PREVIOUS HOUR

RSS/1z&2a/12.55-1.00

SHRI JASWANT SINGH (CONTD.):  And Fateh is on the decline, and Hamas on the ascendant, and Hizubullah is in Lebanon, where it opposed Rafic Hariri's assassination. These are some of the very wide aspects, Sir. And I am worried because, we have physical presence of foreign troops. What is NATO doing in Afghanistan? What has NATO got to do with Afghanistan? But, they are there. India cannot go to Afghanistan, I cannot go across Pakistan. Sir, I was told that amongst the distribution that they have arranged between themselves, by themselves, I mean the Western powers, the British have got the development of the districts, the law and order, for example, is with the US, the police is being trained by the Germans. I do not know whether it is an apt choice, and then, the legal system--I am sure the hon. Minister for Law would be very impressed-- is being introduced in Afghanistan by the Italians. I am astonished at this choice. I do not know why and how we are sitting silently. Sir, I could elaborate their deal on this. So, the impact about these forces, who are currently in the region, do, or fail to do, will impact directly on India's national interest more than any other country in the region, and that is why, I cite all this as a great challenge, posed to our statecraft, as also to our foreign policy.

With China, I just wish to add two, three sentences, which is that, over the years, and it is my experience, and I greatly enjoyed and benefited, engaging myself in various regions. So, the People's Republic of China has grasped the essence of national power, perhaps, much better

than that we have. I do not cite this as an Indian debility. It is part of the characteristic of the civilization, which is India, and we need to refer to take it on board, and there is another aspect that I wish to also put here, which is that, the nature of power, national power, is such that it must continue to expand, and it must continue to become more powerful, like the United States of America. Otherwise, that power will go, and therefore, those countries, which are today powerful, will continue to expand their power. That is accepted as the reality of the international affairs. If that works on the basis of the Realist School-- I still wish to be idealistic that situation improves--I shared President's observations, and then, sometime back, he shared the thoughts with the rest of the world, that the break-up of the USSR has been a diplomatic and strategic disaster, not just for Russia, but globally. This has unsettled the entire region. And into that, into the vacuum that has been  left behind, it is the extra regional forces that are now rushing in. We have to analyse this very carefully against the litmus paper of our national interest. But, we also need to take note, Sir, that very lately, Russia has now moved in the direction of, of course, an internal re-ordering, and therefore, axiomatically, an external reordering. We need to watch this, which leads to my concluding thought, and this is the thought that I have been reflecting on, for sometime now, Sir, and that is that, unless it is, perhaps, sometimes, somewhere in the past, we may sound together. Sir, India lies at the tri-junction of three collapsed empires -- the Ottoman, which collapsed in the early decades of the 20th century; the British, which came during the end or towards the middle, and the Soviet Union which collapsed towards the end of the 20th century. Each collapsing or collapsed empire, leaves in its wake a sort of disorder, where the collapsed imperial power attempts always, to be usurped, to regain, to re-conquer and put back whatever interests it could. The Ottoman Empire and its collapse, left with us the political geography of the whole of, what we call West Asia, or the Middle East. Sir, as a very young officer, Achbul Rabel, served the Field Marshal, L.N. Beg. Now, Rabel later himself became Second Viceroy, and thereafter, the Field Marshal himself. He has written a wonderful biography of L.N. Begh, called "Study in Greatness, " and there, commenting on the main international agreements and treaties that have brought the first great war to a close, Rabel wrote, after the war, to pander on, they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making a peace to end all peace. It is a very good book on the subject, Sir. This is what that collapsing empire did, the collapsing and collapsed empire of the British, vivisected our land, divided our people, and psychologically wounded the whole of South Asia, centuries of other occupations had not done, and what the third collapse, that of the Soviet empire, had done, that great crucible of mankind, that hinterland or rather the heartland of Islam --  the Central Asian Islamic countries --  is hostile. These are realities, Sir, because all that is our larger neighbourhood, and that is, India is the only country that will bear the brunt of it in totality because, we lie at the tri-junction of these three collapsed empires. That, in reality, and it is certain that is the challenge that the management of our international relations and foreign policy confront. I have taken some little extra time. I am very grateful to you, Sir. I am also very grateful to the hon. Prime Minister and the hon. Minister that they listened to me with so much patience. Thank you.                                             (Ends)

                     (MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN in the Chair)

PROF. P.J. KURIAN (KERALA): Sir, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity. Sir, I think, I always have the opportunity to speak after the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Jaswant Singh. He concluded his speech by mentioning about the decline of three big empires. I want to the Leader of the Opposition to hear me. Sir, the Leader of the Opposition should also listen to me.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:  As has been agreed to in the morning, there will be no lunch break, and we will continue with our discussion on the working of the Ministry of External Affairs.                  (followed by 2b)

TMV-HMS/2B/1.05

PROF. P. J. KURIAN :  The hon. Leader of the Opposition concluded his speech by mentioning about the decline of three big empires and also cautioning us to be very careful.  I was thinking then like this.  All these years India stood on its own strength.  The Indian civilisation survived for the last 5,000 years.  In spite of all invasions, in spite of the decline of all other empires, in spite of British occupancy and British rule, India survived.  Therefore, I would simply say, let us not be pessimistic; let us be optimistic.  There is nothing to be worried about.  Nothing has happened to worry so much.  That is what I want to say. 

