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

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Developing the Anti-Nuclear Movement

We now have a national network of anti-nuclear groups who have come together to work on common objectives. But if the antinuclear movement is to progress then the different groups have to find ways of working together which do not simply respect their differences but also institutionalise discussion of differences so as to move towards overcoming them wherever possible. Where this is not possible, it is necessary to think of ways which can creatively advance the groups' common positions. Some proposals.

 We now have a national network of various antinuclear groups who have come together to work on common objectives. This is the national Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) which emerged out of the National Convention in November 2000 in New Delhi. Groups and individuals have come together despite differences over the CTBT issue and over the issue of nuclear power or energy. If we are to progress then it is the view of this writer (and what follows in this text is purely the personal view of the writer put forward as a contribution to what one hopes can become a collective debate within the Indian antinuclear movement) that we have to find ways of working together which do not simply respect our differences but also institutionalise ways of discussing our differences so as to move towards overcoming them wherever possible. Where this is not possible we need to think of ways which can creatively advance our common positions. We have not done much of either so far, at least not since the establishment of our common platform of calling for basically three things.

First, we have demanded both a nuclear freeze plus a reversal of the step taken in May 1998 when India crossed the nuclear Rubicon and declared itself to be a nuclear weapons state even if not officially recognised as such by the rest of the world Second, we have called for much greater transparency, the highest possible safety standards, full accountability of the atomic energy establishment of this country, and of course for proper recompense for radiation victims. Third, we have called on other nuclear weapons states (NWSs), namely, the N5 (the five acknowledged nuclear powers) and Pakistan and Israel As is to be expected there are much fewer differences regarding this third aspect of the common platform as embodied by the Charter of the CNDP, i e, criticising the perfidiousness and irresponsible behaviour of the other NWSs where the National Missile Defence/Theatre Missile Defences (NMD/TMDs) plans and ambitions of the US are threatening to bring about a Second Nuclear Age. Of course we must resolutely oppose these plans and try and stop them.

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