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Ukraine war: Progenitor of non-alignment, India’s 'silence, callousness' is worrisome

By Sudhanshu Tripathi* 

Amidst recent grand show of Russian victory parade, Moscow apparently stands upbeat with its massive display of latest armaments to the whole world. However, the drone targeting of Kremlin on 03 May 2023, allegedly by Ukraine to assassinate Russian President Putin, the over-a-year long continuing Russia-Ukraine war has attained a new height.
Indeed, Moscow has so far extensively destroyed many cities in Ukraine to avenge the aforesaid assassination attempt, despite Ukranian President Zelenskyy emphatically refuting this allegation. In fact, the alleged assassination attempt has resulted into ever-massive Russian retaliatory attacks upon Ukraine. Perhaps that may possibly be aimed at liquidating Ukraine through limited nuclear strike by Russia.
Evidently the ever degenerating grim scenario where no end to Russia-Ukraine war looks in sight, the world today stands on a nuclear volcano which may blast any day due to slightest spark set on fire by any nuclear power.
That, if so takes place, will inevitably lead into worldwide chain reactions of nuclear explosions to result into unimaginable and irreparable destruction of all living and material beings. Hence all nations, irrespective of their individual preferences, must unite to immediately devise ways and means to protect the innocent humanity from approaching nuclear holocaust in the form of third world war.
For this end, the role of United Nations and global movements like the Non-aligned Movement can prove to be meaningful to resolve this monstrous challenge amicably. The UN General Assembly (GA) must come forward to ensure immediate cessation of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war by re-invoking the Uniting for Peace Resolution (UPR) which was first used during Korean crisis in early 1950s.
Indeed, it is very difficult for the UNGA given the five permanent members viz. the US, Russia, China, England and France, enjoying veto powers in the Security Council. And anyone out of these five members can use veto power to forestall such proposal in its own interest. As in the present case, Russia will obviously use its veto power over the above-mentioned UPR just to decisively defeat Ukraine possibly with nuclear strike, given the power asymmetry between them and also the expanding time period to much of its embarrassment.
Evidently, Moscow has its ulterior motive to reemerge as an undeterred global hegemon or as the erstwhile super power that it had been during the cold war years in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Notwithstanding the aforesaid technical difficulty, the prevailing situation is almost same as that was during Korean crisis but the UN stands as mute witness since the very outbreak of the war. The UPR had then enabled the UNGA to call for immediate cessation of hostilities between two Koreas along 380 parallel and that had been successful in ensuring armistice between the two belligerents.
Why not the same UPR is being invoked again in case of the present Russia-Ukraine continuing war? Obviously because Russia in itself is a party in this war!
But for that the UPR be so amended by the UNGA as a special case to debar even a permanent member of the UN Security Council from exercising its veto power if it is a party in an armed conflict. Why can’t the UNGA do this in right earnest?
After all unusual circumstances demand equally tough preventive provisions or even draconian laws too in the common interest of humanity, because their very future is at stake today. Why not people at large be allowed to live in peace, secure, dignified and life-sustaining environment? Who will come at their rescue?
These are some of the most pertinent questions today before the all saner minds in the world. And these were always been upheld by global forums like the non-aligned movement since its very inception through debates and discussions so as to arouse global attention over a conflict to result into an amicable solution.
That proved to be an important factor too in resolving the aforesaid Korean crisis in the form of the emerging non-aligned leadership of the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. By then Nehru had become a global leader, enjoying significant influence in international affairs due to his active diplomacy and non-aligned foreign policy.
That was aimed at securing strategic autonomy or independent decisions for India vis-à-vis all international or global issues, irrespective of the then prevailing dominant cold war power politics during post-Second World War decades.
Unfortunately, India being the spiritual guru and upholding ideals like Vishwa Shanti, Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sahanavavatu, Sahanaubhunakta etc. and also being the founder-member of the non-aligned movement apart from being the progenitor of the doctrine of non-alignment has not yet overcome its structural constraints so as to play its desired role in international politics and world affairs.
This is as regards institution-building for policy formulations and national decision-making, wherein experts and scholars from higher academia and qualified professionals from other sectors be involved, like that existing in the US and other advanced nations in the West.
That may act as an impartial intellectual power house or think tank to prescribe feasible policy options for speedy realization of its national as well as global interests.
Hence India being an important key player in global affairs immediately needs to evolve a broad-based fulcrum of national policy building institutions which may formulate and advance the much desired feasible policy options to be practiced by the leader of the country at crucial junctures like the present one in the larger interest of humanity.
Apart from these, India’s silence, except few occasional comments or appeals in this war, is especially worrisome and so is its callousness over a mighty power Russia trying to swallow a very small state like Ukraine.
Now Ukraine has been forcibly brought to its knees and has been totally destroyed with uncounted deaths of innocent Ukranian citizens. Unfortunately Russia has also witnessed considerable loss of its soldiers. Who is/are responsible for all these bygone lives?
In such a precarious and volatile situation when the aforesaid major powers are armed with lethal nuclear weapons which can trigger the world into unimaginable holocaust, all peaceful, independence loving and security caring nations like Australia, Japan, South Korea and India etc. must come forward to raise the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war issue in the UNGA and must collectively pressurize this global assembly to invoke the above cited UPR to obtain immediate cessation of this ongoing war.
Further, both the belligerents be motivated to resume across the table talks under auspices of the UNGA so that their differences may peacefully be resolved. Also all other external players like the US, China, Teheran, North Korea be strictly forbidden from adding fuel to burning fire just for fulfilling their own selfish interests on one reason or the other like arms trade or maintaining sphere of influence or regional or global hegemony etc.
The cases of war crimes and violation of the laws of war be also framed by the UNGA and that be put before the Permanent Court of International Justice for arbitration and suitable compensation for the victim country be realized from the aggressor state apart from punishment for war crimes. Further the ongoing trilateral fierce power-struggle involving the US, Russia and China be discouraged by the UN assembly.
Thus amidst victory parade and drone targeting of Kremlin and launching of supersonic and hypersonic ICBM missiles by the super-power and all major powers having ever-large nuclear payloads etc., the overall global scenario is becoming increasingly worrisome and fearful with the passage of each day, as Russia continues to threaten the western powers to exercise nuclear option if they continue providing support to Kyiv in the ongoing war between the two asymmetric powers viz. Russian and Ukraine.
And that may possibly push Moscow to exercise its limited nuclear strike option on Ukraine. This must be stopped by all saner minds in the world as nothing is beyond human endeavour.
*Professor, Political Science, MDPG College, Pratapgarh (UP)



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