Jawaharlal Nehru declined UNSC permanent membership for India? Not quite.
New Delhi: Following finance minister Arun Jaitley’s remark that India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was the “original sinner” who favoured China over India for permanent membership of the United Nation security council, the Hindu newspaper republished a news article dated September 28, 1955, which clarifies there was no formal or informal offer of permanent membership by the UNSC to India.
The-then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, while replying to the question raised by Dr JN Parekh in the Lok Sabha, on September 27, 1955, on whether India had refused a seat informally offered by the UNSC, had clarified that India had not received any offer for the permanent membership by the UNSC. Therefore, there was no question of declining the seat, he said.
The article quoted Nehru as saying, “There has been no offer, formal or informal, of this kind. Some vague references have appeared in the press about it which have no foundation in fact. The composition of the security council is prescribed by the UN Charter, according to which certain specified nations have permanent seats.”
“No change or addition can be made to this without an amendment of the charter. There is, therefore, no question of a seat being offered and India declining it. Our declared policy is to support the admission of all nations qualified for UN membership.”
On Thursday, Jaitley, while responding to a barb on the prime minister, Narendra Modi, by the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, had, in a series of tweets, said: “The original mistake, both on Kashmir and China, was committed by the same person,” and quoted a 1955 letter sent by Nehru to the-then chief ministers of the states. He then rhetorically asked: “Will the Congress president tell us who the original sinner was?”
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