Growing Isolation of Sangh Parivar
THE United States of America bars 40 Indian companies along with their 200 subsidiaries from trade and business relations with the US. The announcement comes a few days before the seventh round of talks between Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Prime Minister Vajpayee's envoy Jaswant Singh scheduled for November 19 in Rome. Prior to this Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs made it clear, "We want to see both governments do the following: conduct no more nuclear tests, sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty immediately and without conditions, refrain from deploying nuclear weapons and missile systems, halt the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, participate constructively in negotiations towards a fissile material cut off treaty, formalise existing policies not to export weapons of mass destruction and missile technology or equipment and resume direct dialogue to address the root causes of tension between them, including Pakistan."
In other words, US imperialism would brook no defiance of its status as the world's policeman. It also showed that the relations of India with the US have worsened, contrary to the claims of the Indian Prime Minister.
The peremptory tone of the demand sufficiently provoked The Observer of Business and Politics of December 16, to state in its editorial column.
It reads: "No doubt, the US has declared an economic war against India. And this is the time for all its citizens to come to the defence of India's honour - by standing up unitedly and proving it to whoever needs proof that they are not dealing with some banana republic but a self-respecting, sovereign nation which has weathered many a crisis and can weather many more. Instead of attempting to make political capital out of this predicament, the political parties - be they Left, right or centre - should stand like one man against the common enemy. The need of the hour is unity and courage. We can settle our mean political scores only after we have won this crucial war."
But the editorial keeps silent about the BJP's policy of capitulation to the common enemy, US imperialism, that has been pressing India to sign the NPT and CTBT to further weaken the position of India. As is well known, in its desperation the BJP, by the Pokhran Test in May, has worsened the relations with India's neighbours, thrown away the long cherished policy of non-alignment and isolated India from the world as a whole. Unless the politics of placating US imperialism to the detriment of India's vital interests is defeated, not only India's self-respect, but its very economic sovereignty and security will be further jeopardised.
It is also amply clear from press reports that India has made known to the US its readiness not to lag far behind Pakistan in signing the CTBT, submitting to US dictates. The jubilation in the BJP that the sanctions would be waived soon is going to turns sour, more explicitly as days go by. India's nuclear capability was made known in 1974 and further developed after that. Knowing full well that Pakistan possessed nuclear capability, India conducted the nuclear test. The test was an ill-intentioned move of the BJP to deliberately embitter relations with China only to please the US administration and to prepare the ground for sustaining tension with Pakistan.
Those who have always stood for friendly relations with our neighbours, champion the cause of non-alignment, cannot but disapprove of the reversal of India's traditional foreign policy by the BJP-led government. Never before did India find its once pre-eminent position as a founder-member of the Non-Aligned movement so miserably undermined as was seen at the NAM 12th Summit in South Africa.
Whatever claims are being made by the BJP government, the recent talks with Pakistan are disappointing as evident in the adverse reactions of Pakistan. How India is isolated from its traditional friends can be gauged from the votes that took place in one of the recent United Nations resolutions.
Taking recourse to political chicanery, the government, in the initial stage, claimed 'proudly' in periodic statements that they would not sign the CTBT and would counter the sanctions. At the same time the government has been conducting secret talks with the US on signing it, almost begging it for help to tide over the economic crisis engulfing all sectors. Internally, the BJP made use of the Pokhran nuclear explosion to start nuclear jingoism, in order to divert the attention of the people from the mounting attacks on their livelihood.
At present the BJP Prime Minister, despite occasional outbursts against nuclear powers, has been talking in a low pitch as the US has given ample indications during negotiations with India, particularly Mr Jaswant Singh, along with the warnings that on the nuclear issue, it would not be content with anything short of surrender by the latter. And the BJP and its government is slowly heading to this direction.
By contrast the United Front government registered significant achievements in the field of foreign policy --- the water sharing agreement with Bangladesh which was opposed by the BJP; improvements in relations with Sri Lanka, Nepal, and headway made in improving relations with China. Moreover, it paved the way for peaceful negotiations with Pakistan. To the satisfaction of America, the BJP government, from the very beginning, went about trying to scuttle and negate the gains achieved during the United Front rule.
FAILURE ON ALL FRONTS
It is not only in foreign policy, however, that lies the BJP's failure. On other fronts too its agends has been only too glaring. In its pursuance of the Hindutva ideology, it is throwing the secular fabric of India to the winds, implanting divisions, and accentuating hatred towards Muslim minority. This is posing the gravest danger to the unity and integrity of the country. In recent weeks it has now turned on the Christian community, and there has been sharp rise in the violent attacks on Christians in different parts of the country.
It is in the sphere of education particularly that the BJP has been making its sharpest attempts to inject its communal ideology. Premier research institutes of the country are being openly filled with men of the RSS mould. History books are being re-written incorporating distorted facts, in the BJP thrust to inject the Hindutva agenda into the school curriculum. At the time when the BJP's National Agenda of Governance was being trumpeted by the leaders of the coalition parties, the Left parties warned them of the BJP's hidden agenda to saffronise the country and its institutions. The coalition partners of the government had initially taken this warning casually, but they too are now facing the music; some are even overtly opposing the BJP's moves for spreading its Hindutava ideology.
In the economic field the BJP's governance has proved the most dismal, with inflation steadily rising, the price skyrocketting in an unprecedented manner, accompanied by a significant slowing down in the pace of industrial production. Exports have touched rock bottom. The manner in which the prices of essential commodities have spiralled, particularly vegetables, first and foremost onions and potatoes, putting these indispensible and in some cases staple food items beyond the reach of the common man, has exposed the BJP as nothing else. Now rice and wheat prices are rising alarmingly in the open market. With no defence left for both their complacency and duplicity of connivance with traders and black-marketeers, the BJP is reduced to the pathetic plight of laying the blame on the 45 years of Congress rule, after blaming the weather did not work.
The groaning unemployment and the horrible situation arising out of industrial sickness is adding to the suffering of the people by depriving them of the means of livelihood. Only the hoarders, profiteers, black marketers, big business and traders whom the BJP serves in the name of "Swadeshi', are reaping the benefits in this terrible situation of price-rise.
NADIR OF INCREDIBILITY
The credibility of the government has thus touched its nadir. As such, in the face of elections, the allies are now unwilling to share the responsibility for the deficiencies of the government. This is mainfesting itself in the shape of simmering discontent inside the BJP itself, and open outbursts by the leaders of the allies. The eight-month rule of the BJP, which unmasks the tottering condition of the coalition, has made a mockery of its slogan of stability.
The people are feeling the pernicious policies of the BJP government and its fall-out across the length and breadth of the country. Enough indications are available now to surmise that the discontent and anger of the people will find expression in the ballot boxes on November 25 when elections take place in the four States as also the bye-elections in many others.
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