30 July, 2021

Robert Mueller

'Let a thousand ‘moles’ and Aggarwalmarts bloom across the country. The future of the country will brighten with FBI in retail’.

Illustration by Sorit
Robert Mueller

The other day I got this frantic call from the CIA’s India desk asking for help. “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants a bailout and only our outfit can help him out.” I wondered how we could be of assistance. “Frank,” I enquired of the gentleman at the other end of the line, “is there some investigation to be done? Or does Delhi need some phone-tapping equipment?” I was politely told that the requirement was far more complicated. “As you know, the Indian government is facing a lot of flak from the Opposition over its plan to allow 51 per cent FDI in retail and it wants a big favour from you.” Now, I found this request rather perplexing. As an investigating agency, we did not exactly transact any business in the commercial sense of the term. So where did the FBI come in?

“It’s elementary, Mr Mueller,” Frank said over the hotline. “In India, language and semantics count for a lot. It often changes perception. So after giving it much thought, my boys have come out...

More from Ajith Pillai

Latest Magazine

August 02, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section