Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s article “Gandhi’s faithful dissenter” and the review of his book My Dear Bapu (Dec. 25) made interesting reading. Perhaps the greatest service to the world was done by Rajaji through the nuclear test ban in the 1960s.
Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Bulganin visited India in the late 1950s, met Rajaji in Madras and had a discussion on world problems. Rajaji in 1962 visited the U.S. and met President Kennedy who later described his talk with Rajaji as a very ennobling one. Later, Rajaji wrote to Khrushchev to consider stopping all nuclear tests on a unilateral basis and was confident that this would force other nations too to suspend such tests. Khrushchev did not agree that other nations would follow Russia’s example.
Rajaji would not give up. He wrote to Khrushchev repeatedly, reiterating his plea and explaining how the Gandhian way of unilateral action was bound to lead to favourable results. One day, Khrushchev suddenly announced the suspension of all nuclear tests by Russia. The U.S. was in a dilemma for some days but was forced to follow the Russian lead and suspend all over-ground tests. This was followed by Britain and France. If today the world is breathing an air free of nuclear pollution, it is entirely due to Rajaji's efforts. As usual, he placed the result of his efforts at the feet of the Lord and never talked about it.