       Sir, I was listening to his speech very carefully.  He is talking.  (Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:  You carry on.   (Interruptions)...

PROF. P. J. KURIAN:  Now, I will look at you.  I always look at the Opposition.  That is the whole problem.

       Sir, he was making a microscopic analysis.  What will happen, when you do a microscopic analysis?  You will see even the minute things.  You will probe and find out the minute things and they will be magnified 10,000 times bigger.  So, minor and insignificant things are exposed here as magnified.  That is what he has done.  I like, especially, his style of English.  I have a lot of respect for him.  I always tell him that I used to listen to his speeches carefully.  I like his style of English, the way he speaks and the jugglery of words.  I think, it would have been better, had he made the first part of his speech in the US Senate because they were homilies to the United States.  He has mentioned, what is the problem of US hegemony; what is going to happen to them, etc.  For half of the time he spoke about the United States.  I was wondering why he was so much concerned about the United States.  He wanted to present a picture as if we are agreeing to all that the United States are doing.   Where did he get this perception from?  I am not an expert on foreign affairs.  I am an ordinary man.  As an ordinary man, I have never spoken on External Affairs.  I have never asked as to who are going to speak.  But simply because we have signed an agreement with the United States, which we think is in our best interests, how can you say that we are agreeing to all that the United States are doing?  You have every right to differ.  The Left differs.  I respect them.  They have a right to differ.  You can also differ.  There is no problem.  But what I am asking is this.  Simply because we have signed an agreement with the United States, how can you presume that we are condoning or we are agreeing with all that the United States are doing?  That is a misrepresentation of facts.  I have to confess it.  I have the best example with me.  I have read the newspapers, not for the sake of foreign affairs but just out of interest.  I have not seen any head or leader of any country who has got the guts and courage to tell the United States on their face that Iraq occupation or invasion, whatever you call it, is wrong.  We condemned it on the American soil.  I have seen that and I have read it.  Not that alone, in this very House--I was not a Member of this House at that time--a Resolution was passed and I know that we, from our side and from the side of the Left, wanted to use more strong words to condemn the United States.    Tell me, who has brought the softened words to condemn the United Stated?  Who brought them?                             (Contd. by 2C/VK)

VK/2C/1.10

PROF. P.J. KURIAN (CONTD): I was not here in this House.  I read  in the newspapers the words to condemn the Iraq invasion, high quality invasion.  There was a dispute  -- I read in the newspapers -- on which word to be used.  The softened word was brought by whom!  Everybody knows.   I need not say that.  So, to tell us that we are ignoring the national interest and hobnobbing with the USA and agreeing to what they are doing, to say the least, is untrue.  It is misrepresentation of facts.  That is my first submission.

       Sir, when the NDA Government was in power, there was a charge that the NDA was tilting towards the West and the USA.  There was a charge that the non-alignment policy was being diluted by the NDA.  Of course, my Left friends may complain; they may have a perception that even today it is being diluted.  I will come to that later.  But, everybody knows that.  The general complaint was that the NDA was diluting the non-alignment policy.  We have, from day one, as a political party and as a Government never deviated or diluted the non-alignment principle. Why  I say political party and Government because ours is a democracy; sometimes, different views will come and for that matter, I would like to tell the Leader of the Opposition that if some of the coalition partners have a different view on certain issues, it should be seen as a part of freedom of expressing the opinion and, at the same time, retaining the Government.  In a democracy, this is perfectly allowable, this is perfectly correct.  Even within one party, there will be different views.  Likewise, in the UPA, there may be different views, but you should be concerned about the outcome. 

SHRI JASWANT SINGH:  Sir, I will take only a minute.   I am not going to refute any point.  I just need the consent of my good friend, Prof. P.J. Kurian.  I have an appointment with the doctor.  I have already apologised to the Prime Minister also.

PROF. P.J. KURIAN:  You need not say that. You are a great man. Sir, I have really appreciated  his speech.  I am only expressing my views.

       When the NDA was in power...(interruptions).  Sir, he is prompting me to attack the Left.  I will come to that later.  When the NDA was in power,  there was an allegation that the NDA was tilting towards the USA.  But when the Congress Party was in power, all through, from day one, both the Government and the Congress Party, never deviated or diluted the non-alignment principle and we stood with Palestine.  Our party and  our Government always stood with Palestine.  Can the BJP say, as a political party ,whether they stood with Palestine?  I have read statements of the BJP leaders in newspapers wherein they have criticised our policy towards Palestine.  Therefore, please don't say that the UPA Government has shown any tilt towards the USA or the UPA Government has surrendered our national interest.        (Contd. by 2D)

2d/1.15/ks

PROF. P. J. KURIAN (CONTD.):  Sir, the basic questions being discussed here are mainly two.  One is our policy on Iran. The second is our nuclear agreement with the USA.  Both these have been discussed here at great length.  So, I would say only one or two things about these. 

