(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 16, 200
RAJYA SABHA DISCUSSES FOREIGN POLICY
‘UPA Govt has Given Short-Shrift to CMP Commitment’
Below we publish a freehand and slightly abridged translation (from Urdu) of the intervention made by Mohd Amin in Rajya Sabha on July 30, on the question of India’s foreign policy and the retrograde changes that have recently been introduced into it. Subheadings have been added.
WHEN this country was partitioned, I was 19 years old; I remember these things because I have also been a journalist.
At that time, undoubtedly, Pt
Jawaharlal Nehru played
an important role in shaping the country’s foreign policy and adopted
of non-alignment, of the “five principles of peaceful coexistence.” In
view of the
subsequent developments, we may well say that this policy was totally
and it did benefit
Another important factor at that
time was the war in
There is no parallel, in the
history of the world, of
what the Americans have done to
But whosoever believes that now
there is no
“The UPA government will pursue
an independent foreign
policy keeping in mind its past traditions. This policy will seek to
multipolarity in world relations and attempt all attempts at
is also significant that on relations with the
Then, what was the necessity of
this Indo-US nuclear
deal at all? Did we think that now there is no Soviet Union, now only
In reality, this is no ordinary agreement. It is a strategic alliance, a strategic partnership. Two very dangerous things have been incorporated into it. First thing is that, according to this deal, the foreign policy of India must be in line with the foreign policy of the USA, and that the president of the USA would once every year certify before the US Congress whether it is so or not. Just tell me; what can be more shameful than this? Where has our independent foreign policy gone? What has happened to it? Then, when Mrs Hillary Clinton came here after a gap, a joint statement was issued with her, and it said that American experts would do the inspection of whatever the US would give us. They will thus have a say about all the defence installations we have. Another shoddy point about the Indo-US nuclear deal is that India would have to accept whatever reactor the US gives. While we should have been proud of the scientists we have, we have in fact tied their hands. If India begins to manufacture reactors, we can have a very sturdy development; but no, we won’t do that! The reason is that the US has decades old reactors but these have no buyers; so now these would be foisted over India.
Though the US seems very strong ostensibly, it has got hollowed from within. I read the other day that the budget the Obama administration presented this year has a deficit of 1.75 trillion dollars; it is a deficit budget. How will Mr Obama overcome it? By supplying reactors under the Indo-US nuclear deal? Suppose they stop the supply of reactors some time; then our factories would come to a standstill and our dream of having abundant power would become a pipedream. It will never materialise. This is called dependence upon some other country and we have contracted this dependence ourselves. In order to remove poverty, unemployment, starvation from our country, in order to solve the problems of roti, kapda aur makan, we consider one thing essential: A piece of dry chapatti with independence is far better that halwa under slavery. That was why the Left withdrew its support to the government a year ago. We had already warned the government that it must not go in the direction of that deal. We had no narrow consideration in view when we supported the government for four long years. We only wanted something in the country’s interest. We only wanted that you must keep your head high and not kneel down before any other country. Whatever Nature has given to our country, is enough to ensure that we don’t face the problems of roti, kapda aur makan; the only requirement is a just distribution of the available resources. There was a big hullabaloo before the polls that we must bring to the country our immense wealth that is stacked in banks in Switzerland. If it is done, a number of problems would be solved, but this means that you have to lay your hands on some big thieves. Come forward if you have the courage to do so; otherwise stop bragging.
Many other things have made their intrusion into our foreign policy. For example, we are silent over the presence of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US is resorting to drone attacks in Afghanistan in the name of preventing a Taliban comeback. But the government of India has not protested against these drone attacks either in the UN or elsewhere. Have you ever demanded that the US forces must be called back from Afghanistan or Iraq? People had a lot of expectations when Mr Barak Obama assumed the presidency, but nothing happened finally. The thing to remember is that the same forces have brought Mr Obama to the White House as had backed George Bush, that is, those representing the finance capital of the US. He can never go against these forces. One can understand the US stake in the Iraqi oil, but what is there in Afghanistan? But Obama has doubled the US forces in Afghanistan. However, they would do well to remember that whosoever went to Afghanistan got buried there. It may be that US imperialism suffers the same fate in Afghanistan.
Our foreign policy has no doubt some good aspects, like our participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and in the BRIC which stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China. These are two good things you have done; I support them. This BRIC means half of the world. Then, there is Latin America where not a wind but a storm of change is raging. Just see; a leftist has been elected president in El Salvador. While Cuba stood alone there for decades, now there are Venezuela, Bolivia and numerous other countries standing by it. People have started saying that now it is a matter of a year or two, and the whole of Latin America would be freed from the USA’s grip. It India stands by these countries, it would be a good thing. We think India needs to play an active role in this context.
As for a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council, everyone knows that the US is interfering against it.
Now, the last point. Our prime minister made two statements in Lok Sabha in a period of 12 days. One he gave on July 17, in regard to Pakistan, he said that resumption of the composite dialogue must not be dependent upon cessation of terrorism. After 12 days, however, he said yesterday: I have said time and again and I repeat it right now again that it is impossible for any government of India to work towards full normalisation of relations with Pakistan unless the government of Pakistan fulfils it in letter and spirit;” here he was talking of action against the terror groups operating from the soil of Pakistan. But these are two different statements. What was the pressure and from which forces that made the prime minister change his statement. I request him to clarify this point when he replies to the discussion.