Current Issue
Organiser Home
Editorial
EXPOSE
Reports
Comment
The Moving Finger Writes
Media Watch
Thinking Aloud
Bookmark
A PAGE FROM HISTORY
RETROSPECT
Kids Org.
News Round-up
Readers’ Forum:
INTERESTING PEOPLE
PERSPECTIVE
Kerala Newsletter

Previous Issues
September 04, 2011

August 28, 2011
August 21, 2011
August 14, 2011
August 07, 2011

July 31, 2011
July 24, 2011
July 17, 2011
July 10, 2011
July 03, 2011

June 26, 2011
June 19, 2011
June 12, 2011
June 05, 2011

May 29, 2011
May 22, 2011
May 15, 2011
May 08, 2011
May 01, 2011

April 24, 2011
April 17, 2011
April 10, 2011
April 03, 2011

March 27, 2011
March 20, 2011
March 13, 2011
March 06, 2011

February 27, 2011
February 20, 2011
February 13, 2011
February 06, 2011

January 30, 2011
January 23, 2011
January 16, 2011
January 09, 2011
January 02, 2011

December 26, 2010
December 19, 2010
December 12, 2010
December 05, 2010
November 28, 2010
November 21, 2010
November 14, 2010
November 7, 2010

October 31, 2010
October 24, 2010
October 17, 2010
October 10, 2010
October 03, 2010

2010 Issues
2009 Issues
2008 Issues
2007 Issues
2006 Issues

Organiser
About us
Advertisement
Circulation
Contact us

Subscribe

December 02, 2007
Organiser Home
Editorial
Interview of the week
Insight
A reminiscence
The Moving Finger Writes
Think It over
SPECIAL ON 150 YEARS OF 1857
Media Watch
Kids’ org
Readers’ Forum
News Analysis
Open Forum
Perspective
Special Report


December 02, 2007




Page: 35/36

Home > 2007 Issues > December 02, 2007

Special Report
CPM climbdown on N-deal betrays its Beijing line

By M.D. Nalapat

ALTHOUGH the international media has highlighted the opposition of the CPI and the CPM to the attempt by Manmohan Singh to sign a nuclear agreement with the US that would contain the severe restrictions imposed by the Hyde Act, the reality is that the two communist parties are just a sideshow. And today, with Beijing too backing the Bush-Singh deal, both the CPI and the CPM have visibly moderated their earlier opposition to the proposed agreement, once again allowing the Sonia-led UPA to discuss the deal in both houses of Parliament without a formal vote being taken. This means that future generations will have no way of determining just which MPs stood by the country?s interest, and who for Sonia?s. While the communist parties oppose the deal because of the boost that its operationalisation would give to technical cooperation with the US, Japan and the EU, nationalist elements are against it because of the one-sided nature of the Hyde Act, that places India in a supplicant position without any binding US assurances that the bureaucrats in Washington will not do to this nuclear deal what they have done to almost every other agreement reached with India on space, defence and technology cooperation. Which is to unilaterally withdraw from its obligations, because of changes in the domestic political weather, or the need to coddle military dictators in Pakistan and others who seek the ruination of India. Even as far back as 1963, the ?non-aligned? Jawaharlal Nehru was ready to become a US military ally, but was told to first surrender the residual two-third of Kashmir to Pakistan. Today, what is being demanded is the downgrading of India?s nuclear deterrent in a context when rivals are improving theirs. Angela Merkel of Germany was careless enough to admit that what was sought by the NATO powers was the devaluation of India into a non-nuclear weapons state, a demand that was met by silence by an indulgent Sonia Gandhi and her Man Friday, Manmohan Singh

