Wikileaks, tsunami of the political kind

Proposition No.1: North & Eastern parts are a drag on our economy. India would grow at 11-12 percent, if the country comprised only the West and South.
Prop.2: Hindutva, the Hindu nationalism,is an opportunistic electoral issue for BJP.
Prop.3: Sonia Gandhi, who occasionally invites Left leaders to breakfast,feels more comfortable working with them – high-caste, educated communists – than with regional satraps of the state-based political parties.
Prop.4: Rahul hasn’t demonstrated he has the charisma required to make it in national politics.

These may well be facts of our political life, as you and I view it. But politicians who are in the business of trading in words use them to score political advantage. The propositions listed above become controversial when they are sourced, respectively, to P ChidambaramArun JaitleySonia Gandhi and  Nachiketa Kapur (of ‘cash-for-vote’ W-leak cable fame). Their publication in The Hindu dignifies a sheaf of stolen diplomatic cables which, I suspect, would not be admissible evidence in a court of law.

With access to over 5000 India-related Wikileak cables The Hindu has been selective in their publication. The newspaper decides who or which party faces the music on a given day. It was Arun Jaitley on a Saturday, Sonia Gandhi on Sunday last. L K Advani, Prakash Karat,  PM’s security
adviser and quite a few other bigwigs have had their day.

The Hindu nowadays has become required reading for MPs, TV talk-show hosts and their panel of talking heads.The newspaper is causing a stir in Parliament on a daily basis. Its Wikileak disclosures have had a tsunami-like impact on reputations of some of our ‘neta-log‘. Almost everyone who is someone in politics figures in Wikileak exposures. In fact, no party ‘neta‘ can be said to have arrived in politics until he/she is mentioned in the cables.

Wikileak cables reveal another thing – that our politicians feel comfortable talking to foreign diplomats about men and matters that are controversial and politically sensitive.They seems to have no issues sharing with the US embassy staff  their thoughts on issues they would be reluctant to discuss  with their own party colleagues. No one who matters in political circles, it appears, escapes the US Embassy scanner. Public-dealing staff members in the US missions report to Washington even routine meetings with politicians and others with info to share.US diplomats, including the mission head, seeks out important politicians for interaction. And the reports they send back home are informative and often readable. An April 2007 cable, for instance,  by Charge d’Affaires Geoffrey Pyatt, pertaining to Rahul Gandhi, has a section headlined ,’The Dynasty, dying nasty‘. Another sub-heading that says, simply, ‘Son Set‘ deals with UP elections and Rahul Gandhi making ‘an uneven entry into active politics’.

I wonder if Indian missions abroad have such elaborate reporting system. We would never get to judge the style and substance of diplomatic cables sent by our missions abroad, unless, of course, Wikileaks find it worthwhile to to tap them.

G V Krishnan

Once a newsman, now a ‘was’man retaining his touch with written words.  Have of late been bitten by the Photobug. He blogs at and

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