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Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace condemns Narendra Modi's 'reckless rhetoric' after Diwali nuke remark

The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) — India’s national network of over 200 organisations, including grassroots groups, mass movements and advocacy organisations, and individuals — which demands that India and Pakistan roll back their nuclear weapons programmes, has taken cognisance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in an election rally mentioning use of nuclear weapons. 

Modi while addressing a public meeting in Rajasthan had said that earlier strategic experts used to warn that Pakistan had the nuclear button, but, he stressed that India also has the capability to launch nuclear attacks from land, air and sea. “What do we have then? Have we kept our nuclear bomb for Diwali?” Modi remarked.

Here is the full text of CNDP's statememt re-produced as is:

CNDP Statement on PM Modi’s Threat
23 April 2019

It is with shock and dismay that the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) takes note of the Indian Prime Minister's public nuclear sabre-rattling on April 21, 2019 in Barmer in Rajasthan when he mindlessly and sarcastically declared that India’s nuclear weapons were not for celebrating ‘Diwali’ (the festival of lights and sound)! To speak so casually about the possible use of nuclear weapons and that too for the purposes of winning votes through arousal of hatred and by promoting an ugly, masculinist militarism, is deeply disturbing. The very least that is demanded from nuclear armed governments is that their leaders should display some sense of responsibility and sobriety in what they say and do. That Prime Minister Modi has disregarded all this only goes to reinforce the view that South Asia is potentially the most dangerous place in the world.

Those who are really concerned about ensuring the safety and security of Indians would not indulge in such reckless rhetoric. How will the promise of obliterating Pakistan through a “second strike” guarantee the security of those Indians who are likely to be wiped out in a Pakistani “first strike”? The issue is of taking all necessary steps to prevent a nuclear war; it is not about retaliatory strikes.

Not for nothing, are nuclear weapons dubbed as "weapons of mass destruction" and a credible study has predicted that a nuclear war between India and Pakistan may wipe out the human civilisation itself (https://www.ibtimes.com/india-pakistan-nuclear-war-would-kill-2-billion-people-end-civilization-report-1503604).

CNDP calls on the PM and all other politicians to immediately stop fuelling and inciting reactions in such a manner from those who gather in large numbers at such rallies. This is not just a further debasement of our public political discourse but such cavalier boasts and threats may provoke a war of words leading to an unwanted and unwarranted escalation of inter-country tensions which in turn can set off a very dangerous dynamic.

Anil Chaudhury
N.D. Jayprakash
Sukla Sen
Lalita Ramdas
Achin Vanaik

Disclaimer: The statement has been reproduced as it appears on CNDP's website and has not been edited by Firstpost staff.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, The Indian affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development had also expressed concern about Modi’s statement. The group had even demanded that Modi be debarred from contesting the Lok Sabha polls, Scroll reported.

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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2019 12:45:12 IST