INDIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER SAYS INDIA MAY SUFFER SAME FATE AS SOVIET UNION -- [FROM INDIA-WEST, AUG. 7, 1998] (Extension of Remarks - October 02, 1998)
HON. EDOLPHUS TOWNS
in the House of Representatives
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1998
- Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, on August 7, India-West reported that Sharad Pawar, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament, `expressed fear that the country might go the erstwhile Soviet Union way.' Speaking at a function for the release of a book, Pawar said that although the Soviet Union was a nuclear power, it fell apart. He said that India's missile tests should not make it overconfident about keeping the country together.
- The decline of India is inevitable, Mr. Speaker, for many of the same reasons that doomed the Soviet Union. The fact that a leader of the Indian Parliament is now taking note of it is a significant development.
- India is a country made of may nations. It has 18 official languages. While it maintains a democratic form of government, the principles of democracy do not seem to apply where the minority nations are concerned. Tens of thousands of Sikhs, Christian Nagas, Kashmiri Muslims, Dalits, Tamils, Assamese, Manipuris, and others have been murdered by the government, with no apparent difference no matter which party is in power. Currently, there are 17 freedom movements within India's borders. It looks like Mr. Pawar is on to something.
- India's breakup is inevitable. I think I speak for most of us here when I say that I hope it happens in the peaceful way that the Soviet breakup did. Otherwise, there is the risk of another Yugoslavia in South Asia.
- It has been American policy to preserve the current artificial stability in South Asia, but let us remember that we pursued a similar policy with regard to the Soviet empire and it collapsed anyway. The best way to preserve stability, democracy, prosperity, freedom, and peace in South Asia is to get on the side of the peaceful, democratic, nonviolent freedom movements in Khalistan, Kashmir, Nagaland, and the other nations living under Indian rule.
- I call on my colleagues to support an internationally supervised plebiscite to settle the future of Punjab, Khalistan by votes, the way that democracies decide issues. I also call on India to fulfill its obligation to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir as it promised the United Nations it would in 1948. By these steps, India will signal its commitment to a democratic solution rather than a Yugoslavian-style ethnic war. If it will not commit itself to take these steps, my colleagues can draw their own conclusions--and so can the people of the world. India must not try to settle this issue with more bullets, more genocide, and more nuclear warheads. The time has come to shine the light of freedom on all the people and nations of South Asia.
[FROM INDIA-WEST, AUG. 7, 1998]
- I thank Dr. Aulakh for bringing this very informative article to my attention and I am placing the article into the Record.
Pune (PTI): The leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sharad Pawar Aug. 2 expressed the fear that the country might go the erstwhile Soviet Union way unless concerted efforts are taken to strengthen its economy in the wake of international reaction to its carrying out nuclear tests.
Pawar was speaking at a function to release a book, `Hiroshima,' by noted Marathi writer D.B. Kher on the after effects of bomb explosion in Japan Aug. 6, 1945.
Pawar said though the erstwhile USSR was a nuclear power it collapsed, and added that India should not become over-confident after the Pokhran-II tests.
He said India should also be very vigilant as the economy of Pakistan was in the doldrums. It might take any dangerous step out of frustration. `We should not forget the fact that Pakistan had a history of aggression against India and hence we should be on guard,' he said.