Interview of Gaganvihari L. Mehta
(Continued from page 11)
four years, and have traveled to nearly
thirty states. I have visited a number
of universities and educational institutions, Chambers of Commerce — a
cross-section of the people. I know
from India also what the feelings are.
And I think we should all recognize
that free countries can disagree with
one another and yet cooperate for
"So far as your specific question is
concerned," he summarized, "my own
impression is that there has been less
misunderstanding in recent months
India's Neutralism Questioned
"Mr. Ambassador, a few moments
ago you very briefly ancl very effectively outlined your form of government xvith respect to its democratic
institutions and the freedom of the
press," reminded Mr. Wilson. "What
you said about your government is
true of ours. They are almost identical
in those respects. Both would appear
to be at complete cross-purposes xxith
the form of government in the Soviet
"Now, with the Soviet Union on the
one hand ancl the United States on the
other, heading up two powerful forces,
each attempting to persuade the world
that each is correct," he asked, "how
can the Indian government be neutral?"
"Well, first of all," replied Ambassador Mehta, "let me say that we believe
as you believe — that each country
should have its own social system and
its own economic order. What we
object to (just as you do), is the imposition of this by force, or by subversion. This country has been assisting Yugoslavia, which has a Communist system, both economically and
militarily because it feels it is up to the
Yugoslavian people to decide what
form of government they will have,
what society they will have.
"Now you might think that the particular economic system which has
developed in this country is most
suited," he stressed. "Undoubtedly it
is most suited to this country — but
that doesn't mean it is most suited for
Mr. Wilson explained that he was
referring not to the economic system,
but to the political system.
"Yes, all right," agreed Ambassador
Mehta, "political system also. Because
certain countries believe in a democratic system that doesn't mean that
this same system is suitable to all
countries. There are several countries
in South America, for example, which
don't have a democratic system of
government. I think you recognize
them ancl have friendly relations with
Ambassador Mehta went on to point
out that since the summit conference
last year it is recognized on all sides
that a nuclear war for all practical
purposes has to be ruled out, ancl for
that reason a "cold war" has been
replaced by a cold peace.
"1 don't know in a 'cold peace' what
neutralism means," he concluded.
[Mr. Wilson's question had clearly
outlined India's contradictory position
in refusing to ally herself with the
United States, while at the same time
claiming a belief in freedom and the
fundamental principles of democracy.
In stressing that we were in a period
of "cold peace," where affiliation with
one camp or the other should be unnecessary, Ambassador Mehta chose
to ignore the obvious fact that two
ideologies are warring for control of
the minds of all mankind.]
Is Communist Aggression
Mr. Lindley asked, "Mr. Ambassador, isn't the real question here the
foreign policy that a country pursues?
What bothers us, I think, is that India
doesn't seem to have recognized that
the Communist states have been aggressive — both the Soviet Communist
state and the Chinese Communist state. In fact, the Chinese Communist state still stands under the conviction of aggression before the United
Nations, doesn't it?"
"Umm," demurred Ambassador
"Well, I notice in his speech of
March 29th on foreign policy," pursued Mr. Lindley, "Prime Minister
Nehru spoke of the situation in Indochina (and I take this as an example
of the sort of thing that puzzles us
when we read these speeches in this
country). He was very critical of
South Viet-Nam because it bad not
agreed to the elections throughout
Viet-Nam prescribed by the Geneva
Convention, although, as he sail)
South Viet-Nam did not sign that coB
vention. He went on and discussd
Cambodia. He made no mention what*
soever of Laos, where the Communisf
have failed to comply with the GeneVJ
agreement by failing to put the*
forces under the command of the go*"
ernment. He ignored that complete!
although he criticized South Viet-Natf-
That is the sort of thing that puzzle*
Ambassador Mehta replied that
India is represented on the commis*
sion and that the Indian representative
has made some proposals for a settlement between tbe central Laos government ancl the two provinces whie"
refuse to integrate. "In fact," he sal*
"these proposals have been accepte*1
by the royal government of Laos. bi»
not accepted, so far as I know, by tW
other two provinces
Mr. Lucas put into words a question
basic- to United States relations wit"
India by asking, "Mr. Ambassador,''1'
the Indian people feel that this couf
try has ever sought to impose our fort*
of government on others by force an'
India's Attitude Toward West
Mr, Mehta replied in the negative*
"There is no question about that," a6
stated, "No sensible Indian says tha
there has been any attempt by thi'
country to impose a form of govef*-
ment on any other country. Howeveft
as relates to the question Mr. LinclW
asked earlier about the attitude toV
aids the West, I should like to cliffy
cntiate quite frankly between some''
the countries which are known as haV'
ing hael colonics, or which even no*
have colonics ancl an empire in tf
East. Naturally that is
which is still in the Indian mind.'
"Changing the subject for just
moment," inserted Mr. Lucas, "*v*jJ
has your government so consistent
refused to arbitrate its dispute vfl
Pakistan over Kashmir?" .
"We have not refused to arbitrwa
Ambassador Mehta state-el decisive*!
"The point there is — ancl I can te\
you quite frankly — that I don't kn°
why the United Nations has nev
condemned aggression of Pakist3**
This has been he-Id to be aggress'^
by Sir Owen Dixon, a man appoint _
by the United Nations to the Coniil**5]
sion on Kashmir. You see, if agii''
sion is to be condemned in Kof*^
aggression could also have been c"
demned in Kashmir. Also, it was In"^
Facts Forum News, October,
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