1. ‘Had Nehru accepted US offer, India need not have had to seek NSG membership’

‘Had Nehru accepted US offer, India need not have had to seek NSG membership’

India need not have had to make desperate efforts now to get membership of elite NSG had Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the then US President John F Kennedy's offer.

By: | New Delhi | Published: June 13, 2016 9:45 PM
Had India's first Prime Minister Nehru accepted Kennedy's offer of helping India detonate a nuclear device much before China did in 1964, (PTI) Had India’s first Prime Minister Nehru accepted Kennedy’s offer of helping India detonate a nuclear device much before China did in 1964, (PTI)

India need not have had to make desperate efforts now to get membership of elite NSG had Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the then US President John F Kennedy’s offer of helping the country detonate a nuclear device much before China did in 1964, according to former Foreign Secretary Maharajakrishna Rasgotra.

He also said that if Nehru had accepted the offer, not only would have India tested the nuclear device first in Asia, before China, but it also “would have deterred China from launching its war of 1962 and even imparted a note of caution to (Pakistan’s) Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s plans for war in 1965,” according to a Observer Research Foundation (ORF) release.

Rasgotra was speaking at the release of his new book “A Life in Diplomacy” at ORF.

“Kennedy, who was an admirer of India’s democracy and held its leader Jawaharlal Nehru in very high esteem, felt that democratic India, not Communist China, should be the first Asian country to conduct a nuclear test,” he said.

Also Read: India’s NSG membership bid: What PM Modi is doing for entry in Nuclear Suppliers’ Group to China’s stance – 5 developments

Kennedy’s hand-written letter was accompanied by a technical note from the chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission, setting out the assistance his organisation would provide to Indian atomic scientists to detonate an American device from atop a tower in Rajasthan desert, the release said.

In the letter, Kennedy had said he and the American establishment were aware of Nehru’s strong views against nuclear tests and nuclear weapons, but emphasised the political and security threat China’s test would spell for Nehru’s government and India’s security, it said, adding the American leader’s letter emphasised that “nothing is more important than national security”.

Had India’s first Prime Minister Nehru accepted Kennedy’s offer of helping India detonate a nuclear device much before China did in 1964, India need not have had to make desperate efforts to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) now, he said.

  1. R
    Raghavan
    Jun 13, 2016 at 7:36 pm
    One more of congress decision to take back this country , perhaps ego pla part
    Reply
    1. B
      banshisrivastava
      Jun 13, 2016 at 6:01 pm
      It is not so what is being pleaded in the article. At that times things were different. We had followed the policyof non alliance and remained neutral with slight inclination toward Sovet Russsia...... American were not reliable when compared with Russia . We had already seen what happened during Bangla Desh war.......With the fragmentation of erstwhile Soviet sangh, dominance of China and wooing staan not yielding results there was no alternative for the US to come closer to US to meet its requirmeent for fuel . Same BJP which is showing lot of concerned opposed nuclear treaty tooth and nail. It was then PM who even at the cost of Government went ahead. With the growing strength of China there is no other alternative except we should continue to make efforts and we hope it will succeed with little efforts to woo the china some way or other ....If arm twisting is to be done we should take action to curb imports from China with whom we are maintaining wide balance of trade deficit.......
      Reply
      1. R
        R. Singh
        Jun 14, 2016 at 10:36 am
        Simpler reason: Greed. Democracy would have meant being transparent. If Goal was to be transparent, then would Congress be able to loot the nation?
        Reply

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