Parties, interests, leaders and legacy

Leadership will not go unrewarded

Merely ten years after declaring itself a nuclear weapons state, will India’s nuclear future turn into a grand Greek tragedy? K Subrahmanyam’s analysis of the India-US nuclear deal and the interests and payoffs for political parties and their leaders is brilliant.

3 thoughts on “Parties, interests, leaders and legacy”

  1. Yeah, I read that.

    Oh, BTW, here’s what the Washington Post had yesterday…

    State Department Asks Congress To Keep Quiet About Details of Deal

    I quote:

    Washington’s civil nuclear deal with India is in such desperate straits that the State Department has imposed unusually strict conditions on the answers it provided to questions posed by members of Congress: Keep them secret.

    * The State Department made the request, even though the answers are not classified, because officials fear that public disclosure would torpedo the deal, sources said.

    * The nearly 50 questions posed by Congress are highly technical, but they were carefully crafted to get to the heart of the balancing act the administration has performed

    *For instance, one of the questions pertains to whether the United States would terminate nuclear trade if India resumes nuclear testing. This is a sensitive point in India and is required under U.S. law, but the answer is not entirely clear from the text of the U.S.-India agreement.

    *Another series of questions addresses the commitment by the United States to supply India with a “reliable supply of fuel”

    * whether the commitments would be affected by a nuclear test.

    *Lawmakers question whether these commitments in the implementing agreement are consistent with the Hyde Act.

    *State Department had little choice but to be candid with lawmakers about the answers, in ways that senior State Department officials had not been in public.

    * The committee has agreed not to disclose the answers because “some data might be considered diplomatically sensitive.”

    :End quote:

    If you thought there’s not enough info about what’s happening from the players actually involved in negotiations, then pls know that the obfuscation is by design, not accident. US lawmakers’ public queries are now being censored or what? Does the Indian side know the answers tot he said questions? If it does, why doesn’t the Indian side release the answers to these questions and address the fears -real or imagined – of well meaning patriotic folk in India? After all, shouldn’t the people know?

    And how better to deal with commie perfidity than to come clean on what we’re giving up, what we’re expecting to get and where things stand?

    Sure, I’m not naive and I realize premature disclosure can torpedo sensitive negotiations. But when the deal itself is in such danger of premature death, and the motovations of various players involved are routinely being called nto question, why shouldn’t GoI take a chance and come clean for once? No less a personage than LKA himself is on record saying MMS never approached him doirectly on the deal. Either the deal is important or its not. If its important, how better than a face-to-face meetup b/w the PM and the oppn leader to thrash out all issues and ensure a minimum of consensus, continuitiy and ownership for the deal? Just wondering only.

    These are points KS also raises though from a viewpoint thats 100% in favor of the deal. I’m appraoching it from a sceptical POV. The way ahead seems to converge for both POVs, I daresay.

  2. First, Who will make it an election issue? I mean who is going to attack Congress for not signing the deal? BJP? But then it has made its opposition well known.

    Second, with due respect to Mr Subramanyam, he overestimates the nuclear deal issue as an election issue. The people can see nuclear tests as an issue of national pride but the deal is too complicated for people to really care for it. Who is going to explain to the masses why not signing the deal affects energy security. It is much easier to argue that they have saved India’s pride by standing up to America.

    But lack of interest among people is an opportunity too. Because it means that if BJP and Congress genuinely care about national interest, they can sign the deal without fearing political repercussions. Anyway, no one takes the Communists seriously outside Bengal and Kerala. The smaller political parties don’t care either way.

    It is BJP which is looking most stupid in this entire affair. They had an awesome opportunity to put the Communists on the mat but they are so short sighted, they are ready to sup with the devil. Remember, Mr Advani trying to coordinate with the Communists in parliament to oppose the deal. I was like…duh!

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