‘Control of firearms needs to be a matter of top priority’

Source: The Hindu

Staff Reporter
Book on “India and Arms Trade Treaty” released

NEW DELHI: India’s former Ambassador to the United Nations, Arundhati Ghose, on Friday said control of firearms needs to be a matter of top priority for our country.

Speaking after releasing a book titled “India and Arms Trade Treaty: Making Disarmament Meaningful to People’s Lives” edited by Control Arms Foundation of India secretary-general Binalakshmi Nepram, Ms. Ghose said: “When Binalakshmi asked me to release the book, I was reluctant. But she blackmailed me into releasing it. I will like to explain my reservation. Control of firearms needs to be a matter of top priority in our country. We are not only facing the brunt of terrorism but also disputes being resolve through guns.”

Pointing out that the Arms Trade Treaty was not exactly greeted with joy in our country, Ms. Ghose said: “India remains neutral, but I have major objections based on my experiences on how the UN bodies function. Generally, the Arms Trade Treaty diverts attention of trade in small weapons. There is confusion between illicit trade and licit trade. Confusion is also there between conventional arms and small arms. The problem is with small arms and light weapons. The book creates awareness about the need to control small arms.”

Ms. Nepram said: “In 2002 my first book was also released at India Habitat Centre. A day before the release I was close to tears as I knew that ideas that were known only to me would be read by thousands of people…. We need to know why 12 Indians are shot every day. We are facing problems of ethnicity and landless people. There are problems in naxal areas and Jammu and Kashmir.”

The book has contributions from eminent scholars like Anuradha Chenoy, Air Commodore (Retd) Prashant Dikshit, Ashima Kaul, Clare Da Silva and Thokchom Meinya.

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