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

Outbreak of peace aborted.

All hope is not lost though. To know this all one has to do is relive the time when Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif made the most sincere effort, at least in my memory, to date. The opening of many new civilian transportation channels is still the most effective approach to resolving this conflict. The friendship between the two leaders was irrepressible and the intent was equally clear. Together, both of them got the languid bureaucrats on both sides to get cracking on resolving petty issues.

Continue reading

India-Pakistan relationship – are we wishing for the stars?

Pakistan’s blind side” is the title of the editorial piece from Mr. Shashi Tharoor’s desk, arguably the most famous Indian diplomat, owing his reputation to years of service in the U.N. He is now an M.P. representing a constituency of Kerala.

The piece does not shed any new light on the state of affairs between the two neighbours, neither does it offer any innovative proposals. All opinions were paraded as if it were an imaginary line-up of the usual suspects. It would paint an even wry picture if you could conjure up the expressions on the faces of the characters in the line up of the poster for “The Usual Suspects”. India’s impotence at pressing it’s advantage of being powerful among the two can be very easily identified as a character in this line up. Pakistan’s suppressed acceptance of Jinnah’s failed dream but defiance against admitting so could be another. The list would go on.

Continue reading