       In reply to the debate on the nuclear agreement issue, the hon. Prime Minister's statement states very clearly that it is in our national interest.  Shri Jaswant Singh, the Leader of the Opposition, himself said that the first security was the economic security.  Let me quote the Leader of the Opposition.  He says, "The first security is the economic security.  After the first security comes the economic security.  The Government's effort to ensure economic security should be applauded and lauded.  It should not be criticised.  If we are not secure as regards energy, where is the economic security?  And everybody knows this.  Yes, we have coal reserves; the only problem is that it will pollute the environment.  Therefore, we need nuclear energy.  There was a time when some people thought nuclear energy could be used further.  But the fact is that France is having 70 per cent of its energy from nuclear sources.  Sir, nuclear energy is clean energy.  Sir, Dr. Kasturirangan is not here.  He will vouchsafe me for what I am saying.  It is in our interest and, in the context of our energy security, that we should get fuels for our reactors.  We were isolated.  Therefore, it was in our national interest that that agreement was signed.  There is nothing more than that.  That is what I am saying.  That does not mean that we justify what America is doing -- the so-called hegemony or whatever it may be.  That does not mean that we agree to that or we support that.  This has been explained unequivocally by the hon. Prime Minister.  So, I need not say it again.  Therefore, this allegation is not correct.

       Then, I come to the `enlightened national interest', an expression that has been pooh-poohed by both, the Leader of the Opposition and my good friends in the Left.  I was thinking what this enlightened national interest was.

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY:  They have to be enlightened.  (Interruptions)  Yechury Saheb has to be enlightened.

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY:  Our surprise is that it is coming from darkness.  (Interruptions) 

PROF. P. J. KURIAN:  I have certain doubts.  First of all, let me say what I think about non-alignment.  I will come to the enlightened national interest later.  Everybody wants that we should follow the policy of non-alignment.

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY:  Non-enlightenment!

PROF. P. J. KURIAN:  I will come to non-enlightenment.  I want to enlighten those who are non-enlightened.  I am trying to do that.  Sir, my understanding of non-alignment is that it is not a static or a dogmatic policy.  It is dynamic; it is not dogmatic.  What happened during the Cold War period?  There is no Cold War now because it is a unipolar world.  At that time, it was bipolar.  At that time, non-alignment never meant being equidistance from both the powers.  Rather, non-alignment meant calling a spade a spade; we stand for the Third Word; we stand for justice; and if the United States, or, for that matter, the Soviet Union commits any mistake, it was for us to tell them that this was wrong; we stand for justice and we stand for what is right.

(Contd. by 2e/tdb)

TDB/2E/1.20

PROF. P.J. KURIAN (CONTD.): That is what non-alignment is. Therefore, there are two arguments. Number one, there is dilution of non-alignment, and also to pooh-pooh the idea of enlightened nationalism. I want to understand both these arguments in my own way, and I am trying to do that. First of all, I would like to ask my Left friends, let us think of China. According to me, China is a Communist country. Even today, politically, it is a Communist country. I have a lot of admiration for China. I was so anxious to see China, and I went there. In Malayalam, we have a good Chinese song also. I have got Chinese vessels in my house. Even now, we have got a Chinese jar. It is a big jar, and it is called Chinese jar. What I am saying is this. What did China do in the eighties'? Please remember, China received the American President Nixon, although America was trying to exterminate  Communism from the face of the earth. The head of that State, i.e. USA was invited and received by China. I say, that was in China's national interest. That is enlightened national interest. Number two, I would like to say, I am not an economist, but I understand that the Marxian Economists never justifies imperialist capitalism. But, when China found that it is in the interest of the Chinese people, when it is in the interest of the Chinese nation, China found that there is no harm in accepting imperialistic capital. And, by accepting that imperialistic capital, I mean, foreign investment in China's economy has grown like anything. They have gone much ahead of us, and they are going to be the second largest economic power in the world.

SHRIMATI BRINDA KARAT: Because of American capita!

PROF. P.J. KURIAN: I am not saying that. But, they have received it. China has grown much faster because it opened up to the foreign investment. I am not saying 'American only'. But, because my good learned friend, Brindaji asked me whether it is because of the American capital, then, I will answer you. What happened to the Soviet Union? The Soviet Union, with all its technology, with all its land mass which is nine times more than that of ours, collapsed because the Soviet Union did not see the writing on the wall, and did not change. And, China changed. I welcome China. What China has done is correct. It says, it is enlightened nationalism. That is what was in China's national interest. That is what China has shown. What else is there? Let me ask one thing. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Prof. Kurian, you carry on. You address the Chair. You will be distracted, if you look towards them.

