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Revealed: Margaret Thatcher Took Guidance From Chandraswamy

PTI 11 Feb 2011, 17:54:53 IST
Former Indian External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh has revealed how former PM Margaret Thatcher, who ruled Britain for 11 long years, was taking guidance from controversial Indian godman Chandraswamy, reports Daily Mail, London.

The report said, Chandraswamy sat barefoot in the lotus position in Mrs Thatcher's Commons office during a secret meeting soon after she became leader of the Tory Opposition in 1975.

And Margaret Thatcher was so impressed with Chandraswamy's powers that she agreed to his request to wear a special red dress and a battered ­talisman around her wrist to a second meeting.

There, it is claimed the bearded guru correctly predicted that she would come to power within four years and remain there for more than a decade.

Details of the extraordinary meetings were revealed on Friday by  former Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, who was present when they took place.

In 1975 he was India's Deputy High Commissioner to the UK when Chandraswamy arrived in London and demanded a meeting with Margaret Thatcher.

By then, Chandraswamy had already made a name for himself as a spiritual adviser to celebrities and political leaders including Nancy Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, the Sultan of Brunei and controversial Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi.

But Natwar Singh was  astonished when Margaret Thatcher agreed to meet the guru, albeit insisting the session would last only ten minutes.

It is claimed Chandraswamy arrived at her Commons office wearing an orange shawl, with a tilak mark on his forehead, beads around his neck and carrying a staff in his right hand.

After introducing himself, he gave Margaret Thatcher five strips of paper and, with Natwar Singh's help as translator, asked her to write a question on each.

She obliged with ‘scarcely camouflaged irritation' and watched as the guru closed his eyes and went into a trance.

When he emerged, he asked Margaret Thatcher to open the paper balls one by one, and correctly told her the question written on each.

‘Irritation gave way to subdued curiosity,' Natwar Singh recalled. ‘By the fourth question, I thought, she began to consider Chandraswamy a holy man indeed. Chandraswamy 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, Chandraswamy's response overwhelmed her.'

The mystic cut short the meeting when he announced that the sun had set, meaning he was unable to continue.

But at Margaret Thatcher's request, he arranged to meet her again at Natwar Singh's house a few days later.

Natwar Singh said: ‘Just as we were about to leave, Mr Holy Man produced a talisman tied to a not-so-tidy piece of string and said that Mrs Thatcher should tie it on her left arm when she came to my house.

‘She immediately took the talisman. I was relieved to finally say goodbye when Chandraswamy turned to me and said: “Kindly tell Mrs Thatcher that she should also wear a red poshak (dress).”

‘I felt like hitting him, he was clearly overdoing it now.'

But when the Iron Lady arrived at Natwar Singh's home in Hampstead, North ­London, she was wearing a stunning red dress and the talisman.

The former diplomat said: ‘She asked many questions that day, but the most important ones were related to the chances of her becoming the prime ­minister.

Chandraswamy did not disappoint. He predicted that she would be PM for either nine, 11 or 13 years.

‘Of course, Mrs Thatcher believed that she would become PM one day. But I thought predicting the number of years was a bit too much.

‘Mrs Thatcher asked one final question: When would she become prime minister? “In three or four years,” Chandraswamy announced.' Mrs Thatcher was duly elected to No 10 four years later, and served for 11 years.

Chandraswamy, who also claims to be able to cast spells, has attracted many critics who claim he exploits the ‘gullibility' of his high-­profile followers.

After becoming prime minister, however, Margaret Thatcher appeared to become shy about her sessions with the guru.

At the Commonwealth Summit in Zambia, in 1979, Natwar Singh suggested to her: ‘Our man was proved right.'

‘For a moment, she seemed flustered,' he recalled. ‘Then, she took me aside and said: “High Commissioner, we don't talk about these matters”.'