Rajiv Gandhi Speaks Against Nuclear Weapons – Part II

In the second part of this speech, Rajiv Gandhi Speaks Against Nuclear Weapons, Shri. Rajiv Gandhi presses home the point of the futility of nuclear arms race. He outlines a process, which if adopted by the U.N. and the masses, would bring about complete elimination of nuclear arms from the face of this earth by 2010.

Alas, it is as much a reflection of the lack of leadership as it is about the dearth of a universal platform for masses to organize, that the race has only intensified by new entrants seeking to secure this invaluable diplomatic bargaining chip. India and Pakistan having already underlined their philosophy by the tit-for-tat tests in late 90’s it’s now the turn of Iran (to be clear Iran’s claim has always been it’s pursuit of nuclear technology for power generation) and North Korea.

Rajiv Gandhi
Shri. Rajiv Gandhi

This section of the speech is dry on emotions and full in procedural outlines. The need to hold an audience’s attention during such sections is a critical challenged faced by speechwriters, especially in speeches with such an ambitious objective. Shri. Rajiv Gandhi’s effort is satisfactory in this regard.

In this part of the speech Niels Bohr, Gandhi and Nehru’s quotes make an appearance. It ends poignantly, relying on a quote from Dhammapada.

Continue reading

Rajiv Gandhi Speaks Against Nuclear Weapons

This is yet another pearl of a speech delivered by India’s Prime Minester, Shri. Rajiv Gandhi. It was addressed to the United Nations General Assembly session on June 9, 1998. This speech delivers comprehensively in setting a matter of immense gravity in the right tone before an audience of dignitaries. It is effective in painting the grim forecast of repercussions caused by our action… as well as our inaction. It succeeds in setting the stage for the crux of his speech with the imagery it creates using words like:

\"Nuclear war will not mean the death of a hundred million people. Or even a thousand million. It will mean the extinction of four thousand million: the end of life as we know it on our planet Earth”

“Astronomical sums are being invested in ways of dealing with death”

“…that everyone can be saved by ensuring that in the event of conflict, everyone will surely die."

This speech also manages to succinctly describe the state of human affairs at the time:

\"It is true that in the past four decades, parts of the world have experienced an absence of war. But a mere absence of war is not a durable peace.”

“Peace which rests on the search for a parity of power is a precarious peace.”

“Deterrence needs an enemy, even if one has to be invented."

Continue reading