Skip to content

India could be more influential than it has chosen to be

March 9, 2023
Indian doctors gathered in Ludhiana in March 2022, calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

[IPPNW co-president Tilman Ruff sent the following message to Indian Physicians for Peace and Development (IDPD), which will hold its national conference in New Delhi from 11-13 March.]

IDPD is a vital organisation in India, in South Asia, in IPPNW, in the world.  In nuclear-armed India, within a few months to become the world’s most populous nation, with rich multicultural and multireligious diversity and wisdom, the tradition of Gandhi, and strong and active civil society movements, you in IDPD serve as a vital evidence-based voice of reason and conscience of the healing professions in one of the world’s most hazardous nuclear flashpoints.

You are meeting at a critical time for our world. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are facing an apocalyptic tipping point in human history. As the war grinds on, with no evident prospect of a negotiated settlement in sight, for the first time in the nuclear era Russia and the US/NATO are increasingly facing off over the land and bodies of Ukrainians. Neither side is willing to back down, neither can be defeated.  Direct combat between US/NATO and Russian forces, a deliberate or accidental Russian attack on a neighbouring NATO member, Russia facing setbacks in Crimea or the Donbas territories it claims, could all trigger the repeatedly threatened use of nuclear weapons. 

Both sides have policies of nuclear first use. If the threshold of use of nuclear weapons is crossed, rapid and large-scale escalation is highly probable. 

No one, no governments, no military bloc have any right to jeopardise the whole world. And we need to tell them, loud and clear. All governments should be much more vocal in urging all sides to negotiate and reach a settlement. This will require compromise all around. It will require putting aside the dangerous US aim of strategic defeat and weakening of Russia. 

We already live in a multipolar world. I think India could be influential, much more influential than your government has chosen to be to date. India joined all other G-20 nations on 16 November in declaring “The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.” Well, act on that, Mr. Modi.

At this time of severe dangers, we doctors have a vital role to inform our fellow citizens, governments and elected representatives of what is at stake and the urgent necessity to prevent a slide to nuclear war. 

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: