NAGPUR: In an
apparent move to curb an 'unwanted' congregation, the ministry of
external affairs (MEA) has struck down the application by a
city-based activist known for his left leaning to hold a global
nuclear disarmament in city.
The Centre for Cultural Educational, Economics and
Social Studies had planned to hold an international seminar on
'Achieving A Nuclear Weapons and Missile Defence Free Asia', from
October 9 to 12. The application for clearance was sent in February
but on July 27, the
MEA wrote back saying the issue of getting a political permit
for the seminar had been carefully examined and the ministry did not
recommend holding this conference.
The centre's secretary
J Narayana Rao who corresponded with the vario us ministries
said it appeared after the interaction with various bureaucrats that
he had almost got the approval, until he received final letter of
rejection last month.
A senior official in the MEA said it would be difficult to respond
about any one case in particular. He hadded that it was rare to
reject an application. Such a decision is taken only when the case
appeared problematic. He said the approvals were given on the basis
of inputs by various divisions in MEA which handle different
They were held back if the topic was too sensitive topic or persons
invited to speak were categorized as risky or there were problems
with countries they were coming from. The organiser could write to
the MEA asking for reasons for rejection but it was up to the
ministry to respond.
Rao wondered how could nuclear disarmament be a sensitive topic. "An
academic discussion would hardly have any political ramifications,"
he said. Rao felt the rejection might be because the seminar was
being held to close to the date of US president Barack Obama's visit
India during November. "May be the government did not want to
Sam," he mused.
He added that US wanted to push India into an arms race as it wanted
a market for its defence industry.
Interestingly, he also stressed that India need not increase its
nuclear stockpile keeping
China in mind. Rao said China's nuclear arms were not meant for
India but were a defence against the US. "Since China is not going
to attack India with nuclear weapons there is no reason for us to
enter into an atomic arms race with it," he added.