Thatcher held secret meetings with Indian guruBy IANS
Saturday, January 29, 2011
LONDON - Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher met controversial Indian guru Chandraswami at the House of Commons in 1975, after he was recommended to her by then deputy high commissioner to Britain, Natwar Singh.
Details of the meetings have been revealed by Singh, who was present when they took place, according to the Daily Telegraph.
In 1975, Singh was India’s deputy high commissioner, when Chandraswami arrived in London and “apparently demanded a meeting” with Thatcher.
The self-proclaimed mystic had already made a name for himself as a spiritual adviser to celebrities and political leaders including Nancy Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor and the Sultan of Brunei.
Thatcher agreed to meet Chandraswami, but insisted the session would only be for 10 minutes.
She was so “impressed” with his apparent powers that she agreed to his request to wear a “special red dress” and a battered talisman around her wrist to a second meeting.
Chandraswami arrived wearing an orange shawl, with a religious mark on his forehead, beads around his neck and carrying a staff in his right hand.
After introducing himself, he gave Thatcher five strips of paper and, with Singh’s help as translator, asked her to write a question on each.
She obliged and watched as Chandraswami closed his eyes and “went into a trance”.
He later asked Thatcher to open the paper balls one by one, and correctly told her the question written on each.
“Irritation gave way to subdued curiosity,” Singh said.
“By the fourth question, I thought, she began to consider Chandraswami a holy man indeed. Chandraswami was like a triumphant guru and took off his slippers and sat on the sofa in the lotus position.”
“I was appalled but Mrs. Thatcher seemed to approve. She asked more questions and, in each case, Chandraswami’s response overwhelmed her.”
He, however, cut short the meeting when he announced that the sun had set, meaning he was unable to continue.