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Dedicated to “Bharat” and “Dharma”

Was Rahul Gandhi really arrested at Boston in 2001?

…or is this one of the more popular but false “urban legends“? I think we have a right to know the truth.

Many of you (if not all) must have come across Shri Subramaniam Swamy’s press release from about two years ago that included an open challenge to the then President of KPCC, Sri Janardan Poojary to engage in a public debate about the status of Shri Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship and other matters.

In that press release, Shri Swamy had also talked about Shri Rahul Gandhi being arrested at Boston airport by FBI in September 2001.

I have so far refrained from commenting on this mainly because Rahul-ji was a lot less in the public eye and I felt that this was a personal matter that did not deserve media attention. I also found it somewhat hard to believe.

But after the time that I spent today on the net researching this matter, I have changed my mind.

During the course of my web trawl, I came across this report about a PIL filed in Lucknow High Court seeking information about the alleged detention of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and his Colombian girlfriend by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2001.

The PIL was rejected by the High Court within two days of being filed but I could not find any reasons why.

Curiously, I found very little mention of this “detention” in the national press except for a few links (see here and here; also The Hindu). Both reports mentioned the matter of the “arrest” and suggested that he was released on the intervention of the Indian Ambassador to the US. However, The Hindu’s Washington correspondent mentioned in his report that “media reports of Mr. Mansingh having been brought into the picture to allow Mr. Gandhi to proceed on his onward journey from Boston to Washington “are simply not true.”

So what really happened?

Perhaps it was just a case of mistaken identity? or overzealous security?

In either case, what is there to hide? Given Rahul Gandhi’s role in national politics and image as a potential leader of Bharat, is this not a matter that the public deserves to know more about?

Related Links:

India’s Man of Mystery

The little known firm in which Rahul Gandhi has a 83% stake

P.S. Might this be a subject for a future Tehelka sting? Just wondering.

Related Posts: On track for 7, Race Course Rd


Finally, does anyone know a] if this photo is genuine (if so, details of the source, original publication)? or might it be “doctored”? b] If it is genuine, details of where and when was it taken, what was the occassion and the context? and c] Is the person next to Rahul-ji, a friend, an acquaintance, a relation or a stranger?

Is this the photo referred to in Rajeev Srinivasan’s article?


November 15th, 2007 Posted by | Indian Media, Politics and Governance in India | 55 comments


  1. Adding this here for the record:

    and this headline from ToI – since removed

    Comment by B Shantanu | January 9, 2012

  2. I am sorry, but what’s the point here?

    Rahul Gandhi is a man who doesnt deserve even a mention on such a blog about India’s future.

    Rahul baba is a joke who is called a youth leader even at 40!

    Comment by Indian Youth blogger | January 15, 2012

  3. over all its really shamefull for all indians that they has made such situation in which rahul(roul) or gandhi nehru family like hidden hound are situated himself as ours future maker. think………………………….think seriously about this. this is only and only we indians fault.

    Comment by prabhu | January 26, 2012

  4. Subramaniam Swamy put it so eloquently. “Woh to buddhu hai”.

    Comment by Sridhar | March 13, 2012

  5. Pl read my comments at #49 re. the role of Sh Brajesh Mishra.
    This piece by Dr N Rajaram seems to confirm Dr Swamy’s assertion: ‘COUP’ THAT WAS NOT A COUP: ARMY CHIEF ROW 2, from which this excerpt:
    And who is this Brajesh Mishra who called V.K. Singh the “worst army chief in history” and demanded that he be sent on forced leave? Is he a military expert? Hardly, he was the National Security Advisor in the NDA Government where he had a most undistinguished record. Mr. Kashyap makes the following interesting observation: “If the intent was to ensure the immediate sack of Gen Singh – to augment a previous demand by the NDA’s national security adviser Brajesh Mishra who inexplicably received a Padma Vibhushan from the UPA, allegedly for reasons of proximity to its reigning monarch – Gupta should have paused before leaping without looking.”

    So here is the clue— Brajesh Mishra is close to the dynasty though he served in the NDA. It may be noted that his daughter Jyotsna is married to an Italian and lives in Italy. But more significantly, as Prime Minister Vajpayee’s secretary during the NDA regime, Mishra rescued Rahul Gandhi when he was detained in the Boston Logan Airport by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Authority (or the FBI) for carrying a huge amount of unaccounted cash—more than $200,000—in his briefcase. (U.S. law limits the cash that can be carried to $10,000.) This was reported in The Hindu on September 30, 2001.

    So that was what earned a Padma Vibhusan for Brajesh Mishra. Padma Vibhushan is a very high civilian award. As a basis for comparison here are two awardees— Field Marshal Manekshaw and nuclear physicist Dr. Raja Ramanna. They are now joined by one Brajesh Mishra. (It is fortunate they are not here to witness it.) It is not just in journalism that standards have deteriorated. Look at who was the President that gave the award to Brajesh Mishra.
    From once upon a time, when such headlines were possible: “Was Rahul Gandhi detained by FBI?” http://j.mp/ICUJWZ Mark it

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 13, 2012

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