Monday, February 21, 2011

On President's Day, Remembering Richard Nixon --- 10 Bollywood Songs in the Missing 18.5 Min

One of the most enduring mysteries of Watergate is what was in the "Missing 18 & a half minutes". Recent advances in technology enable us to take an educated guess about those highly controversial contents. It is quite likely they were Bollywood songs, although it is not known how they got there.  Maybe President Nixon liked to listen to all kinds of music. Perhaps this is what those bugs in the Democratic party HQ in Watergate recorded. 

I think someone was trying to associate events in President Nixon's life with songs from Bollywood, and here are 10 possibilities.

Event :- The so-called "last press conference" of Richard Nixon took place on November 7, 1962 following his loss to Democratic incumbent Pat Brown in the 1962 California gubernatorial election. Appearing before 100 reporters, an embittered Nixon lashed out at the media, proclaiming that "you don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."[

Linkage :- Keying  on "Last Press Conference", implying leaving politics; the song means I am forever leaving this gathering. 

9) Hippies/Flower Power/Drugs/Vietnam-Oppn ---
    Dum Maaro Dum

Event :- The hippie movement encompassing sex, drugs, rock & roll, freedoms,  distinct appearances, Vietnam War protests, counterculture.

Linkage :- The song "Take Another Toke" is from the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna, depicting the hippies lifestyle in Kathmandu Nepal.

8) Moon Landings --- 

Event :-  The first successful man-on-moon mission (Apollo 11) occurred during President Nixon's  first term. Apollo 13, the third mission, developed a crippling failure and was unable to land on the moon, and there were serious doubts about its safe return.

Linkage :- President Nixon was supposed to have prepared two speeches, one for a successful return, and the other in case of a tragedy. The song ("The Moon appeared but you did not") could be used instead of the 2nd speech, 

Event :- As the title suggest, this is the Creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Linkage :- If you do not believe Jeetendra as an environmentalist, try President Nixon as the one who signed into law the creation of the EPA.

Event :-  President Nixon met with Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and did not believe her assertion that she would not invade Pakistan; he did not trust her and once referred to her as an "old witch".

Linkage :- President Nixon in one of his best "Tricky Dick" avatars, claiming he did not seek any troubles or breaks in relationship with India. Song translation is "I did not seek a breakup".

Event :- The Nixon Shock was a series of economic measures taken by President Nixon in 1971 including unilaterally canceling the direct convertibility of the US $ to gold that essentially ended the existing Bretton Woods  system of international financial exchange.

Linkage :- Perhaps President Nixon later regretted eliminating US $ to Gold convertibility, hence the song lines "I learnt your value too late, I made a mistake, please do not get angry." (Sona means Gold).

4) Nixon To China ---
   Tumne Pukara Aur Hum Chale Aaye

Event :- President Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the USA and China. It marked the first time a U.S. President had visited China, who at that time considered the U.S. one of its staunchest foes. This is arguably President Nixon's greatest foreign policy achievement, worthy of current President Obama's "We do big things".

Linkage :- As the song says "You called & I came", is an uncharacteristically humble President Nixon.

3) Spiro Agnew ---
    Do Diwane Dil Ke .... Chale Hai Chale Hai Chale Hai Sasural

Event :- Charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery & conspiracy were leveled against Spiro Agnew, President Nixon's Vice President. He was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge of income tax evasion, and in exchange had to resign the Vice Presidency.

Linkage :- President Nixon was also getting embroiled in his own possibly criminal scandal, Watergate; and must have thought about prison terms for himself & his Vice President. The song implies "Two crazy people going to their father-in-law (jail)".

2) I am not a crook --- 
   Mujhe Duniyawaalon Sharabi Na Samjho

Event :- President Nixon's infamous press conference where he claims innocence re: the Watergate Scandal.

Linkage :- As the song from the movie "Leader" says "People should not consider me a drunkard, since I do not really drink on my own, but have been plied by others."; perhaps President Nixon was trying to claim others made him do it.

1) Deep Throat --- 
    Gumnaam Hai Koi

Event :- Deep Throat is the pseudonym given to the secret informant who provided information to Bob Woodward of The Washington Post in 1972 about the involvement of President Nixon's administration in what came to be known as the Watergate scandal. His identity remained undisclosed for nearly thirty one years after the scandal.

Linkage :- As the song says "Someone is Unknown", truly summing up Deep Throat's role in Watergate.

a) Missing Richard Nixon --- Paul Krugman of New York Times
b) All The President's Men --- Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein
c) The Movie All The President's Men
d) The Final Days --- Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein
e) The Movie "Dick". An excellent satire on Watergate, suggested by Ava.
f) Wikipedia
g) The Washington Post

(Disclaimer --- The above piece is entirely fictional re: Bollywood song associations, and is intended to be a satire. However, on the slim chance that President Nixon appreciated Bollywood Music; we welcome him to our fraternity.)