All my life I have greatly admired India and especially its independent but active, engaged and constructive role in world affairs.
Indian Air Force Canberra Jets were vital in protecting the Irish UN battalions in the Congo in 1960-1964 where they and their INF Brigades served under the Irish UN Force Commander, LTG Sean MacKeown.
Universally inspiring and rightly admired figures like not only Gandhi but also Nehru were beacons to all humanity/
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Many here in the Republic see Ireland and India as naturally belonging together — and maybe again in the Commonwealth.
We can also be delighted that a son of an Indian doctor here, Dr Leo Varadkar could not only be elected to lead a major Party, Fine Gael, but also be elected head of the Irish government.
And I recall him proudly talking about the active role which some members of his own family played in winning Freedom for India from the old British Empire.
Many felt utterly betrayed by the Indian government when it refused to condemn the brutal and absolutely unjustifiable Russian Invasion of Ukraine and merely abstained in the UN General Assembly vote.
That vote was a defining moment for the world and for India.
India committed a gross betrayal of all that the great Nehru stood for. The 43 million people in Ukraine today have no less right to freely refuse to submit to Putin’s new Russian Empire than had India — or Ireland — to leave the old British Empire.
The Indian government’s ‘neutrality’ has rightly evoked disgust among those who — before this — had really admired that great country, and all it had represented.
But now no longer an outstanding beacon of both freedom, and of global leadership, but sadly now only of betrayal.
And even if India — rightly — fears future military threats from both Pakistan and China, then top-rank military equipment is also made and supplied by other nations than Putin’s Russia — like France or UK, and not only USA.
There is simply no excuse for their betrayal of those two sacred and universal principles — of both national self-determination and of peaceful resolution of international disputes.
Tom Carew, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
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