Nixon had also used insulting language for Indians, calling them “a slippery, treacherous people”
Richard M Nixon, the late US president, used racist and sexist language to vent his frustration with India over the 1971 War, especially Indian women, probably triggered by his well-known hostility to then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
According to recently declassified White House tapes, the late president said in June 1971, "Undoubtedly the most unattractive women in the world are the Indian women," reports Hindustan Times.
"The most senseless, nothing, these people. I mean, people say, what about the Black Africans? Well, you can see something, the vitality there, I mean they have a little animal-like charm, but God, those Indians, ack, pathetic. Uch," Nixon, who left the White House in disgrace, continued.
The tapes show that Nixon told his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, "To me, they turn me off. How the hell do they turn other people on, Henry? Tell me."
These remarks are from a fresh lot of declassified White House recordings obtained by Gary Bass, writer of "The Blood Telegram", the seminal book about the independence of Bangladesh, and they were reported by him first for The New York Times on September 3.
The comments have come under severe criticism from the Indian community in the US, and bodies representing them have described the statements as "appalling" but in line with Nixon's "bigoted views."
Before the December 1971 India-Pakistan war, Indira Gandhi met Richard Nixon. In that war, India helped Bangladesh to be liberated from Pakistan while the United States had sided with Pakistan, and sent the Sixth Fleet to intimidate India.
Nixon's antipathy for Gandhi and Indians has been reported before. He had used foul language to describe the late PM in an earlier lot of recordings declassified in 2005.
Nixon had also used insulting language for Indians, calling them "a slippery, treacherous people".
On November 12, 1971, in another conversation the then US president said, "I don't know how they reproduce."
"I was appalled when I learned about the prejudice against Indians and people of other nationalities exhibited by a former American president and his national security adviser," said Sanjeev Joshipura, the executive director of Indiaspora, a group that works with the Indian diaspora.
"We already knew about Nixon's and Kissinger's bigoted views, but the visceral nature of these comments does not behove American government leaders, and is extremely offensive to so many around the world! Moreover, it is disgustingly unprofessional to conduct foreign policy and global diplomacy hinging upon the base instincts of humankind," he said.
"Thankfully," he added, "the tone and trajectory of US-India relations today is the polar opposite of the attitudes expressed by Nixon and Kissinger."
There was no immediate reaction from Indian officials to the new tapes.