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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
India: Security Council, Gandhi, Walmart and Bhopal
Available for a limited number of interviews, Paul is executive director of the Global Policy Forum. He said today: "U.S. statements regarding including India as a permanent member of the Security Council are fake and everyone knows it. It won't happen. And it shouldn't. The Security Council is an extremely problematic institution, constantly prevented from needed action by U.S. and other vetoes and dominated in all its actions by the existing five permanent members. The way to fix it is certainly not to create more permanent seats. Democracy is not advanced by more members-for-life!” Paul co-wrote "Theses Towards a Democratic Reform of the UN Security Council."
Arun Gandhi lived with his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi [sometimes affectionately called Gandhiji] from 1946 until his assassination in 1948. Arun Gandhi's books include Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Nonviolence. He said today: "India is seeking business from the U.S.; the U.S. wants markets for its products so this Indo-U.S. relationship is nothing but an attempt to exploit each other. From the western point of view it is economic colonization. India has sold its soul to materialism and will bend over backwards to get some dollars from the U.S. ... The descendants -- the people who subscribe to the same theories -- of Ghandhiji's assassins -- are very powerful today in India with the rise of the BJP, the largest opposition party. There is no one at the governmental level advocating today what Gandhiji advocated, though there are many activists at the grassroots level doing so. ... Leaders of each country are trying to do what they think is best for them. What is good for the world is what is important, but India is going to spend alot of money on the military and modernizing the army while half the population is still living below the poverty line."
Balakrishnan is executive director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership and professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She has worked at the Ford Foundation as a program officer in the Asia Regional Program. Balakrishnan said today: "Obama, like Clinton before him, talks a great deal about U.S.-India trade developing entrepreneurs, but the lead company in the entourage of 200 U.S. corporations with Obama is Walmart. CEO of Walmart Mike Duke is pushing for the liberalizing of the retail industry. A proliferation of Walmart in India is going to hurt small rural farmers and small sellers." Balakrishnan edited the book The Hidden Assembly Line: Gender Dynamics of Subcontracted Work in a Global Economy.
SHANA BLUSTEIN ORTMAN
The Washington Post reports today: "More than 400 survivors of the 26-year-old Union Carbide gas leak protested on the streets in the heart of New Delhi on Monday and demanded justice from President Barack Obama, who spent the morning locked in meetings with senior Indian officials not too far away." Ortman is U.S. coordinator of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.