PROF. P.J. KURIAN: Therefore, what I am saying is this. Dogmatic approach, when you deal with national issues and national interest will not take you anywhere. You have to be pragmatic, and the pragmatic approach is in the best interest of the nation, without sacrificing the fundamentals, the basic principles. That is enlightened nationalism. I will say one thing. Sir, after the Chinese aggression -- in any case, it was in my mind -- what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru did is this. We were non-aligned; we were not with any bloc.                         (Contd. by 2f)

kgg/2f/1.25

PROF. P.J. KURIAN (contd.): Rather, we were attributed to be siding with the Soviet Union. But we were non-aligned, perfectly. But, after the Chinese aggression, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru found nothing wrong in accepting weapons from the U.S. Dipankarji, you should listen. Do you criticise this? He accepted weapons from the U.S. Nobody said that it was a dilution of NAM-principle because that was the pragmatic approach, nothing but enlightened nationalism. We are implementing and continuing with the enlightened national interest is from day one. There is no deviation, there is no change from that basic policy which we are following. Therefore, all this approach, as if we have diluted it, is wrong.

       Sir, my next point is, it is said that because you do not accept U.S.A.'s action in Iraq, you should not have any dealing with them, you should not have any agreement with them. This is the argument that has been made out here. Then, let me ask one question. Today, I read in the newspapers that we are having the seventh round of discussions with China on the border dispute. Thanks to our Prime Minister and  the External Affairs Ministry, the discussion is in Kumarakam, Kerala, for which we are grateful. The seventh round of discussions are going on. I would like to mention here that the credit for that goes to the U.P.A. Government and late Rajiv Gandhi, who started it. We know about the border dispute. I do not want to say about it because everybody knows about it. Rajivji wanted to settle the border dispute. The same thing has been said by the Leader of the Opposition, that we want to settle it. So, Rajivji sincerely tried for it. He started the dialogue. He visited China. A new era or phase was brought in.

       Further, our Prime Minister, as also our UPA Chairperson, both took initiative and the 7th round Table Conference is going on. I would like to say that we should have the best kind of relations. If at all we should have the best kind of relations with any country, I would say that it should be with China. Today, our trade with China -- I have seen in the Economic Survey that China is the second largest trading partner, next only to the Soviet Union; the trade balance is not in our favour; but, in any case, I am not grudging that. Therefore, with China also we should have agreements. I do not think  my Left friends will object if we go in for an agreement with China. I think, we will all be happy. Then, some other people can say one thing: "Why do you go with China? What did China do in Tibet? Why do you go there? Do you agree with what China did in Tibet?" Some others can ask: "Why do you agree with China? What did China do in Tiananmen Square? Do you agree with them?" Sir, we do not agree to both these things. Still, we want settlement with China, in our national interest and for the sake of peace.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: How much more time would you take Mr. Kurian?

PROF. P.J. KURIAN: Sir, as much as you allow!

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Already you have taken 28 minutes; there are three more speakers from your party. Kindly conclude.

PROF. P.J. KURIAN: Okay, Sir, I will conclude in a couple of minutes.

       Sir, what I said is, in this age of technology advancement, when we know that the economic strength is the first strength, economic security is the first security, looking back on certain incidents or analysing a country's position with regard to what they are doing elsewhere and then arriving at a decision on whether we should deal with them or not, is not a pragmatic approach.          (Contd. by 2g/kls)

KLS/2G-1.30

PROF. P.J. KURIAN (CONTD):  We cannot be dogmatic because dogmas have no much price.  Then, Sir, the operation of Foreign Policy, the working of the Ministry of External Affairs, about which I would say only two or three things since you have said that I have two or three minutes more.  So, I am concluding, I am trying to conclude.  I would say that since the UPA Government has assumed power, there is progress in every field with USA and you will agree with it.  That is your allegation also.  We are not going only with USA but our relations with Russia also have improved.  So, see our relations with Russia also.  What do you say about it?  Now, take China about which I have already said that our relations are improving.  Further, our relations with all our neighbours have improved. I would say, even with Myanmar, our position has improved and with Bangladesh also our relations have improved.  Now, you come to Pakistan.  People to people contact and dialogue are on the increase.  At the same time, our Prime Minister has made it very clear that there can be no compromise on cross-border terrorism.  We will deal with that.  At the same time, I do not know the names of the places between which bus service has started operating. ...((Interruptions)... Between Lahore ...((Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Amritsar. ...((Interruptions)...

PROF. P.J. KURIAN:  Rail link has started for Munavar ...((Interruptions)... That means with Pakistan also our relations are improving.  Tell me please, after the UPA Government has assumed power, which is the country with which our relations have degraded or spoiled?  I do not see any  country. ...((Interruptions)... What else is needed?  Sir, foreign policy means that we have to have good relations with our neighbours, but at the same time, we should protect our national interest.  Then, Sir, further I would say that even now the basis of our foreign policy is Non-alignment itself.  Therefore, NAM Movement and non-alignment should be strengthened.   But what is that?  This non-alignment policy is only a projection of our domestic policy and its root; its philosophy is taken from the Freedom Struggle, Sir, because we fought the British with a weapon of non-violence.  That is why we are for peace, that is why we are for disarmament, that is why we are for dialogue.  We reiterate, always reiterate that disputes have to be settled through dialogue and by not using weapons.  We are for disarmament.  It was late Rajiv Gandhi, our beloved leader, who presented the Disarmament Plan in the UN to eradicate from the  globe  nuclear weapons.  Unfortunately, it has not come true, but still our aim is to achieve that end.  We are not for nuclear proliferation.  Even though we have nuclear bomb, we have declared that we will not be the first user.  We will not use it first.  Therefore, we stick to the principle of non-alignment.  To say that we have diluted nonalignment, is again a travesty of truth and that is what I want to highlight.  Then again I cannot stop myself from saying a word about the Gulf.  I have to say it because you know, Sir, millions of our people are working in the Gulf countries and quite a good number of them are from South, especially Kerala.  The External Affairs Ministry is mainly dealing with it.  Now, there is also a new Ministry for the NRIs, non-resident Indians.  First, I thank the Prime Minister and the UPA Government for constituting a new Department of NRI Affairs and appointing a Cabinet Minister for that.  For the first time, ...((Interruptions)...  He is from Kerala.  ...((Interruptions)... Mr. Vayalar Ravi is my leader also.  Sir, I am saying that for that I thank the Prime Minister for showing his concern towards the toiling Indians who are working there.                                                 (Contd by 2H)

