NAM hasn’t lost its relevance

It’s a pity that historical forces have taken the romance out of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Its irrelevance was evident long before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s sermon, but who can blame India for being nostalgic? (S. Nihal Singh’s article, “NAM today: It’s just an international Rotary Club”, July 3).

If the attempt behind the writer’s simile was to drive home to the readers how ineffectual a body NAM is, I’m afraid, he missed the marks grossly.

True, we Rotarians, 1.2 million of us globally, meet every week so that we keep alive the principles of fellowship and friendship in 32,000 Rotary Clubs across the world. We don’t discuss politics in our meetings, but our collective contribution to world peace and understanding has been of consequence.

The annual jamboree of NAM nations during the days of Nehru, Nasser, Tito and Sukarno did have a magical aura about it, more so because the concept was relevant. Unlike NAM, our annual meetings continue to evoke the same feelings of international friendship and spirit of sharing cutting across barriers of nation states.
The writer’s comparison, to say the least, was unwarranted. “Wars begin in the minds of men and hence it’s in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed!” Rotarians help build those defenses of peace by improving lives, serving others whether they are Americans or Russians, Indians or Pakistanis, Serbs or Slovaks.

SHAJU PETER, Governor, Rotary International District 3080, Chandigarh



Ms Condoleezza Rice’s views on NAM are out of sync with India’s foreign policy. India is a leader of NAM and has been in the forefront of NAM’s achievements. It has always been in the frontline of all those countries which extol the objectives and goals of NAM.

NAM is very much relevant even after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. NAM is yet to achieve the economic objectives like development of third world countries, new international economic order, North-South cooperation and to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

I also strongly feel that NAM shouldn’t be abandoned. Instead, it should be strengthened so that it can achieve its desired goals like rooting out terrorism, fighting against US hegemony, poverty, AIDS and environmental degradation.

TARUN GHAI, Lecturer in Pol. Science, SGG College, Raikot (Ludhiana)


The writer initiates a fresh discussion on our foreign policy. The Non-Aligned Movement was perhaps the by-product of a bipolar world and the nation was benefited by it in the past.

In the prevailing world scenario, American supremacy survives. We have to develop a pragmatic approach in international affairs to serve our interests better. We may or may not agree with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Still we have to debate thoroughly on her line of thinking.

Let us focus our attention on the ever-expanding influence, bereft of democratic values, in this part of the globe. The challenge of the 21st century stares us in the face. We must ensure a secure environment and energy needs for a bright future. This calls for a vibrant and lasting foreign policy, the Manmohan Singh government’s compulsions notwithstanding.



The writer rightly says that the concept of non-alignment is long past its prime and its success today lies in its attraction for the have-nots to fight recolonisation and apartheid.

Facing stiff resistance in Iraq, the imperialists are now looking for quislings in underdeveloped countries. The newly re-invented NATO will act as the world policeman under the US-dominated UN to rule the third world through the proverbial ‘White man’s burden’ of democracy with the history of turning golden sparrows into sparrows of clay.

Led by India, Brazil, China and reluctant Russia, NAM today stands for free, prosperous and just world, miles apart from Ms Rice’s concept.


No clubs in Ram Bagh, please

Having been associated with various landscape development projects in the state, I consider it my duty to forward my opinion in favour of vacation of all the clubs from the historic Ram Bagh in Amritsar.

The Ram Bagh, a little green oasis amid the concrete jungle of man-made monsters, needs to be freed from the undesirable buildings of the clubs. The clubs are a nuisance. Gardens and parks are meant for recreation and should act as precious lung spaces in cities and should not be misused.

While walking in London’s Hyde Park, one gets so much solace that one feels relieved from the hustle and bustle of the largest metropolis.

S.P.S. DOSANJH, Jalandhar



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