Friday, 12 April 2013

Wikileaks: Did Kamaraj suspect MGR was US stooge?

The late chief minister and AIADMK founder M. G. Ramachandran, who remains popular among the masses even now 25 years after death, was once suspected to be an American agent by veteran Congress leader K Kamaraj. This was reflected in the Tamil daily, Nava Sakthi, considered to be the mouthpiece of the Congress (O) of Kamaraj.

This interesting, if not shocking, revelation has now stumbled off the Wikileaks that speaks of a US cable of January 3, 1975. In that cable from a US diplomat based in Chennai (then Madras) to his bosses in Washington, he quoted a Nava Sakthi report of Dec 31, 1974, which alleged ‘secret meetings’ in posh hotels between an American agent and ADMK legislators, including MGR. And the American diplomat had explained, “For your information, the only contacts between the consulate and the ADMK in the last few months have been reported in memcons with Dr H V Hande (July 24), G R Edmund (August 23) and M G Ramachandran (August 27)”.

The US cable also quoted Nava Sakthi saying that before going to the US, MGR had dinner with leading 
Americans in the residence of a big industrialist. “Many secret plans were drawn in that dinner meeting. A prominent American told MGR that if the ADMK were to break its relations with the Communist party, America will give all help to ADMK and if elections were to come, America would be prepared to meet all its election expenses. Also, MGR was told that he would be given official reception while he was in America. It is also said that because of this promise, MGR was very warmly received in America. Observers feel only to please Americans, MGR said Annaism is a mixture of capitalism, socialism and communism. It is learnt America is now very happy it has been able to get a stooge in Tamil Nadu”, Kamaraj’s newspaper had said.

The American diplomat in his cable noted that Kamaraj “apparently has great personal dislike” for MGR and was “unilaterally opposed to cooperation with him”. And that might well explain the motive behind Nava Sakthi alleging that the charismatic MGR had links with US agents. At the same time, it could be safe to assume that the Americans showed more than usual interest in the ADMK chief because of his close ties with the Communists, who had stoutly supported him when he was forced out of the parent DMK.

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