ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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DEFENCE-The New Hawk

The New Hawk UNION defence minister George Fernandas has travelled a long way from his days in Tihar Jail, from where in May 1974, a day after India's first explosion of a nuclear device at Pokharan, he had issued a statement saying: "Without the necessary economic infrastructure, all talk of a bomb can be just so much bombast. And should any government discuss such a proposition seriously without first taking steps to provide all citizens of the country with food, clothes, shelter, pure drinking water, education and a chance to live a life befitting human beings, such a government can be called nothing but criminal." By a peculiar twist of irony, Fernandas is today not only a part of such a government, but also holds a portfolio by virtue, of which he now claims that India has the right to "exercise its nuclear option". Has the 'economic infrastructure' in India improved to such an extent during the last 24 years as to make Fernandes change from an opponent of the bomb to its votary? He should know better, Having been a trade union leader and close to the pulse of the working class, he must surely know that his government, leave alone providing all citizens with the basic necessities, is following an economic policy that threatens to throw out thousands of workers from their jobs. As a socialist, how does he oppose that policy?

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