-KLS-SSS/2H/1.35

PROF. P. J. KURIAN (CONTD.):  Finally, they have a lot of problems.  Now, Mr. E. Ahammed, again a Minister from Kerala is well versed with the subject.  He is also here.  I have one or two requests.  The first one is that most of the Malayalis working in the Gulf are not educated.  They are skilled workers.  They are SSLC pass or SSLC failed.  They don't know English or Hindi very well.  They have problems in the Consulates or in the Embassies.  Almost all the staff are people not knowing Malayalam.  Please post one or two Malayalam knowing officers, at least, in the visa section, the consular section in the Gulf Embassies.  That is one request of mine.  There is only one more request. I thank the Prime Minister.  He announced here and outside also that the Bill in the voting rights for NRIs will be passed.  That Bill is being introduced. 

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:  That Bill has already been introduced.

PROF. P. J. KURIAN:  I thank the Prime Minister for getting it introduced.  I request that that Bill should be passed during this Session itself.  With these words, I support the demand of the External Affairs Minister and I would say that the External Affairs Minister under the leadership of the Prime Minister is doing very well.  That is the real feeling of the people of this country.  With these words, I conclude.  Thank you very much, Sir.                                      (Ends)

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (WEST BENGAL):  Sir, I would like to begin by actually thanking the Leader of the Opposition unfortunately, in his absence -- and in the absence of most of them here -- for raising many issues which will give us the opportunity also to clarify and to have an informed and enlightened debate in the House on Foreign Policy.  I would also like to thank Prof. Kurian because I had a very difficult task to extract what he said about the foreign policy between Kerala, Gulf and China, I mean, what he actually was talking about the foreign policy.  But, Sir, let me begin with the observation made by the Leader of the Opposition when he talked of an idealistic and realistic schools of thought regarding foreign policy and that he rather be a realist than be an idealist. And, he implied, imputed that the Left is trying to be an obstacle in the pursuit of a good foreign policy which the Government is pursuing.  But the Left allies are crippling what he says is in the pursuit of this policy.  Let me begin with this thing, Sir, idealistic and realistic are terms that are often used when you want to disagree with the position of somebody else, you say he is an idealist, he is not real.  Therefore, he is unreal, therefore his view is wrong.  And a realist is somebody, who we are told, who adapts to the existing realities and therefore, he takes forward the momentum of the existing world.  But, Sir, taking forward the momentum of existing world or being a realist also has an objective where you want to take this world to.  You cannot be a realist unless you are an idealist and unless you want to know where you want to take this world to, otherwise, realism is only opportunism of the crass order.  And it is this sort of realism that we are opposed to and therefore, we say, 'yes, we are idealist'.  We want this world to go in this direction and we want to take the world to go in that direction.  Therefore, we engage with the existing realities in order to change them.  That is the way in which we want the foreign policy to move, not to succumb to existing realities of the single power domination of the empire that the Leader of the Opposition talked of and not to succumb to that is the element of idealism, I think, which is the quintessential path of India's enlightened nationalism and it is that essential path of India's enlightened nationalism that we are today upholding as against the effort in the name of realism to surrender that enlightened nationalism. Therefore, Sir, the debate is not really between idealism and realism.  The debate is definitely, in terms of national interest, in terms of national security, in terms of economic security, in terms of energy security; and energy and economic security constitute the foundational pillar for India's foreign policy and future as well.  Definitely, on that, there is absolutely no dispute.  But, where I want to draw this distinction about realism with which the Leader of the Opposition began is that your realism cannot change depending on which side of the House you are sitting on.  When you are on the Treasury Benches your realism is something else.  When you are on the Opposition Benches your realism is something else.

(CONTD. BY NBR/2J)

-SSS/NBR-ASC/2J/1.40.

