The World Socialist Web Site received the following letters in reponse to its 16 May 1998 article, 'Mounting regional tensions, domestic political crisis: Behind India's nuclear bomb testing.'
It was amusing to read so much about India for the first time on web. Why is the world bothered about India now, when most foreigners wouldn't be able to name six prominent Indian cities? The world did not care for us when we needed its help, nor did it help India when it was attacked by China and Pakistan, nor did it paid any attention to the China-Pakistan nexus. So why now shed crocodile tears and cry wolf over India's nuclear tests?
Nuclear-powered India is a reality of the new millenium and it is indeed painful for the established powers to let India (a third world, poor, underdeveloped country!) share their hegemony. It is foolish to try to enact sanctions against India. These sanctions will only hurt US and Japanese businesses in the long term and not India.
India never pokes its nose into other countries' matters as the US and Japan do. We don't ask Bill Clinton what was going on between him and Monica, nor do we ask the Japanese government what they did with Chinese and Korean women in World War II. So why do these countries try to opine on our internal affairs? Also, we conducted these tests on our own grounds, not like the USA in some Pacific islands. And, we were honest enough to let the world know that we conducted 5 tests (though so called sensitive seismographs could record only one test!).
If these immature and childish governments are putting sanctions on India, let them do it. But, if they withdraw their sanctions under whatever pretexts, then they should feel ashamed and the world will realize how stupid they are....India will have the last laugh!
16 May 1998
To the Editor:
India being a nuclear power now is a blessing to all of us.
There are only five countries in the world that have nuclear bombs 1. USA, 2. Russia, 3 China, 4. Britain, and 5. France. These five nuclear countries have power in the world and are saying that no one else should make atomic weapons or they will face sanctions.
Look at the records of these five nuclear power countries. China and Russia have a history of invasion of neighboring countries. Who dropped the nuclear bomb in Japan? Who are selling missiles technology, F-16s, and military weapons around the world? Who ruled India for many years before freedom ?
For 20 years or more India has been saying that though they are capable of making nukes they will not sign the nuclear ban treaty while the other five nuclear countries agree to dismantle their nuclear bombs, thus making this planet without any nukes at all. But the USA, a drunken cowboy on a three legged horse with a nuclear bomb in one hand, refuses and keeps pressure on other countries to get ahead of them in this field.
Now India is claiming that they will sign the nuclear ban treaty if all the nuclear countries agree to be without nuclear arsenals. If this can be achieved, then India, by testing these bombs, has given the world a way out of any future nuclear war. Politics are deep and misunderstood.
India didn't create the atomic bomb to defeat Pakistan or China. That is a political argument to divert the world's attention. India has made a major chess move and only after a few decades will the world understand the reason.
Why should we want only five nuclear countries to have nuclear bombs and twist our thumbs when ever they want?
The good thing about it was that the CIA and American satellite surveillance were unable to detect any preparation and blasts on Monday (three times) and Wednesday (twice). This proves that the United States' technology is not all that superior. In Washington they have red faces and scratch their heads.
India is not in the business of making people like you smile. India has enemies on all sides, having gone to war with China and Pakistan. Furthermore, these neighbors are hell-bent on supporting terrorism and separatist movements in various parts of India and the world.
A weaker India is China's goal. The US did its share of research in the fifties to perfect China's arsenal, so why shouldn't India? Let's cut the hypocrisy and bull crap.
If all five nuclear power countries want India to sign a no-nuclear agreement, first destroy all your nukes, and make sure other countries destroy theirs too.
History has proven that any agreement China signs in not worth the paper it is written on.
Furthermore, isn't it the height of hypocrisy for the US to sell long-range missile technology to China, F-16s to Pakistan and other countries around the world, and expect its enemy, India to sit idly by.
India lives in a far more dangerous world than the US. Furthermore, nuclear power is an excellent deterrent to war. That's what has kept peace (sort of) in the Indian subcontinent for the last 25 years.
Regarding SANCTIONS, I would like to know how come nobody put sanctions on France or China when they tested their atomic bombs 2 years ago. Where were you, Mr. President 'Bill Clinton,' when France and China tested their atomic bombs 2 years ago ? And why were you NOT deeply and personally disappointed at that time? Basically, if India had been as powerful as China there would be no talk of sanctions. China is still a communist country, with a long history of illegal arms and weapons technology transfers to rogue nations like Iran and Pakistan. China still holds the MFNTS title, and permanent membership in UN Security Council. I see how the Western mind works ... its all about $$$$$. Mr. President 'Bill Clinton:' your action of imposing sanctions on India is 'IRRESPONSIBLE'
The five nuclear power countries, and permanent members of UN Security Council must:
1. DESTROY all of their nuclear arsenals FIRST. 2. STOP selling missile technology around the world. 3. STOP selling F-16s and other military weapons around the world. 4. STOP exercising a DOUBLE STANDARD for other countries. 5. STOP pointing finger at India. Look at yourself in the mirror.
India is a peaceful nation with the largest democracy in the world, and Indians are peace-loving people. We believe in peace and a nuclear-free world, but we Indians are NOT cowered.
I BELIEVE IN PEACE & A NUCLEAR-FREE WORLD.
17 May 1998 Anaheim, CA, USA
The facts presented here are distorted. The West's reaction to India's test is hypocritical as it possesses nuclear weapons and encourages transfer of nuclear technology to other countries. It turned a blind eye towards China's transfer of nuclear technology to Pakistan. Despite this transfer, China was given the status of most-favoured nation by the US.
The Americans also neglected the support for Islamic terrorists by Pakistan (in Kashmir) and by China (in northeast India). India should not be expected to sleep with nuclear weapons just across its borders. The decision to test nuclear weapons required a brave government and the Indian government has lived up to the expectations of one of the great nations.
18 May 1998
You have correctly pointed out that the condemnation of the Indian acquisition of the nuclear weapon capability by the US only exposes a hypocritical stance by a country that has the largest stockpile of these devices. The same could be said for the reaction of the others of the Big-Five Group. One must consider the peculiar (and precarious) geo-political realities that India confronts presently. It had a devastating war with China in 1962, losing a substantial stretch of its territory to China (which China still occupies). It was mainly due to the fact that India was caught unaware and unprepared for attack, least of all from a country which boasted of the Hindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai (Long-Live-INDIA-CHINA-brotherhood). China has been a very unpredictable authoritarian regime to Indians, a dangerous wolfish neighbour that still occupies Tibet. When the weak prophesizes peace, it is most likely to be branded cowardice. A pigeon can not sell peace to a vulture. Consider the Noble laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama !! Can he get his country Tibet back from China by prophesizing peace !?!
India has never had any bullying tendencies. On the contrary, it has been fighting a covert war by Pakistan, which supports and trains terrorist mercenaries against India. Consider the plight of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits that have fled the Kashmir valley to escape bullets and save their sisters and daughters from rape and molestation by these mercenaries, besides forcible conversion to Islam.
The BJP reflects the sentiment of the people of India in declaring India a nuclear weapons state. Every Indian should live honourably. Nuclear devices are a kind of no-use-weapon that has more of a deterrent effect.. They should have a salutary effect on such neighbours of India who appear to have wolfish designs on its territory.
My comments are spontaneous and I do not have any political affiliation. I teach plant sciences at the University of Delhi and my students share my sentiments as well.
18 May 1998
Mounting regional tensions, domestic political crisis
Behind India's nuclear bomb testing
[16 May 1998]