The controversial Godman Chandraswami, who was known of having close relations with power centers, particularly close to Congress, had played key role in dislodging non-Congress governments since times fo Indira Gandhi. Now, a new revelation was made that he was also a `CIA spy’. This severe accusation was made by non-other than a former chief of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) Vikram Sood, in his recently released book `The Unending Game’.
It may be recalled that Chandraswami was allegedly helped to bring down the Morarji Desai government and was accused of trying to tarnish V P Singh’s reputation by faking documents from a St Kitts bank. A Youth Congress leader-turned- tantrik , Chandraswami effortlessly cosied up to people in power. He was an eager intermediary in questionable affairs, transmitting bribes, conducting esoteric rituals to ward off enemies, funding illicit endeavours, and enjoying the kind of extra-constitutional authority that is a successful godman’s privilege.
In his book, Vikram said that India was the playground of games between the CIA and KGB for decades. Chandraswami and his associate Mamaji had become friendly with Saudi millionaire Adnan Khashoggi, whose assistance they reportedly sought to help Rajiv Gandhi win the elections, in the aftermath of the Bofors scandal.
Khashoggi introduced the swami to his son-in-law Larry Kolb, a ‘part time CIA agent’. Khashoggi hosted the swami in a fancy apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue, while Kolb worked hard to get the St Kitts story published by the Kuwait-based Arab Times.
However, despite the godman’s efforts, V P Singh was elected as prime minister. Chandraswami then latched on to Chandra Shekhar, who ousted Singh to become PM himself. Chandraswami also wielded considerable influence with P V Narasimha Rao, who became PM subsequently. Researchers says that PV tried his best to keep away this swami from corridar of power during his Prime Minsiterial term.
Sood claims the KGB had 10 newspapers and one news agency on its payroll and thousands of articles were planted in these outlets. In addition, the Soviets covertly financed and distributed 25 million magazines and books.