The Special Relationship with India
Part 1: The Supremacy of the Indian National Congress
The Third World country on which the KGB eventually concentrated most operationaleffort during the Cold War was India. Under Stalin, however, India had been regarded asan imperialist puppet. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia
dismissed Mohandas Mahatma*Gandhi, who led India to independence in 1947, as 'a reactionary….who betrayedthe people and helped the imperialists against them; aped the ascetics; pretended in ademagogic way to be a supporter of Indian independence and an enemy of theBritish; and widely exploited religious prejudice'.
Despite his distaste for Stalinistattacks Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, 'had no doubtthat the Soviet revolution had advanced human society by a great leap and had lit a bright flame which could not be smothered'. Though later eulogized by Soviet writers as‘a leader of international magnitude who ranked' among the best minds of the twentiethcentury.
Nehru was well aware that until Stalin's death in 1953 he, like Gandhi, wasregarded as a reactionary. During the early years of Indian independence, secretcorrespondence from Moscow to the Communist Party of India (CP1) wasfrequently intercepted by the Intelligence Branch (IB) in New Delhi (as it had beenwhen the IB was working for the British Raj). According to the head of the IB, B. N.Mullik, until the early 1950s every instruction that had issued from Moscow hadexpressed the necessity and importance [for] the Indian Communist Party to overthrow the"reactionary
Nehru Government. Early in 1951 Mullik gave Nehru a copy of the latestexhortations from Moscow to the CPI, which contained a warning that they mustnot fall into government hands. Nehru laughed out loud and remarked that Moscowapparently did not know how smart our Intelligence was.
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THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH INDIA; PART I
Neither Nehru nor the IB, however, realized how thoroughly the Indian embassy inMoscow was being penetrated by the KGB, using its usual varieties of the honey trap.The Indian diplomat PROKHOR (code name given for the Indian by KGB) wasrecruited, probably in the early 1950s, with the help of a female swallow (a femaleRussian prostitute/spy), codenamed NEVEROVA, who presumably seduced him. TheKGB was clearly pleased with the material which PROKHOR provided, which includedon two occasions the embassy code-book and deciphering tables, since in 1954 it increasedhis monthly payments from 1,000 to 4,000 rupees. Another Indian diplomat, RADAR,was recruited in 1956, also with the assistance of a swallow, who on this occasion claimed(probably falsely) to be pregnant.
A third KGB swallow persuaded a cipher clerk in theIndian embassy, ARTUR, to go heavily into debt in order to make it easier tocompromise him. He was recruited as an agent in 1957 after being trapped (probably intoillegal currency dealing) by a KGB officer posing as a black-marketeer.
As a result of these and other penetrations of the embassy, Soviet code breakers were probably able todecrypt substantial numbers of Indian diplomatic communications.As KGB operations in India expanded during the 1950s and 1960s, the Centreseems to have discovered the extent of the IB's previous penetration of the CPI.According to a KGB report, an investigation into Promode Das Gupta, who became