Of fishes and fouls

Presumably the contract of getting Nidhi Razdan off the track and keeping her absorbed in a delusory prospect had been assigned to one of the many seedy but well-equipped agencies so thriving now in the land of liberty

Nidhi razdan

Nidhi Razdan’s revelations about the extremely clever and elaborate confidence trick on her should not, in my opinion, be accepted on its face value as a mere ploy to filch her of a hefty amount. The very audacity of the impersonation and the theatrics, the flawless plan and execution of the design, the forgeries of seals, emblems and signatures of top officials of Harvard on letterhead point to the involvement of shadowy agencies close to non-state centres of power in the United States though not necessarily located there. Their power had been partly on display in the hair-raising assault on the Capitol which aimed at stopping a Congress session and hijacking its decision. Those were non-state but evidently close to certain political circles.

Why would they do it? Possibly they wanted to put out of harm’s way someone who had been a pestering nuisance in a friend’s turf, a friend who needed some help. Nidhi Razdan with her sharp intellect, quick reflexes and thorough-going objectivity in her handling of talk shows had kept the baying crowds of the ruling party under control by her intelligent anchoring of talk shows, and the fact must have caused a flutter in the dovecotes. Razdan unwaveringly kept shouting brigade of a certain quarter on track to lead the discussion to a logical conclusion, often to the disconcertion of that crowd and its patrons accustomed to easy victories. Presumably the contract of getting her off the track and keeping her absorbed in a delusory prospect had been assigned to one of the many seedy but well-equipped agencies so thriving now in the land of liberty. One good turn rewarded by another. May be the elaborate events in India to boost Trump’s morale and prestige called for this out of sheer gratitude.

The use of the university’s letterhead and the forgeries of the signatures of the purported officials would have been impossible had there not been some sort of access to them. Not quite the stuff your common and garden variety con-men targeting a rich guy would be capable of. And Nidhi Razdan is not exactly known to be so fabulously rich as to tempt such fraudsters.

The 90-minute interview as prelude to confirmation reportedly appeared quite professional and rigorous. The only thing that appears out of line was the direct offer of faculty position to one not in the academic profession. Normally such people are offered fellowships for periods up to one year or longer. The money angle that strikes Razdan as a possible clue does not seem to account for the systematic, well-planned and resourceful plot. But yes, had it succeeded the loss of money would have helped to deepen the victim’s despair and prevent recovery of her morale.

Incredible? It is at least much more credible than the vast and capacious net of alleged Maoist conspiracy that seems to be catching in its toils all and sundry human rights workers and dissidents.

*The author is a highly respected Assamese intellectual, a literary critic and social-scientist from Assam. Views expressed are the author’s own. 

Other pieces by Dr. Hiren Gohain:

The People Vs the Mob

The people: The Sovereign 

Politics of Micromanagement



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