ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: The Congo Plot

Editorial from Volume XII, No. 48, November 26, 1960.

Even in politics there must be very few instances of such irony as is inherent in the criticism, said to be prevalent in the United States, that by opposing the resolution to seat the Kasavubu delegation in the United Nations, India gravely compromised her position as a “neutral”. The terms “aligned” and “non-aligned” are evidently but little understood in Washington or New York, the impression being that “neutralism” obliges its practitioners to suspend all thought and judgement... In the circumstances, Shri C S Jha did well to strip India’s vote of all its subtlety and explain its implications and mean-ing in the most elementary possible terms. As he made clear, it was not India that was seeking to keep Mr Kasavubu or his delega-tion out of the United Nations, but the United States and its western camp-followers who were trying to keep Mr Lumumba out… Who represents the Congo is something that the peo-ple of the Congo should be enabled to say – by reopening of the channels in which public opinion normally expresses itself in a democ-racy – but until such time as the authentic and duly expressed voice of the Congolese could he heard, it was best to postpone the issue of its representation in the United Nations. …This is not the first time, of course, that the West has actively helped to install an amenable clique in power in a foreign land; but the conse-quences this time could easily be disastrous to the United Nations itself – certainly as a future helper of distressed people in Africa or Asia.

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