12 May, 2021

Smoking Guns: Eating Out Of A Foreign Hand

The smell of cordite over Bofors has subsided, but one question nags still: why did Bofors pay Q? Thereby hangs a shameful tale of missed chances.

Prashant Panjiar
Smoking Guns: Eating Out Of A Foreign Hand

Whichever way you roll the dice, you’ll land on this question—why did Bofors pay Quattrocchi? We knew that in 1989. No Raksha Mantri to date has given the country a reply to that question. But more of that in some time.

One thing is certain. We never lose an opportunity to let ourselves down. The other, even more certain thing is that it is never our fault. The evil world conspires against us innocents to ensure that we remain corrupt, malnourished and hungry. In the BC days—before computers—we were able to keep a lid on our laundry. Today, it all hangs out in pubic, while we still blame the foreign hand. In times of yore, it was the CIA or the KGB. Now we just say foreign hand.

As a reporter for The Indian Express and other publications abroad, I covered the GATT-WTO talks from Punta del Este in Uruguay to Marrakesh in Morocco where the WTO was officially born, wrote widely on human rights (we made fools of ourselves at the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka) and disarmament, and covered Davos when it was...

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