The U.S. state departments objection to India’s plan to acquire Russian rock technology is entirely valid but it lacks a clear understanding of the perspective of the entire gamut of New Delhi’s policy of politico-military adventure sameness It is unfortunate that the U.S. administration views the rocket technology issue ii isolation from the larger picture. Despite a few, half-hearted measures aimed at removing controls and introducing an clement of liberalization in its industrial policy, India remains wedded to grand Brahminic ideas of expanding in south east Asia earlier as a “third world force” and now under the tutelage of the U.S From these ideas naturally spring the country’s feverish militarization, India has the largest standing army in the world. It has already managed to manufacture ; few atomic weapons and that explains its opposition to the U.N, proposal to hold a conference of the countries of south-east Asia to eventually make it a nuclear free zone. India’s plan to acquire a delivery system from Russia comes in the wake of the unchecked militarization which has a gruesome domestic face too, This Indian army’s so-called “operations” against Kashmiris, Sikhs and Assamese are: aimed at snuffing out any trace of dissidence at home which works contrary India’s international ambitions of overlarding south-cast Asia, Thus the real issue is of curbing India’s international ambitions. The first step towards that goal ha: to be reduction of India’s vast war machine. The U.S. administration will do well to link the extension of financial support to Delhi with a corresponding reduction by it of the expenditure on armaments, There is no reason why the International Monetary Fund and other world agencies should not make their help condition a on India saving money for the welfare of the public by cutting on its huge annual defence budgets. The offshoot of these policies will be the Indian central governments willingness to introduce political reforms at home. That will eventually pave the way for areal liberalization not merely on the economic front but also in the political sphere. Thus any policy initiative that aims at curbing India’s militarization will find Sikhs, Kashmiris, Assamese and even Dalits as allies rather than adversaries. But Washington does not appear to subscribe to these views. That perhaps explains its belief in India’s “unity and integrity.” The U.S. administration seems content to the lure of business opportunities in the united, rather than a truncated India. But these aims have very little in common with the overall needs of south-east Asia as a region free from nuclear black-mail.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 15, 1992