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (CONTD.): And, here, he mentioned five points.  I think, I would, actually, agree with him on all these five points.  That is why I wish that he did not very tentatively end himself without taking, actually, a position of what should be the position of the India's Foreign Policy vis-a-vis the USA.  And, what are those five points?  First, he says that India has become a willing partner of double standards of the USA.  Secondly, he said, 'the USA is practising political hegemony in the world.'  The third point he says, 'Why the USA agreed for this pact with India and why Mr. Bush's visit was a success is because the US's Foreign Policy has failures elsewhere in the world and this is the only area where they can get a success.  And, therefore, the USA agreed.  It has nothing to do with India or our national interest.'  He contradicts himself when he says that.  Then, he makes another statement.  He says, "India is in the US yard today.'  I mean he has gone even beyond me in suggesting that India has gone into the USA yard today.  And, finally, having spent six laborious years in trying to make the USA give a certificate to Pakistan saying it is a terrorist State, he now says that the question of Pakistan should not be brought about with the USA at all.  Now, fine, I mean, the people are willing to change.  They are most welcome to change.  But, is this change consistent?  Is this anti-US position that they are taking today is stopping short of what we are saying?  Why I had laboured on this point is only to establish that what we are saying is not something that is born of ideology or idealism.  Those who accuse us of ideology and idealistic reasons are the ones who are, actually, practising an ideology and that ideology they want to mask by attacking us saying that we are practising a certain ideological point.  Why I am saying this is that it stems not from the Communist Manifesto.  It does not stem from any writings of Karl Marx.  Sir, this is the Annual Report of your Ministry of External Affairs for 2005-06.  Here, in the Summary of India's Foreign Policy, it says and I quote, "In this tangibly transforming international environment, the fundamental tenets of India's Foreign Policy have retained their essential validity.  Autonomy in decision-making, the commitment to the Panchsheel or Five Principles of peaceful coexistence, friendly and cooperative relations with all countries, resolution of conflicts through dialogue and peaceful means..." -- which means, not through confrontation -- "...and equity in conduct of international relations.  The NCMP of the UPA has reaffirmed these basic principles."  This is the opening.  This is the salvo of this Report.

       Now, Sir, when it comes to relations with the USA, it just counter posed with what this Report itself says.  I quote, "The bilateral relationship between India and the USA make a commitment to transform the steadily glowing bilateral ties into a strategic partnership and also saw the growing convergence of views on global, regional and bilateral issues."  On the one hand, you talk of autonomy in decision-making and relations with all countries and, on the other hand, in the same Report, you talk of growing convergence on all issues; not merely on some specific issues, but you talk on global, on regional and on bilateral issues.  What are the other issues?  They are strategic and security issues, Defence, counter terrorism, counter proliferation, trade and investment, science, technology, etc.  So far, on every score, which is related to international developments, you, now, see a convergence of interests with the USA.  Now, this counter posed with all that we have discussed or we have heard here and we have discussed this even in the earlier debates, is in a situation where the USA, today, seeking to impose its political, military hegemonism through 702 military bases in the world!  It has military bases in 132 countries!  Is this for the spread of democracy?   When you talk of fighting convergence of interest in fighting terrorism, you talk of 9/11.  But, you forget, there is also another 9/11.  Sir, 09-11-1973 was the day when Salvador Allande was overthrown in a CIA-led coup in Chile and in that single night in the football stadium in Santiago, Chile, more than 100,000 people were butchered in the name of defending democracy and pulling down a socialist Government which was duly elected by the people.

(CONTD. BY USY "2K")

USY/2K/1.45

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (CONTD.):    What else is this, but counter terrorism; what else is this, but State terrorism!  When you talk of terrorist attacks, the US remembers State terrorism on the one hand, and the individual terrorism on the other hand.  They feed each other.  We cannot, today, subscribe to converge our interests with State terrorism, while opposing individual terrorism.  That sort of a convergence is not in the interest of enlightened nationalism or India.  And, that is why, I mean, what we are stating is that in the Foreign Policy direction, you are talking about the equation that you have with the United States.  Please, by all means, have friendly relations, nobody is saying 'no', but the cost of our economic security cannot supersede the cost of our dignity to live in this world on the basis of our individual assessments and not succumbing to anybody's dictums.  And, that is the point at issue.  That is why we cannot be a party to any 'carrot and stick policy' that we will give you this; in return, you support us on these measures.  And, that is the warning that we want to give to this Government that we cannot succumb to this, because the matter does not end here.  It goes on and ahead because the Government itself talks about two other issues, which I want to talk about, because we heard from the Leader of the Opposition India being at a trisection of three empires that have collapsed.  But from this tri-section of the three world empires he, unfortunately, did not outline the vision of what to be India's Foreign Policy in that situation.  And, that is what I would like to do, as a part again of enlightened nationalism, and not as a part of any Left doctrine, in the world situation that you have today after the demise of the bipolar situation of the Cold War.  The bipolarity, in the world, today, had ended.  The natural tendency in the world ought to be a movement in international relations towards multipolarity. And, instead of allowing this normal movement of international relations towards multipolarity, the United States of America intervenes to convert this movement towards multipolarity into a movement towards unipolarity.  Do we subscribe to that movement towards unipolarity?  That is the question that enlightened nationalism has to answer.  Today, our approach, and I am just carrying forward to what he has stopped short of, and that is the logical conclusion, that in today's condition, in today's world, in today's realities, if we are to exist as a country with our self-esteem and our position in the world, then, India must unhesitatingly, and without any vacillation whatsoever, advance movements towards multipolarity and not succumb towards unipolarity.  And, it is that which is the hallmark, I think, of this enlightened nationalism that we have to move to.  And, then, again, you talk in terms of United Nations reforms, and not going into the details of it.  You talk of various other things about multilateralism etc. But, then, why I am saying that in this movement towards unipolarity, we should not subscribe to that, and instead work for multipolarity. In this background, I want to draw the attention of the very strange development that has taken place.  And, this is what the Report says, I am quoting, "The Indian Prime Minister was called upon by the UN Secretary General, along with other leaders to launch the UN democracy fund, to which India's initial contribution is 10 million dollars."  What this Report does not say, Sir, is that this 'ten million' is the highest in the world.  There is only one equivalent to this 'ten million', the United States of America; otherwise, we, along with the USA, have contributed the highest.  But this global democracy initiative has come as a part of President Bush's speech, one of his earliest speeches, when he said that he wanted to spread democracy all over the world.  And, here, in our country, using our soil, he talked of spreading democracy in countries like Cuba; in countries like North Korea; in countries like Iran.  And, it is this doctrine that they are holding today, which we have become party to it,  paying ten million.  And, being party to, are we, today, furthering multipolarity, or, are we furthering unipolarity?  A country which has openly given itself a policy of saying 'my doctrine of pre-emptive strike'; has given itself a policy of 'my doctrine of regime change'.  It is announced on our soil, at least five countries in the world which have duly elected Governments that they want to work for a regime change there.  It has sought the permission of the US Senate for eighty-five million dollars for a regime change in Iran.                                      (Contd. by 2l -- VP)

