[Marxism] Towards A Just and Peaceful World Without Nuclear Weapons: Text of Speech at Opening Day Plenary at the 2007 World Conference aginst A & H Bombs in Hiroshima on August 3

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Aug 5 02:26:46 MDT 2007

Towards A Just and Peaceful World Without Nuclear
Weapons: Text of Speech at Opening Day Plenary at the
2007 World Conference aginst A & H Bombs in Hiroshima
on August 3 
Dear Friends and Comrades,

It's a matter of some satisfaction and pride to be
again this year amongst you and stand before you, the
leading anti-nuke peace activists from all over the
globe, as the representative of the CNDP, India
carrying the message of solidarity, to reaffirm our
commitment to further reinforce the global struggle
for a peaceful and just world free of nuclear weapons
¨C anywhere and everywhere. I, on my personal behalf
and on behalf of the organization I'm proud to
represent, convey my sincerest thanks to the Gensuikyo
for making it possible. 

Yet at another level, it is also quite a bit
frustrating that even after more than six decades
after the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
more than half a century after this Conference first
commenced, we are assembling here every year not to
celebrate the success of our collective struggle, to
recall the terrible memories of the days left behind
laden with spine-chilling threats of nuclear
catastrophe in the cosy comfort provided by the
elimination of such terrible menace; but to carry on
our unfinished struggle, trudge undeterred along the
difficult path ahead, towards the goal still  

That makes it incumbent on our part to make use of
this unique opportunity to reexamine our methods
followed hitherto and further intensify our
explorations for the most effective means of struggle.


If we take a quick stock of the developments since we
met the last time, we'd find that the tensions built
around North Korea's nuclear weapons programme,
despite an explosion ¨C perhaps a failed one, carried
out last October to reinforce its claim to being a
nuclear power with concomitant destabilising effects
in the region, have considerably diffused. The
tensions around Iran's avowedly nuclear power
programme have somewhat plateaued after peaking
further to unnerving heights. The occupation of Iraq
continues with the occupying forces led by the US
being continually delivered bloody nose by the
insurgent forces, even if at a great cost to local
populace, thereby causing a serious setback to the
American neocon plan for unilateral and unfettered
global domination by foregrounding its awesome
military might to compensate for the inadequacy of its
otherwise huge economic prowess and
political/diplomatic clout. The emergence of
Venezuela, under the presidentship of the redoubtable
Hugo Chavez, and leftwing radical forces coming to
power in a number of Latin American countries have
considerably strengthened the global forces fighting
against the big bully, the US, on the global plain.
The setback signified by the victory of Nicolas
Sarkozy in the just concluded French presidential
election would hopefully be partly mitigated by the
transfer of baton from Blair to Brown in the
neighbouring Britain, the traditional most steadfast
ally of the US. 

The US plan to install Ballistic Missile Defence
systems on the soil of Europe, in countries
neighbouring the Russian Federation, threatens to
trigger a new Cold War with the Russian economy
enjoying the benefits of buoyant oil price,
paradoxically at least partly caused by the US war on
Iraq and aggressive posturing against Iran. 

And last but not the least, India ¨C the country I
come from, has steadfastly emerged as a very
significant destabilising force in the arena of global
nuclear danger. In 1996, it had played a major role in
virtually torpedoing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
(CTBT). This was somewhat logical, though not
inevitable, continuation of its earlier rejection of
the NPT and the (avowedly peaceful) nuclear explosion
in 1974. In a sharp further negative turn, it carried
out five nuclear explosions in May 1998 to openly
claim the status of a nuclear weapon state. As a
consequence, much smaller but traditional rival -
neighbouring Pakistan, followed suit in about a
fortnight turning South Asia into a sort of live
nuclear volcano ready to erupt any moment. This turn
of events was all the more shocking and unfortunate as
it amounted to complete negation of India's
traditional claim to being a pioneering pacifist
force. This, however, in the process energised the
Indian peace movement, pretty weak to begin with, and
the CNDP was brought into being. Nevertheless the
events of May 1998 almost inexorably changed the terms
of mainstream discourse. The political class became
obscenely obsessed with the idea of "nuclear
sovereignty" with the rightwing Hindu nationalist
forces leading the pack. So it is no wonder that even
with a change of regime, India continues marching
along the same deplorable path to emerge as a mini
hegemon in the region - bent upon expanding its
nuclear, and non-nuclear, arsenal towards that goal.
And in relentless pursuit of this objective, it is
persistently developing closer and closer
relationships with the US and Israel ¨C the two most
aggressive forces in the presentday global order,
without however completely giving up on the other
alternative options deemed conducive to the fulfilment
of its big power ambitions. The ongoing Indo-US
nuclear 'deal' is the most visible manifestation of
this disturbing development. And it is therefore
eminently crucial to scuttle this yet-to-be-concluded
'deal'. The deal, if actualised, would further cement
the growing strategic ties between India and the US
and also set a very negative example before the
nuclear threshold states prodding them to cross the
rubicon. And I must also repeat that despite
accentuated domestic opposition to the 'deal' from the
proponents of "nuclear sovereignty", the approval of
the 'deal' by the NSG remains the weakest link in the
chain, as I had made out the last year as well. We
have to take due note of this aspect. 
Itis specifically against this overall disturbing
backdrop, the issue of Article 9 of the post-Second
World War Constitution of Japan, whi£ãh is popularly
known as the Peace Constitution, has acquired critical
salience. The ill-conceived attempt by Japan`s
incumbent rulers to alter, nay trash, the defining
feature of the Peace Constitution - the Article 9, is
an extremely serious negative development.  
As the only A-bombed country in the world, Japan
enjoys a unique moral authority in the arena of global
fight for universal elimination of the menace posed by
the very existence of nuclear weapons. Hence, such a
despicable move need be countered just not by the
Japanese peace activists but also at the global level
by the global peace movement in the most determined
manner. And we can not afford to lower our just
because the ruling LDP has suffered serious electoral
setback in the recent days. ¡¡¡¡   
The road ahead towards global nuclear disarmament
would understandably consist of multiple tracks. We
must continue to draw strength from the very first
resolution adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly under the terrific impact of the tragedy of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We must also resurrect the 13
practical steps enunciated in the 2000 NPT Review
Conference. We have to as well most determinedly
persist with the demand for a Nuclear Weapons
Convention under the aegis of the UNGA.   

The last call, if raised with sufficient strength,
would most likely touch a sympathetic cord in India as
well. It is this demand that had been voiced by late
Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, at the
UNGA in June 1988. Consequently it'd to an extent
force the otherwise reluctant hands of the incumbent
Indian regime. 

Apart from this, the call for creating a nuclear
weapons free South Asia, as an ad interim move towards
the final goal, would attract the support of the
smaller nations in the region and thereby exert
pressures on the big brother India and little big
brother Pakistan. 

With these strategies in mind, we have to keep on
sensitising the masses about the perils of nuclear
danger, mobilise their latent desires for a just and
peaceful world and steer the resultant forces towards
the goal of a nuclear weapon free world. 


Thank you.

Sukla Sen 

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