Srinagar, Aug. 28 -- Stalin asked whether Delhi had considered the possibility of some kind of federation between India and Pakistan. "That would be the ideal solution," the pope of dialectical materialism observed.


JUST three weeks before Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin died, India's ambassador to Moscow, K. P. S. Menon, received a much sought-after invitation to meet him at the Kremlin. The reclusive communist leader rarely granted such an interview. During the previous five years, he bestowed this honor upon only three other diplomats.

The Soviet foreign office, which called Menon to convey the invite on 17 February 1953, took the license plate number of his car and the name of his driver. It advised the ambassador to re...