WikiLeaks cables: US felt public rage over Emergency may cost Indira Gandhi her life

Indira SanjayLate Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with her son Sanjay Gandhi. (IE Archive)

According to WikiLeaks cables, the US had predicted an increased threat of assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay during Emergency.

The cable from the US embassy here to State Department in Washington in February 1976 commented on the political and economic situation prevalent during that period.

"The bureaucracy and security forces might become progressively demoralised and vulnerable to infiltration. The threat of assassination of Mrs (Indira) Gandhi or her son Sanjay, might increase," said the cable which was sent a year after Gandhi imposed Emergency.

Observing that, "the level of violent resistance against emergency had been insignificant", the cable claimed that, "There might be labour unrest in areas like Bombay-Thane industrial belt where 10 million (people) reside."

It said the "bleak outlook for peaceful resistance to the Prime Minister (Gandhi) may encourage those within the Opposition favouring more violent confrontation."

The cable also mentioned the possibility on an impact of a weakening economy on Gandhi's position.

"...the economy is bound to take a turn for the worse after the next bad Monsoon, thus weakening her position. This could be exacerbated by acts of sabotage against railway lines and economic installations," it said.

The cables also talked about the possibility of misuse of government's investigative arms and people loyal to Gandhi filling the top positions in her government.

"The government investigative arms (Income Tax, Customs etc) can be used to intimidate opponents. Her patronage resources are now enormous. Persons loyal to the Prime Minister fill the top positions in the country's paramilitary and intelligence establishments," it said.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.