Think before you leap into the devil’s arms!
Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,
I am writing to express my anxiety and those of the Indian people about the likely outcome of your forthcoming visit to the United States of America. I am extremely perturbed by the course on which Indian foreign policy seems to be developing, as exemplified by the recently signed US-India agreement on a long-term defence framework towards a ‘strategic partnership’.
India’s choice of partner in global affairs will have a profound impact on the lives of the Indian people. It will influence how others look at us. At a time when the war crimes of the Bush administration are receiving worldwide condemnation, becoming a strategic partner and trusted US ally will, I am afraid, earn for India only hatred, suspicion and enmity among the nations and peoples of Asia and other continents.
In the context of the terrorist incident at Ayodhya and the bomb blasts in London early this month, you said that our common struggle is against those who “do not respect the rule of law”. It is clear that the United States shows scant respect for international law and the accepted norms of civilised behaviour among nations. Following your guideline, should we not wage a common struggle against the United States and its warmongering policy? How can you pursue a strategic partnership with this law breaking power? Is it not dangerous to tie India militarily with the notorious American war machine?
Your government claims to be acting in the best interests of India, without any pressure from outside. In other words, you are pursuing this partnership with the US by choice and not by compulsion. I do not question this claim. Rather, I question why India should, on its own free will, join hands with the most dangerous big power that is feared and hated by the vast majority of peoples of the world today.
A decision such as this, namely the forging of a strategic partnership with the biggest and most dangerous military power, must not be taken behind the backs of the people whom you represent. Already, you have heard voices of concern being raised within and beyond the Parliament. In such a situation, sticking to the already chosen course is tantamount to ignoring and insulting the Parliament and the people of India.
For the sake of upholding modern democratic norms and for the sake of India’s future, permit me to urge you to postpone your visit to the United States, until after a thorough discussion and debate has taken place in the Parliament and in other forums of the people, on the wisdom of entering a strategic partnership with the US at this time.
Justice Hosbet Suresh
Lok Raj Sangathan