Excerpt from a statement issued on the occasion of a day long
Sit-in in Bombay on the consequences of Nuclear War.
(On 26 May 1998)
POLITICS BEHIND THE POKHRAN EXPLOSION:
People may think that the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are more
patriotic than others. But truth lies elsewhere. The preparation for
N tests cannot be made within a month or so. Indian scientists were
working on it for many years, perhaps for four decades. The BJP has taken advantage of this for cheap popularity. The late PM Indira Gandhi never tried to gain political advantage over the first Pokharan blast in 1974. On the other hand the VHP has announced its proposal to build a temple at the blast site- they are searching for another Ayodhya. Political ambition and lust for power can make people blind to realities. People have to raise a query about the timing of the explosion. The J and K situation is under control and Punjab is altogether peaceful. Nowhere along the border are there signs of tension...
The BJP has tried to divert attention from the problems faced by the nation- economic recession, poverty, unemployment, health status, lack of adequate drinking water etc... The nuclear nations display hypocrisy and double standards when they refuse to eliminate their N weapons. India should have embarked upon a vigorous diplomatic and popular offensive regarding the dangers of nuclearisation and for the disarmament of the Super Powers. India instead adopted a path devoid of any reaosn- possessing the bomb. Nuclear arsenals do not make any country secure in any way. They make the entire earth unbearably unsafe and unhealthy.
This statement was signed by Nikhil Wagle, R Ashok Kumar, Premsagar Gupta, Anand Patwardhan, Jatin Desai, Sagar Sarhadi, Ramesh Oza, T K Somaiya, Prakash Joshi, Jayant Diwan, Dr Tushar Jagtap, Yogesh Kamdar, Madhav Sathe, Anil Sinha, Sambhaji Bhagat, Lata PM, Hemant Birje.