Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Last Word on India-US Nuclear Deal

The Last Word on India-US Nuclear Deal
Syed Ali Mujtaba
At a ceremony in the East Room of White House the US President George W Bush signed the India – US civil nuclear deal and shortly after that made the following remarks: "By undertaking new cooperation on civil nuclear energy, India will be able to count on a reliable fuel supply for its civilian reactors, meet the energy demands of its people, and reduce its independence on fossil fuels. For our part, the United States will gain access to a growing market for civilian nuclear technologies and materials that will help American businesses create more jobs for our people here at home."

However, there are some moral questions involved here. The way our parliament passed this deal suggests that national consensus is not a criterion for future negotiations. It has set a precedent that numerical majority alone counts in Indian democracy. I wonder using the same method can India be sold to some buyer in future!

‘Singh is King’ is on record to say; “India is not for sale.” Can’t someone remove the word NOT and put up a board seeking a global tender, and then buy off the MPs from the kick bags obtained in the proves and auction this country. What as Indian we will do if our Independence slips away that way? Stayagrah!
No coming back to the deal, there are still many questions that remain unanswered. The two vital ones; is it to facilitate the trade, if so whose trade we are talking about, whether India is a seller or a buyer in this trade. If it means India is going to buy uranium and other things to run its nuclear plants from different countries of the world, then is this taking the country in the right direction? It’s natural that such trade would generate its own momentum would give a damn for national consensus in future.

The other vital question is of energy security. I am aware that as far India is concerned, that’s the essence of the deal. Its on this issue I support the nuclear deal. The sanctions are now lifted and India can do business with rest of the world on nuclear trade.

However, sometime I wonder, the price that’s being paid for our energy security, is all that worth it? We can’t have truck with Iran, a nation with which we have contacts since Indus valley civilization.

In case of Chinese rolling its tanks from 100 fronts we can not detonate new bombs and have to wait for the 7th fleet to come, and end up delivering the famous line of General Yahya Khan; we have lost the battle but the war is on!

So can’t we have some other way to have our energy security? Mr Mani Shankar Iyer, had his own vision on this but every one knows how he was booted out of office for his day dreaming.

Well the slow down of the US economy first and now the Wall Street collapse has made it think of new business strategies. The destruction construction business model has not given any business as far as Afghanistan and Iraq war is concerned. The ambitious plan to invade Iran for getting more business to pump up the US economy has gone haywire. So such kind of deals is developed as new business model to sustain its staggering economy.

The grapevines are churning out Cheek by Jowl theory to justify the deal. The Indic civilization that faces the threat by living under the soft belly of the Islamic arc would henceforth breathe in peace after this deal. They are calling it an ‘Alliance of Civilizations’ with Judah Christian world. However, when with put this into operation and judge with the displacement of 50,000 Indian Christians in Orssia, gang rape of the Catholic nun, the organized progrom against the Christian minorities in India, then Mr. Huntington theory of ‘Clash of Civilization’ sounds more closer to the logic than those propounding alliance of civilizations.

Anyway, at the moment the civil nuclear deal is in a very confusing scenario. We need to wait till the operational part of the deal does get on ground. Till then it’s difficult to cast a judgment on this deal but if and when one does so, it will be of only academic interests.

Can it be renegotiated? Some political parties in India are cashing on the nationalistic sentiments and are saying that when we come to power we will renegotiate the deal. Anyone who lives in Tamil Nadu can equate it with the Kachitivue Island that was conceded by India to Sri Lanka through the negotiated settlement between the two countries. This was done in opposition to consensus in Tamil Nadu that the island has a vital importance for the Indian fishermen venturing into the Palk Bay. Any number of politicians has led a battle cry to retrieve the Island from Sri Lanka. The opposition leader and AIADMK superomo J Jayalaitha is on record to announce from the ramparts of the St Fort George, that if the Indian government remains silent, she will command a Tamil Nadu army and attack Sri Lanka to get back the Kachitive Island. Now all this sounds music to the eras when its election time in India and such fiery speeches are meant for playing to the gallery, but every knows that once a agreement is signed between two countries, it final and cannot be alerted even if there is consensus built on it. So what does all this mean in simple words? Well a deal is a deal, its final. Any tampering of it by any successive government would definitely be fraught with some consequences.

However, I don’t like to stop over here. I may add on to say; if I break my national boundaries and see this deal as a South Asian citizen; I feel it has come to cement the cold war logic in the region. The regional unity that we have been dreaming since 1990s looks to remain elusive for times to come.

I am still more concerned as a global citizen. It has put question marks on the plans of global disarmament. Where are Michael Kaprons and their disarmament theories?

In the end I hope and pray that the Chanakyas and Chandergupts of new Bharat are taking our nation on the right track, a track that protects our national interest.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a working journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

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