Lok Sabha Elections 2004
Under BJP Rule:
The Vajpayee government has proved to be the most pro-imperialist government since independence. Since 1998, the Indian government’s foreign policy has been converted from a non-aligned one to a policy which is suited to the United States of America’s global strategy.
· The Vajpayee government after the Pokhran nuclear tests was prepared to go to any extent to get US recognition for its nuclear power status. It ended up entering into a strategic relationship with the US, just as Pakistan, so that it could get American acceptance for its nuclear weapon status.
· The Vajpayee government immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US wrote to President Bush, offering to be a partner in America’s “ war against terrorism.” This meant that India would support the US attack on Afghanistan. Bush decided to have Pakistan as a partner in this war and use its military bases. The Vajpayee government appeared servile and willing to support all aggressive acts of American imperialism.
· When the United States began preparations for its war on Iraq, the Vajpayee government did not speak out against it. It did nothing to rally world opinion against the illegal and criminal act of aggression against a friendly State and the Iraqi people.
· After America occupied Iraq, it requested the Indian government troops to help establish its occupation. The Vajpayee government was ready to send a division of Indian troops for this purpose. It was only the public outcry against this and the united stand of the Opposition parties which forced the government not to send troops.
· The BJP-led government has established close ties with Israel which under the Sharon government is everyday attacking the Palestinian people after illegally occupying their lands. The Israeli regime is the close ally of the US and with American military and financial aid, has colonized Arab territories and depriving the Palestinian people of their country and freedo
· The Vajpayee government is keen to have a US-India-Israel axis in the name of fighting against terrorism, which is actually directed against the Arab people and countries.
· It was the first government to welcome President Bush’s announcement of a new National Missile Defense System. This new system will put weapons in space at the cost of billions of dollars. It will be used for reinforcing US hegemony over the world. It has met with strong opposition from many countries. But the Vajpayee government has already begun discussions with the US to see how India can be part of this system.
From 1999, the US government resumed military cooperation with India, which was suspended after the Pokhran nuclear tests. The Vajpayee government agreed to:
· send Indian armed forces officers for training to America and receive American officers in Indian training centers.
· Joint exercises between Indian army, airforce and navy with their American counterparts have become a regular feature.
· The Americans showed keen interest in having such exercises in Ladakh and in Mizoram – all sensitive border areas.
· Joint exercises between the two airforces and navies are also taking place.
· The airforce is going to take part in a NATO exercise in Alaska in the US. This will be the first time India participates in a American military alliance exercise
The United States wants to penetrate and influence the Indian armed forces. This is a serious threat to the integrity of our armed forces and national security.
George Fernandes, the Defence Minister, is known for his longstanding links with the Western countries and he is along with Jaswant Singh, the architect of this military alliance with America.
India’s security compromised
The Vajpayee government allowed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the top American police agency to set up its office in New Delhi in mid-1999. In the name of cooperation in combating drug-trafficking and terrorism, the FBI is allowed access to India’s internal security agencies.
Not only this the Vajpayee government has established links with the CIA too. The CIA is the notorious spy agency of America which has a murderous record of assassinating foreign leaders and toppling government which do not serve American interests, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Salvador Allende of Chile, the Mossadeq government in Iran are only some of them.
The BJP leader and Home Minister L.K. Advani met the CIA Chief George Tenet in Washington when he visited America in 2002. This is the first time an Indian Government Leader met with the CIA chief. Since then the CIA is closely working with the Indian intelligence agencies, once again in the name of fighting terrorism.
The pro-American foreign policy has come about since the Vajpayee government is fostering policies which facilitate the economic interests of the US, its multinational corporations and international finance capital.
It should not be forgotten that in 1996, when the first Vajpayee government was in office for just 13 days, it took only one major decision – to approve the counter-guarantee to Enron Co, the US multinational, to set up its power plant in Dabhol. Everyone knows what happened to this plant which is now shut down after and Enron itself has collapsed.
It was the BJP-Shiv Sena state government which renegotiated the deal and gave Enron a second phase too.
Since then, the BJP-led government has opened up all sectors of the economy to US and foreign capital with 100 per cent ownership. It is allowing foreign companies and investors to buy up shares in the public sector companies which are being privatized. It has allowed foreign banks and insurance companies to operate in India. It has even allowed foreign capital to have a stake in our newspapers/ print media.
The policies of indiscriminate liberalization and privatization which are promoted by the IMF –World Bank and the US led imperialist countries are accompanied by a political strategy to become part of the US-led bloc.
That these policies are not motivated by national interest but the BJP’s ideology has also become clear.
The Vajpayee government became one of the first countries to join an American-sponsored “Community of Democracies” as one of the co-sponsors. This platform is nothing but a body to propagate America’s idea of “democracy” – which means free markets to safeguard imperialism’s economic interests and to use “democracy” as a weapon to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.
The US government funded “National Endowment for Democracy” was allowed to set up an office in Delhi as a result. This NED has financed many political parties to topple governments which do not suit the USA. Recent examples of such funding is in Georgia and Haiti where governments were overthrown by the so-called ‘democratic opposition’.
The recent initiative to resume the dialogue with Pakistan has been welcomed by all sections of the people. But it is the BJP-led government which refused to continue talks with Pakistan after the failure of the Agra Summit. Later it stopped the rail and air links to Pakistan and discouraged people to people contacts.
The CPI (M) always advocated having a dialogue with Pakistan to reduce tensions while taking firm steps to counter terrorism. But the Vajpayee government reversed its stand and agreed to a dialogue only under pressure of the US government. This has been publicly stated by the American Secretary of State.
People of both countries want normalization of relations and a peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes. But this cannot be achieved by making America the arbiter of Indo-Pak relations. The BJP has to understand that the US interests in the subcontinent are not in consonance with India’s national interests.
In today’s world there are strong trends against America’s efforts to impose its uni-polar and superpower hegemony. In America’s war on Iraq, two of its biggest European allies, France and Germany opposed the war and refused to send troops. Russia and China are two major countries who cannot accept US hegemony. It is in India’s interests to develop relations with such countries and promote a multi-polar world.
Vajpayee’s visit to China in 2003 has opened the way to improve relations between the two big Asian countries. What stands as an obstacle is the inclination of the BJP to fall into the US gameplan of isolating China.
The Vajpayee government’s one-dimensional view of a strategic alliance with the US prevents it from taking forward cooperation with Russia and China and promoting multipolarity.
Improvement of relations with Pakistan can also be accomplished by a dialogue bilaterally without the third party role of the US .
So if India’s foreign policy is to become an independent and non-aligned one which will serve the interests of India and the people, it is essential that the BJP –alliance is defeated in these elections and a new Government takes charge.