27 January, 2021

The Pickle King's Papers

The 'sequence of events and letters' that led to the final showdown

The Pickle King's Papers

SEVEN months after P.V. Narasimha Rao became the prime minister, Lakhubhai Pathak wished him and his family "a very happy, healthy, wealthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year".

Three years later, on March 15, 1995, a harassed and frustrated Pathak wrote to Rao: "You are nothing. You are lower than dirty dust (sic)....Mr Rao, your downfall is imminent and absolutely sure; it will be so miserable, humiliating and degrading that no gurus and swamis can save you."

Pathak remembers the sequence of his first meeting with Rao in New York in 1983. Rao was then minister of external affairs in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet. "We were sitting outside Chandraswami's room in Holoron House Hotel. Someone entered Chandraswami's room." Pathak was told that it was Rao. After about 45 minutes, Chandraswami and Rao came out of the room. Chandraswami, who according to Pathak had earlier taken $100,000 from him for securing a contract, introduced him to Rao. Says Pathak: "I shook hands with Rao. Then he said: 'Pathakji, swamiji ne...



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