Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pokhran II Anniversary - no cause for celebration?

Very often, new governments refuse to accept or reverse policies instituted by the previous regime. But its probably an India-special that we turn everything 180 degrees. The UPA Government has had a special penchant for this... and where the policies worked, they commandeered them by doing the thing they do best- giving them a Gandhi name. Family first, Patriotism and national welfare comes later.

Now, as we approach a decade of one of the Nation's greatest achievements , the Pokhran-II Nuclear tests (May 11 and 13, 1998), the UPA policy seems to be disgustingly clear - reject it! The UPA government has decided not to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the tests. And to explain why, Minister of State for Defence, Pallam Raju had this to say in an interview with CNN-IBN's Rajdeep Sardesai:

CNN-IBN Report

'Pokhran brought sanctions, so why celebrate it'

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government conducted five nuclear tests from May 11 to May 13, 1998, in Pokhran and in a few days it will be the 10th anniversary of the tests that announced India's entry into the nuclear weapons club. Many believe that those tests finally led to the Indo-US nuclear deal but the UPA government has decided not to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the tests.

Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju defended the United Progressive Alliance government's decision of not celebrating the 10th anniversary of Pokhran II nuclear tests.

CNN-IBN: Why would you not do a public celebration or a commemoration of Pokhran II?

Pallam Raju: First of all thank you very much for having me on this programme. I think when we you are talking about India's nuclear programme we have every reason to be proud of what we have achieved. And I think being proud of the programme in itself is a reason for celebration. I don't see any further reason to celebrate a detonation.

CNN-IBN: Mr Raju, you may call it a detonation, but the truth is with the Shakti tests India declared itself a nuclear power. The day has great significance and there is much reason to be proud of Pokhran in India's strategic programme.

Pallam Raju: Let's look at what Pokhran has achieved for India. Of course it has demonstrated the capability India has had. But the detrimental effects - sanctions have affected most of our strategic program that were of importance to the nation. So I don't see any reason why it should be advertise loudly about.

CNN-IBN: Many would say you are speaking this way because of a clear nuclear deal shadow. Many of the clauses in the Indo-US nuclear deal are after all nothing but a result of Pokhran II. And that's why perhaps there is a slight discomfort celebrating it. What would the non-proliferation lobby would say?

Pallam Raju: Looking at policies that India has pursued in terms of being a non-first user, all that speaks about the deterrence policy we follow. And being a very responsible nuclear power and we have not proliferated and India's nuclear record peaks for it's responsible behaviour.

CNN-IBN: Final question, it's not just about Pokhran. It's about the 1971 victory that you celebrate and the Kargil victory, which you don't. The BJP today says they agree Indira Gandhi started it and the NDA took the next step with Pokhran II.

Pallam Raju: We had the bomb ready and the NDA blasted it in 1998. So what has happened after the blast you know the consequences the country had to face? You know the sanctions that were imposed. Every important programme of the country suffered as a consequence. Against this background, is this the reason for celebration? We know what we are, we are conscience of our capabilities, we know the strengths we posses. What is the need to advertise for it and make a celebration of it?

Unfortunately, Sardesai didn't ask the minister the question that he should have asked - Mr Minister, are you saying that the tests were a bad thing? That would have unravelled his dhoti and shown the government's treason.

It was nauseating to see the minister denigrate our scientists and spit on all the positives that the Shakti tests achieved, just so that the Congress wouldn't give away brownie points to the NDA. Why should we celebrate the 1974 tests then?? After all, those sanctions hit us much harder than those after Pokhran-II. Why should we celebrate the creation of Bangladesh - look at the problems we face from that runt nation today?

In fact, when we celebrate so many days for idiotic reasons only because some damn fool was born with the Gandhi surname, why can't we celebrate something of substance, instead of - Sadbhavana Divas (Rajiv Gandhi's Birthday), Children's Day (Nehru's Birthday), National Integration Day (Indira Gandhi's Birthday), National Oathtaking day (Indira Gandhi's Death Anniversary).