VP/1.50/2L

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (CONTD.):  Are we subscribing to that world view, Sir?  What is the convergence that we are talking about?  What is the movement towards multipolarity that we are talking about, except that you are surrendering to this unipolarity?  And it is this surrender to unipolarity, where, we think, Sir, lies a direct contradistinction with our own evolved foreign policy, which is part of that enlightened nationalism.  And, it is here, Sir, that I would want to draw the attention of the Government also towards what Prof. Kurian said, that often people here keep saying, "..but China is doing this.  But the Soviet Union has done that in the past."  But, please, Sir, as far as the CPI (M) is concerned, let me again put it on record in this House, the CPI (M) was born out of a struggle when both the dominant parties of the Soviet Union and China had opposed our formation.  And, we have existed in our country only because we are Indians, neither Russian nor Chinese.  And, we have become a strong party here.  So, we have our own history, we have our contemporary history.  So, do not teach us lessons on foreign policy through some other country.  Please teach us, here in India, how this is actually in our favour when I am saying, I think this is not in our favour.  And, that is the point at issue, Sir, which is what should be the cardinal point in our discussions, in our foreign policy.  So, please, let us not bring any extraneous issues. 

And, when we talk about that, Sir, my final point on this entire aspect here is that let us not today have this very perverted concept of enlightened nationalism where this enlightened nationalism converts Non-Alignment into non-enlightenment and it is that conversion that is taking place in our foreign policy according to me, and that is what we have to be very careful about and stop ourselves in the tracks if we are moving in the wrong direction.  And, therefore, keep the interest of our country supreme.  There is absolutely no doubt about it.   That is why we have gone through this debate on Iran and on the nuclear deal.  So, I do not want to repeat those aspects of it.  That is why, keeping this in mind, that should be the direction of our foreign policy and not otherwise. 

Sir, there are some other issues here which I also want to mention. We have talked in terms of nuclear disarmament.  We talked of Iran.  This issue has come, but again I find it very strange, Sir, there is again no reference to the Rajiv Gandhi Plan of universal nuclear disarmament in this report.  And, again, it appears as though we have now somehow been satisfied that there is a backdoor entry for India into a nuclear weapon state; that recognition is there.  Therefore, we will no longer raise the issue of nuclear disarmament or global disarmament.  That is something which will be unfortunate if we do that.  And, I think, we should correct ourselves on the tracks if that omission is there.

 But, Sir, more importantly there are two other aspects I would like to take up.  One is regarding our neighbours. Regarding our neighbours some points have been made, very correctly, that India today is encircled, in one sense, by a degree of hostility in some of our neighbouring countries with whom we want best of our relations.  We want the best of our good neighbourly relations with all these countries.  But the report here regarding Bangladesh says and I am quoting:  "The spurt in violence and extremism, as also the continued operation of forces inimical to India from Bangladesh soil, have been a cause for concern."  It is very true. But, what are we doing about it?  I can come down from foreign policy to domestic policy.  Our CPM led State Governments, both in Bengal and Tripura have actually given details of how, it is not correct to give those details in this House, actual detailed maps have been provided; where these locations are, and where this training comes from.  People have been acting against our interest.  But, what steps is the Government taking about this?  What is happening?  On that there is a complete silence.  It will do good to this House to know about this. 

