I could not be trusted with sensitive documents. This contention was supported by the BJP's A.B. Vajpayee. Well, I...



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