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

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OF LIFE, LETTERS AND POLITICS-A Fatal Attraction

GPD WHEN we. wrote about George Fernandes and his famous statements on China ('Politics of Defence, May 16, 1998) the nuclear blasts on May 11 had not yet taken place. With those blasts the significance of what he said and why he said that qualitatively changes. It is now clear that the defence minister was clearing the pitch for the Indian bomb. These statements were not the defence minister's very 'socialist' outbursts against China. They were, it would now seem, a part of the government's understanding that 'we are outnumbered 15 to one' by hostile forces and if we did not have the means to bomb them to dust in their lairs, we would be "easy prey to any yellow dwarf with a pocket- knife". No these words do not belong cither to the defence minister or to Pramod Mahajan. They belong to president Johnson. The yellow people he was talking about were the Vietnamese. But then yellow people are yellow people. If Fernandes is lobe believed they, i e, the Chinese, are threatening us. We need a nuclear bomb. Maybe a host of Them. It we did not have the bomb even the China knife would turn us into a prey. This is the logic of the bomb Not very different from Johnson's logic.

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