These notes are taken from a Facebook post of 7th August, 2017.
CLARIFYING WHAT CPI(M) DID AFTER POKHRAN — FIRM OPPOSITION TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS, POWERFUL MOBILISATION AGAINST INDIA’S NUCLEAR WEAPONISATION ON HIROSHIMA DAY, 1998.
No to nuclear weapons in the subcontinent, no to the dictates of the global nuclear powers, no to nuclear jingoism aligned with Hindutva!!
The exchange between Prerna Gupta and my friend
Govindarajan on my earlier post merits the following clarification:
See the original press statement of the Left Parties on 16 May 1998 (retreived from my old email archives and posted on my blog) at https://tjayaraman.wordpress.com/…/historical-notes-left-p…/.
In case this is not enough, you may also see the following Frontline report of a well-attended meeting in Delhi, organised by the Left Parties. See the resolution passed by the meeting cited in full in the article (I was also a speaker there, representing scientists, from institutions including within the DAE, against the tests), and see particularly the call for protests on Hiroshima Day of 1998.
For a report on the Chennai convention against nuclear weapons tests of Pokhran, rreferred to by Govindarajan Thupil see report at
The biggest mobilisation was predictably in West Bengal and of course protests were held elsewhere too. (I assure, the crowd in Kolkata was not mobilised by Mamata Didi). For reports see,
You may disagree with us politically, but let us just stay with the facts while we are about it.
As far as I can make out from Ms. Gupta’s post, she seems to have taken her quotations based on excerpts from Prisoner’s of the Nuclear Dream edited by M. V. Ramana and C. Rammanohar Reddy. The particular article in the book (by Krishna Ananth) in its attitude to the CPM stand on nuclear weapons is a classic example of the disinformation that ANTI-NUCLEAR ENERGY activists have propogated against the CPM. (Ms. Gupta may of course may have referred to actual issues of People’s Democracy, but I rather doubt it).
The quotations she provides are very likely correct – I am certainly not challenging them. And it certainly also represents an initial confusion in the CPM’s reponse. But she does not acknowledge that it does not represent the official position of the party, nor does she bother to track what the CPM did beyond these selective quotations. In fact in the essay, it is acknowledged that these quotations are not the official stand of the party and there is an extended quotation from Prakash Karat, that shows a clear condemnation of nuclear weapons.
(Of course, Ms. Gupta refers to the statement of the Peoples Democracy of 17 May. This was, I recall, issued before the full politburo met and the final decision was made clear).
However, the essay also deliberately misrepresents by not including the statement, putting official within quotation marks and relegating the Prakash Karat quotation to a footnote (that runs over the bottom of two pages!!). Based on this selective quotation mongering, the book also draws wholly unwarranted conclusions at the end of page 330.