Oh, those Russians

The Mitrokhin Archive: Two is out and bits of the Third World are quivering like an underset jelly. (For the Allende story, go here.)
Comrade Malik has the lowdown on the former KGB man’s India revelations:

One year after he died, the ghost of Vasili Mitrokhin, former senior archivist at the KGB, has returned to haunt the core of the UPA—the Congress and the Communists.
Just released in London, The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World (Penguin/Allen Lane) claims fairly sensational disclosures about the former Soviet secret service’s operations in India.
The KGB, the book alleges, routinely bribed Left and Congress politicians, including ministers in Indira Gandhi’s government, bought secrets from them, paid them retainers. Making India, in the words of KGB general Olef Kalugnin, “a model of KGB infiltration of a Third World government…It seemed like the entire country was for sale”.

Comrade Bardhan thinks that British and US intelligence are behind the book. (Oh yeah. Good old MI5 and the CIA, funding ex-KGB guys so well that the US Embassy Mitrokhin first approached actually turned him away, assuming he was a crank.)

“We survive on people’s money. I have never smelt roubles. I came to the party at the age of 15 and for the past 65 years been serving it,” he said.
On the book, he said, “Mitrokhin who stole the archive” is not alive to verify the claims but it is clear that someone in England — Christopher Andrew, historian at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, and Mitrokhin’s collaborator — wants to earn money through it.

The Congress denies everything, damn it, everything:

“To state that Mrs Gandhi became Prime Minister because of the manipulation by any foreign intelligence agency is preposterous. The truth is that Indira Gandhi became Prime Miniter in 1966, 1971 and 1980 because of the love, affection and trust the people of India reposed in her,” the AICC said in a press release.

Andrew and Mitrokhin report suitcases full of KGB money going into the Prime Minister’s residence, but don’t seem to think she knew about the origins of the cash. However, they corroborate a Very Senior Source who says the suitcases were never returned. What the Babu would like to know is, what did Herself do with all them suitcases? And were they Louis Vuitton? Or just the GUM store brand?

6 comments

  1. Comrade Bardhan’s response may be cliched, but the history of Western intelligence is not exactly inspiring, the WMD in Iraq being a more recent, but not unprecedented case. The Left, specially the CPI, cannot be faulted to have seen the ‘foreign hand’ in the seventies. Chile was a chilling example of the extent to which imperialism could go to thwart regimes seen as Left- wing or pro- Soviet.Mrs Gandhi did go overboard during the Emergency but it is too simplistic to assume that the KGB had infiltrated the the Indian government to such an extent as indicated by the so called Mitrokhin archives.Ditto for the CPI. In Punjab in the eigties, for example, it was no joke to stand up to take on Khalastani terrorism. The CPI might have over- estimated the role of the CIA, the US and imperialism, but its political line was essentially correct. And neither the leadership nor the cadres stood up to terrorism for the sake of a few roubles.(something that the Mitrokhin archives, and the dominant media may not like to remember, but it was the communist cadre that fought the political battle in the Punjab, unlike the Congress, BJP, not to say the Akalis.

  2. Hurree,I saw your post on Yasusada from August. Wanted to let you know that the Yasusada Letters are out. I am the publisher of ALSO WITH MY THROAT I SHALL SWALLOW TEN THOUSAND SWORDS: ARAKI YASUSADA’S LETTERS IN ENGLISH. And if you have any interest in reviewing it on your blog I’d be happy to send you a copy. My email for Combo Books is combobooks@cox.netThanks,Michael Magee

  3. Hurree, I’ve heard otherwise rational Left-leaning intellectuals and development workers in India rant on about how awful it is take money from Western governments and their aid agencies. The vitriol reserved for organizations like Ford Foundation and McArthur Foundation is truly amazing. An American donor agency was immediately suspect. However, they almost never saw any moral compunctions about taking Soviet and Chinese state doles to fund the Communist movement in India (I know ex-Naxalites who freely admit to Chinese money funding the Naxal movement). The saddest part of the story is that all this KGB money funded a rhetoric that pushed our economy and development back by several decades. I hope the Communists instead of reacting the way they are, sit back and reflect on the incalculable damage they’ve inflicted.

  4. hi!!!!! i have gone through your blog and i really like the idea of a literary review on the web. the blog provides a unique form of communication with the facility of readers comments providing a forum for debate.i would really like to contribute to this blog. if this is possible i would appreciate it if you could get back to me.thanking you in advance…

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