The UPA can close its eyes to the truth, but few sensible people will deny that Pokhran-II put us on the world map, brought us to the forefront of the foreign policies of the most powerful nations in the world. The sanctions had almost no effect on our economy, and if we're able to look the world's biggest technological powers in the eye and work with them as equals, it is all thanks to the gains we made by indigenizing our military technology during those years of denial. If the government's flagship Indo-US Nuke Deal is a reality, they have to thank Shakti for that; if India has become a major power today, it is singularly thanks to Pokhran-II ; and if we're talked about as a counter to China, and wooed by all nations as a superpower, it is because of the tests. Till then, we were strong, but no one really cared; but blast a bomb, and the whole world comes running for your good graces.

But I couldn't have expected anything more from a party whose first priority seems to be their Prince Regent's performance in next year's polls. After all, these were the same guys who criticized the tests and spoke for China's interests rather than ours when we conducted them anyway. Shameful!! disgusting!!


Mihir said...

And we call ourselves a superpower!!!

The world will never respect India until India respects herself.

Sukla M C said...

Only few of the issues/facts makes sense. The rest is total BS.

I do believe in congress. especially the past leaders.

Today congress is at its lowest, till new leaders (i see potential in Rahul Gandhi) come up.
in my home state Congress is Pathetic.

I will give you a fact.
When S M Krishna was the CM, the Govt. officials here literally were cribbing since they could hardly make any "money".
he turned a bankrupt govt into a profitable one.
With consecutive years of no rain in the state.

reply for some other post.
What is the price of Crude oil in the market... (India always has taxed fuel more, i support it... you cannot keep emitting CO2 and spend all ur foreign exchange for oil)

to move ahead we need power/Electricity.
How many resources do you have for major generation.
Do you know that all the Nuclear Reactors in India are running at less than half the capacity for lack of fuel.

No Country can afford to impose sanctions on India, or stop (N)fuel later on... we already affect the world economy...

Left is a bunch of ***** , they are doing a publicity stunt to get noticed for the next elections...

P V Narasimha rao... one of the most Corrupt *****...

I agree if you say if Nehru made blunders (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ... is one of his greatest blunders) .... But he also got warships stopped at the Suez cannal on one occasion(find out when).... that was his influence/friendship with other world leaders..

BTW, Rajiv Gandhi did sow the seed the IT revolution. Please do go for more accurate sources of information.

Indira Gandhi..
She is one of the most daring leaders this world has ever produced... (AB Vajpayee or PVN Rao are nothing compared to her... )

i have lots to say to almost everyone of your posts. will do it over time.

sniperz11 said...


your home state is my home state too, and having seen Krishna's rule, I agree that it was one of the best that we've had in the recent times... hopefully, BSY's will be able to do something similar. However, we should not forget that the gross neglect of rural areas happened during SMK's Bangalore rajya.

secondly, this post is about the Congress' despicable refusal to celebrate an occasion of national pride.

Third, irrespective of Rahul Gandhi's qualities (or lack thereof), I take issue with the Congress's inability to move beyond someone with a Gandhi surname. The INC has a reservation policy for its top spots, whether or not that person is qualified.

Rahul Gandhi has absolutely no experience or expertise with statecraft or administration. Even his political strategies seem to be a disaster; his having presided over electoral failure after failure.

I don't want to divert this thread by responding in depth to your other concerns, but I'll try to briefly put them through.

Power: We definitely need power, and reactors are a good way. However, please realize that NSG companies CAN AFFORD to sanction us by refusing to sell uranium, and we'll be the sufferers. We can't dictate terms when we lack the leverage.

PVN: I disagree. his govt was corrupt, but would it be any worse than the past few ones? He brought the country out from a gandhi-created mess, and admirably so too... I salute his statesmanship, and regret that the nation doesn't recognize it.

Indira Gandhi and Left: I agree.

Nehru - Of what use was his Suez and Korea policies to us? He tried to create world order while neglecting our own backyard. His daughter didnt, which is where she succeeded.

Looking forward to your comments and support.


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