Secondly, with regard to Nepal the report says and I quote:  "India stands ready to support all efforts aimed at bringing about a peaceful resolution to the problems confronting Nepal."  It is very true, very correct.  But, if these reports are correct, then, what the Leader of the Opposition has informed the House today, I do not know what is the validity of that.  The Government will have to answer that.  That India has invited the leaders of Maoists groups in Nepal and other political parties for discussions on the Indian soil.  If that is going forward, then, what are the diplomatic efforts that India has been making on this?  We have stated very clearly, Sir, that the King of Nepal cannot be given legitimacy by India, in any form, for the abrogation of democracy that he is undertaking.  And that is a position which includes the cutting off of also the military supplies to Nepal and the suspension of that. This should continue till democracy is restored in Nepal and that is the position, I think, we should continue with.      (Continued by PK/2M)

-VP-PK/2M/1.55

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (CONTD.): Now, there is a Look East policy.  In this Look East Policy, yes, some initiatives have been taken, and, some things have been talked about which is good.  We would appreciate if the Government takes these initiatives further, and, then, actually, cements the Look East Policy direction.  But, what I am more concerned is, Sir, that, in the report, there is also a Look West Policy.  Very few are talking about the Look West Policy.  Therefore, since it is  a look West Policy, I will just read out what it says. "The Look West Policy that India has launched is premised upon the facts that the Gulf region signifies for India in major economic partner -- and Prof. Kurian, please note -- but is a host to over four million Indian expatriates, and a vital source of India's energy security."  Now, this is the Look West Policy.  Then, it proceeds to go on talking about various Western countries, and then, about Iran. What does the report say? "The two countries are committed to strengthen the bonds of friendship for mutual prosperity and peace and stability in the region. And, then, etc., etc., which the Prime Minister also while making the Statement on Iran has said.  But, Sir, on this entire issue of the vote on Iran,  I do not want to repeat what has been said in this House earlier.  But the entire Look West Policy of India, Sir, I think, is being severely jeopardised by the action that is widely perceived as an action that we have taken under the pressure from the United States of America. And, it is this, unfortunately, which will derail the direction of our Foreign Policy from what we ourselves have maintained, and we ourselves have stated here. So, on all these aspects, Sir, whether it is a question of relationship with our neighbours, whether it is a question of our Look West Policy and Look East Policy, one thing that has to be remembered, Sir is that India's prestige in the world lies because of our enlightened nationalism, how we emerged as one of the key leaders of the developing world.  If that, in any way, is compromised, Sir, I don't think that dreams of India entering the United Nation's Security Council will ever materialise.  We will enter the United Nation's Security Council, not as tutelage of United States of America, we will enter it as a leader of the developing world. We have to remember that. We have to remember that.  We cannot alienate the entire developing world at the expense of currying favour with the United States of America. Then, your own objective is self-defeating. You are just cutting the branch on which you are sitting. So, what we want to urge upon the Government is, yes, by all means, develop your relations; by all means, let us do strengthen our economic and energy security, but, also remember that the shortcoming in our energy security, nuclear energy security has not been because of shortage of uranium.  We heard the debate the other day.  Not once did your Committee report tell you that there was a shortage of uranium.  Not once did your Committee report tell you that you were hemmed in by the Americans; and, therefore, you could not produce what you wanted to produce.  All that has been said is that there has been a shortage of funds because of which we could not produce. This is a Standing Committee Report which you have read out in the last three years.  Now, if that is the thing, correction must come there.  Correction is not to accept the US conditions.  So, therefore, Sir, finally, I would only like to state here that whether it is a question of United Nations Security Council membership, whether it is a question of universal disarmament, nuclear disarmament, whether it is a question of   multi-lateralism being the only way in today's world which is what this report says, all this  is compromised with a sudden closeness that has appeared.  We are not complaining about the closeness.  What we are complaining about is succumbing to pressures that will come as a result of the closeness with the United States of America.  And that is why I repeat, as I said, this carrot and stick policy is what we have got to be wary of and this Government must do everything in order to ensure that we don't get the wrong end of the stick while we just keep watching the carrot, and then we continue to be pushed by the United States of America in this direction.  Therefore, Sir, finally, in conclusion, I would only urge since the Prime Minister was patient enough to virtually hear all these speeches here that the debate on Foreign Policy, --which has to be an enlightened debate on Foreign Policy, very important for the future of the country --will have to stick, Sir, as the Report here says, to our well-defined objectives which include our improvement in relations with all countries, including the United States of America.  This is a quotation from the National Common Minimum Programme.  All countries including, not with the USA's strategic partnership excluding. So, this will be a departure from our National Common Minimum Programme, which is something that cannot be accepted. Therefore, keeping that in mind, I think, the Foreign Policy initiatives will have to move with our time-tested principles that relations with all countries, the Panchscheel, multi-lateralism as the mainstay for international relations and all disputes to be resolved through discussions and dialogues and not confrontation. And that is why India, should not, in any way, be party to the repetition of what happened with Iraq, which is what the USA is envisaging with Iran now.  We must be very clear and not caught in a situation that we will only pass a unanimous Resolution after an attack on Iran and after Iran's occupation, like it happened in Iraq, but from the beginning, we have to warn the world that we are not going to be party to anything of this sort, of any sanctions or attacks on Iran.  Thank you, Sir.                  (Ends)                     (Followed by 2N)

 

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