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India "should have waited a little longer" before using force to annex Goa, suggested Lloyd I. Rudolph '48, assistant professor of Government, yesterday afternoon.
"This is not to say that force should not have been used eventually," Rudolph told the Hillel Round Table on World Affairs. But "just in terms of its own traditional role as mediator, India should have explored further the changing possibilities of negotiation."
Rudolph admitted that "Nehru is no Gandhi," but observed that "something must have happened" to push him from a moderate position to a violent one. The slipping prestige of India among the "so-called neutral Afro-Asian nations," and the political advantages implicit in a single decisive action, were the precipitating factors, Rudolph asserted.
The attack was not necessarily a net loss as far as the United Nations charter is concerned, "but only in that it establishes a dangerous precedent."
"Things have changed quite a bit" since negotiations with Portugal over the status of its former colony began 14 years ago, Rudolph pointed out. By 1961, he said, there was no question in a "very differently comprised" U.N. that Goa was no longer protected as an integral part of Portugal by the NATO shield.
The American position is still some-what divided, however, Rudolph observed. On the one hand the United States is committed to a United Nations charter which prohibits unauthorized use of force, and on the other it would much rather see India than Russia of China emerge as the active opponents of imperialist colonialism.
The necessity of keeping up with the less conservative neutralist nations, however, particularly those in Africa, was the major influence on the Indian policy change. By the time India had dispatched the largest single force to Katanga in 1960, "it had become apparent that the era of colonialism might not be quite so dead as Nehru had once suggested."
And Goa was the only "domestic problem" easily solved and unequivocally supported by almost all of India. Rudolph added. Attacking Pakistan would alienate American interests, and attacking China would embarrass the Indian Communist Party.
"There is no doubt in my own mind that Goa should belong to India." Rudolph concluded "I only question the means."
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