India lost four of the five matches played in the first leg of the league in Bhubaneswar .
In 1974, the New York Times reported a surprising turn of events during Secretary of State Kissinger’s visit to India. The atmosphere was unexpectedly cool as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi expressed in a morning newspaper interview that the United States considered India as “marginal” to its global strategy. She conveyed a certain chilliness regarding American aid, setting a tone that raised eyebrows among both Indian and American officials.
Adding to the intrigue, the Indian Government revealed that Prime Minister Gandhi would be flying to Kashmir during Kissinger’s visit. Her agenda included addressing troops, visiting a seed development farm, and Tibetan refugee camps. While Indian officials vehemently denied any intentional snub to Kissinger, some American officials couldn’t help but interpret the timing of the published comments and the Kashmir visit as an unexpected negative gesture towards the Secretary of State. This was particularly notable given Kissinger’s previous visit to India in 1971.
Upon his arrival at Palam Airport from Moscow with his wife, Nancy, Kissinger acknowledged the improved relations between the United States and India. He stated that the “two greatest democracies in the world have rediscovered their common purpose and have exchanged ideas on an ever-increasing range of topics.” Kissinger expressed gratitude for the invitation from the Indian Government and the Foreign Minister, emphasizing the importance of continuing the exchange between the two nations.
The Kissingers got a warm reception at the airport by India’s new Foreign Minister, Y. B. Chavan, the Indian Ambassador to the United States, T. N. Kaul, and a group of Foreign Ministry officials, American embassy staff, and reporters. Despite the apparent chilliness in certain quarters, Indian officials and the local press generally welcomed Kissinger’s visit as a significant step forward in India’s delicate relationship with the United States.
The historical backdrop of the relationship between the two nations came into highlight, with the aid issue taking center stage. The nearly $10-billion of American aid that flowed to India in the 1960s was now a source of humiliation and excessive dependence, adding complexity to the dynamics between the two countries.