Ukraine stand proves Nehru’s principle: Tewari

New Delhi, April 5 : The stand taken by India vis-a-vis the Ukraine-Russia war is an “eloquent testimony” of the Nehruvian principle of non-alignment, Congress MP Manish Tewari said in the Lok Sabha. Participating in the debate, Tewari said Russia was a trusted ally of India but sometimes friends also need to be told when they are wrong. “A horrendous tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine… The alleged killings in the Bucha suberb of Kyiv has once again brought home the horrendous reality that war is only exciting as long as you watch it on television,” Tewari said. He said the long peace of Europe had been shattered after the Balkan conflict. Unlike the previous ones, this conflict in Europe will redefine global order. “A new Iron Curtain seems to be descending on the world.” Tewari said the world seemed to be in a “flux” and added that turmoil was also there in countries around India. “I would like to commend the government.. They are walking on a very thin line, and it is not a very easy act to perform, but I am afraid this is just the beginning. The push may not have come as yet,” he said. “I think the pressure is just getting built up. My concern is that the Nehruvian autonomy, what we call the non- alignment, that held India in good stead between 1946 all the way up till 1989, when the Berlin Wall collapsed, that luxury may not be available to India. “We may not really have the option to sit atop this new Iron curtain,” he said. Stating that he was “not making value judgment on the current government”, Tewari said: “The Nehruvian principals are worth going back to. Friends on that side of the House leave no stone unturned to criticize first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Facts remain that those principals possibly have stood the test of time. “The crisis in Ukraine and the position the government of India has taken possibly bears the most eloquent testimony to those principals which were articulated at the founding of our republic”. He also said Russia has been a trusted friend of India, and it has been a long standing ally, and recalled the Bangladesh liberation war, when the US had sent its Seventh Fleet to stop India, and the then USSR mobilized its 10th Operative battle group Pacific Fleet. He said India owes a debt to Russia “but friends also need to be told if they are wrong to get their act together”. “Forty days into this war, Russian war aims appear to be ill defined or at best muddled. Does Russia want to split Ukraine at the Nipu river? Does it want a new regime? What does it mean by de-Nazification of Ukraine? Does it want to create a land corridor between the Donbass region and Crimea? Or is it testing the Anglo American power for Ukraine joining NATO?” He also stressed that Russia alone was not responsible for the war. “Does Russia alone bear the responsibility for this conflict? In my humble estimation the Anglo-American alliance bears equal responsibility,” he said. Tewari pointed out that Ukraine, which was the world’s third largest nuclear nation when the USSR was dissolved, signed the Budapest memorandum in 1994 which was “midwifed” by the ted States and Great Britain. “Ukraine was stripped of its nuclear arsenal in return for amorphous security guarantees that if its peace and sovereignty was targeted. When push came to shove, these political commitments evaporated in thin air,” he said. AO MR

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