For two years this has consistently been the most popular article on a certain English website. As the nonagenarian author (Major-General Retd) lives, writes and influences debate from his home in Bandra, Mumbai, it seemed fitting that it should be shared on an Indian-based website. The author had visited the Centre for Holistic Studies from time to time – and had fiery exchanges on the subject of tree-planting with Winin Pereira!
“What, in your opinion, is the most serious threat to world peace? Most believe it is the nuclear bomb. Others feel it is galloping environmental degradation or the overuse of nature’s bounty. Many say it is religious fundamentalism coupled with ethnic cleansing. Some think it is the threat posed to the affluent by refugees from poverty.
”It is most unlikely that the exclusive nuclear club will ever use a nuclear weapon in anger – neither will those countries on the fringe like India, Pakistan and Israel. The major danger is when these “dirty weapons” fall into the hands of highly motivated and fanatical terrorists. I believe the most serious threat to national and international security at present is that of terrorism – violence perpetrated by the individual or small group.
“Motivating factors relate to the glaring economic injustice which world bodies have not addressed:
- economic deprivation
- awareness created by the crude television portrayal of higher standards of living leading to consumerism and greed
- abuse or neglect of human rights
- the fomenting of fundamentalism
- the undue influence of the arms lobby over the politicians on whom they depend for survival and the stoking of various types of conflicts to encourage the sale of weapons of mass destruction
“Addressing terrorism: the four-fold path
1] the motivation for this threat to peace must be removed through spirituality
2] narcotics, the source of funding, must be eliminated and power gained to scrutinise and monitor bank accounts
3] supplies of the ‘suitcase’ miniaturised nuclear bomb must be detected and destroyed
4] the public must be made keenly aware of the threat to the earth’s life support system from
- nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
- blatant consumerism
- unfair sharing of the world’s resources
- the shameful ‘rape’ of the environment.”
In recent years China ‘s claims to Indian border territory have increased tension and, though “since independence we have waged wars only in self defence after being attacked” , Major-General D’Souza ruefully says, ”Given India’s geo-strategic considerations, non-offensive defence can never ever be realistic.”
In more cheerful vein, in July he wrote: “We are not interested in war. But good monsoons -YES.”
Editor: India’s Agriculture Ministry has declared 2010 a good monsoon year with a bumper harvest expected.
2012: Despite an early monsoon shortfall it was good to read the IMD report today: The Southwest Monsoon has been vigorous over west Rajasthan and Saurashtra & Kutch and active over Odisha, Jharkhand and Konkan & Goa during past 24 hours ending at 0830 hours IST of yesterday.