Mrs. Kennedy Was An Astute Observer Of “Bitter” Indira Gandhi


By Kanwal jit Singh Gill

Recently I read the comments of Jacqueline Kennedy about various World leaders she met during her days as President Kennedy’s wife. I am very impressed to read the comments by Kennedy about Indira Gandhi after meeting her in 1962 Kennedy was able to understand Gandhi better than anybody else. Kennedy felt that Gandhi was prune-bitter, kind of pushy and horrible woman. Kennedy must be very good observer that she was able to judge Gandhi’s these qualities in a short meeting. Some people might find these comments very offensive but if we look at Gandhi’s history, her actions and reactions, then we’ll agree with Kennedy’s comments. Those who don’t agree, for them let us discuss Gandhi’s history.

Soon after becoming India’s PM in 1966, Gandhi started to have conflict with old senior Congress leadership. She started acting bitterly against the old leaders who had helped her to become the PM. Soon she kicked out all the old leadership that didn’t agree with her on various issues. Her message to the Congress leaders was to ,” Follow my way or the Highway.” Even now the Gandhi family is following the same policy and I have never seen any Congress leader disagree with the Gandhi family or expressed different views on issues. The Congress leadership is full of YES MEN these days. Bigger the Yes Man, bigger and better position you can enjoy in the Congress leadership.

And if we look at the history of Gandhi’s dealings with Punjab and Sikhs then we’ll appreciate Kennedy’s comments even more. For some reason Gandhi’s decisions and actions were always anti Punjab or anti Sikh discriminatory decisions. Soon after becoming PM, Gandhi’s appointed Shah Commission that openly discriminated against Punjab, taking away many Punjabi speaking areas and Chandigarh city, water rights etc. away from Punjab. Afterwards Gandhi had many conflicts, meetings and agreements with Akali leadership. But afterwards she always used some sort of excuse to back away from these agreements. Very simple example is Chandigarh city. In many agreements Gandhi and central Govt. had agreed to transfer Chandigarh city even setting a date for transfer but later on for some excuse she used to back away from these agreements. Because she didn’t want peaceful conditions in Punjab and wanted to make matters worse in Punjab. Rather than letting Punjab enjoy the best State in India status, she wanted to bring Punjab down in status.

In 1977 Mrs. Gandhi decided to become Dictator in India and imposed Emergency Rule. Public all over the country opposed that and started protests against her. Akali party and Sikhs played a big role in those protests and forced her to withdraw the Emergency powers and rule and she lost next elections. And this thing left bitter feelings in Gandhi’s mind against the Sikh community and she decided to get revenge from the Sikh community. That is why soon after getting back to power she started planning to attack the Golden Temple to hurt the feelings of the Sikh Community. She ordered Army to start planning and training to attack the Golden Temple. According to Lt. Gen. Sinha the army had started training and planning to attack the Golden Temple 16 months before the actual Operation Blue Star. Then she knowingly let conditions in Punjab get bad. She even arranged to mix secret Black Cat Agents with terrorists to kill innocent people to create anti Sikh feelings and demands for action. In the mean time she had meetings with Akali party to give the impression that she wanted to solve Punjab problem peacefully. But she had no such intentions and using some excuse always backed away from the agreements. Finally she decided to carry out Operation Blue Star on a very religious day, killing thousands of innocent worshippers in the Golden Temple. That was the worst horrible action of Mrs. Gandhi’s life. That is why I fully agree with Mrs. Kennedy that Mrs. Gandhi was a Horrible Woman. Any ruler who plans and kill thousands of innocent person has to called Horrible ( cruel) ruler.

Considering all these various actions and decisions by Mrs. Gandhi. We’ll find these decisions and actions very Bitter, Pushy and Horrible. And we’ll appreciate Mrs. Kennedy that she was able to judge these qualities of Mrs. Gandhi in 1962 short meeting. Mrs Kennedy was right that Mrs. Gandhi was Prune-Bitter, Kind of Pushy and Horrible woman.

Kanwal jit Singh Gill is a Surrey-based writer.