Should the Hyde Act be the template for the proposed agreements between India and the NSG and the IAEA, the country would pay a fatal price within decades. Around 2045, at most, known international supplies of uranium are calculated to fall sharply, to very low levels by 2055 at the latest. By that time, thanks to the agreement sought to be entered into by the Sonia team, the country would be saddled with several expensive foreign reactors, all of which would need substantial quantities of imported uranium, the price of which is rising even faster than that of oil. The cost of the reactors and fuel would place such a financial burden on the exchequer that it would not be possible to devote resources to the thorium programme, which as a consequence would slow down from the present crawl to a helpless stagger. With the death by slow strangulation of the three-stage thorium programme, India?s hopes for nuclear-based energy independence would disappear. That successive governments in India have succumbed to outside pressure is clear from (a) the half-hearted way in which uranium exploration and exploitation has been carried out in India from 1992 onwards (b) the refusal of the authorities to source uranium from the (uranium-rich) countries that are outside the NSG and hence legally enabled to supply the mineral to India and (c) the refusal to re-process the huge and in the present form hazardous nuclear wastes from the Tarapur plant. There is no international or bilateral agreement whatsoever that prevents the re-processing of this toxifying material, except cowardice. With all their drawbacks, a reading of history makes it clear that both Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi could have found the confidence to go ahead with this essential measure. By refusing to permit re-processing of Tarapur fuel, successive governments are exposing millions of citizens to a health hazard, as well as denying them electricity through fuller use of the nuclear plants already operational

That Sonia and her team are even more susceptible to outside pressure than previous governments became clear with Manmohan Singh?s refusal to sign an agreement with Moscow for the supply of four new nuclear reactors, because of the fear that this would?understandably?cause anger in Washington and Paris, both of which are seeking to generate substantial profits through nuclear trade with India. Even at this late stage, the country can still be brought back from the brink of the disaster that the Hyde Act has in store for it, if the Sonia-led government insists on a just deal from the NSG and the IAEA. According to those aware of the needs of the Indian nuclear industry, the minimum conditions that agreements with the IAEA and the NSG have to meet are:

* The right for India to maintain a stockpile of fuel to be used in contingencies related to disruption of supplies. Otherwise, the country?s development will be hostage of foreign capitals for the indefinite future.

* The ratification by the IAEA and the NSG of the Separation Plan in a way that ensures that all facilities designated as military will not be subject to any inspection or outside control.

* In view of the fact that civilian reactors are to be placed under international safeguards in perpetuity, these should be given permanent assurances of fuel supply, whatever be the course of circumstances in the military programme.

* All India-built reactors, including the entire fast-breeder programme, should be outside the scope of international inspections, so as to prevent the dissemination of original research to other states.

Although it is a fact that some compromises were considered during the time when the NDA was in office, especially during the one-sided dialogues with the India-baiting Strobe Talbott, the fact remains that the Vajpayee government was prepared to make far fewer concessions than is the case with the Sonia brigade. Had the NDA been in office, for instance, it is hard to imagine that fully 14 reactors would have been offered up for international inspections and safeguards. The outer limit would probably have been 10. And there is no way that the present moratorium on testing of a nuclear weapon can continue, in case there comes up clear evidence that a rival has significantly upgraded its capacity to rain death on Indian citizens through a nuclear attack. Chaos and in other cases ambiguity in the dynamics of some nearby nuclear states may make testing mandatory, and in such an eventuality, the civilian reactors under international safeguards should not be forced to shut down because of the withdrawal of supply of fuel. Should the IAEA and the NSG follow the Hyde Act, India would destroy its strategic future by agreeing to the cage prepared for it by an international community that has sought to destroy India?s nuclear industry for nearly four decades

That India and the US need to work together is a given. Both countries need each other, and a just partnership would unlock synergies that would be to the benefit of both peoples. However, this has to be on the basis of equality of advantage and sacrifice. Now that the CPI and the CPM have apparently decided to follow Beijing?s lead in allowing the Bush-Singh nuclear pact to proceed towards fulfillment, the only recourse for nationalists is to make transparent the conditions under which they will agree to continue a deal. Should the US and other NATO countries recognise the centrality of India in their future security calculus, they would appreciate that the conditions mentioned above are reasonable, agreeing to which by the NSG and the IAEA can result in the nationalist community backing an India-US nuclear deal that is just and realistic.




Previous Page Previous Page (34/36) - Next Page (36/36) Next Page


copyright© 2004 Bharat Prakashan(Delhi) Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Designed and Hosted by KSHEERAJA Web Solutions Pvt Ltd