What’s Left?

Not respect for the office of Prime Minister. Not even courtesy

The Communists didn’t even wait for the Prime Minister to come back from his trip to Toyako, where he is meeting G8 leaders. They just pulled the rug. And that should be the least bit surprising. A bunch of people who never cared about India’s substantive interests can hardly be expected to care for symbolism.

Elections can’t be all that far away. It should now remain for the Indian voter to give the Communists the drubbing they deserve. Somewhere, one of history’s dustbins is waiting for them.

76 thoughts on “What’s Left?”

  1. When the Prime Minister can assert in Tokyo that the government is committed to the Nuclear deal, despite knowing fully well that his alliance partners are opposed to it, it is a bit rich to blame the left for not waiting for him to come back from his trip.

  2. When the PM can announce that he goes to the IAEA in Mid air then surely the left has every right to pull.And knowing that majority of parliament is against the deal the PM is pushing for it.Does that mean he has no regard for parliament?

  3. Enough of the Comrades, I say. The Left is perfectly entitled to its opinion about the 123 agreement. But they resorted to blackmail one time too many even for the good Doctor to tolerate. Reminds me of Jayalalitha’s tactics against Vajpayee in 1999 leading to the famous 1 vote defeat in Parliament – we all know what happened then.

  4. Mohan, Vijay,

    Nobody is questioning the Left’s ‘right’ to pull anything. They have every right to do so. The PM has every right to do what he did, by the way.

    The point is not about what right they have. But what the timing of exercising the right makes them.

  5. Good you called out the Left on this. Some called them the Loony Left which was a wrong thing because they are actually very dangerous. Karat can rot in hell.

    Some commenters are letting their cynicism and/or dislike for MMS get in the way of clear thinking. The office of the prime minister and the status of the Indian prime minister should not be allowed to be degraded in the eyes of the world. That Karat’s final blow (hopefully it is the last one) should embarass the PM in foreign eyes is only fitting for a party that has consistently worked to undermine anything that is in India’s interests.

    Karat is not even an MP, btw.

  6. Voters teaching the left a lesson? Where have I heard that before, btw???

    Seems like things are moving on the ground in West Bengal. For a change. For the first time in Decades, the entire LF is on the backfoot and receding. Mere gonndaism and terror-tactics- most garishly on display in Nondigram – too have failed to stem the rot. One can finally realistically hope that the LF’s LS strength will be more than halved in the next national polls.

    How grand it would be if for once the INC and the BJP put aside their animosities and cooperated on wiping out the left – an enemy common to them and to mother India at large. I know, asking the INC and the BJP to cooperate on something of mutual benefit also is perhaps a tad too much to ask for.

  7. Nitin, even in terms of propriety, I don’t see anything wrong in Left’s timing. Manmohan Singh had assured the left that he will not go to IAEA without their approval. So, before declaring his government’s “commitment” to the deal and initiating the IAEA process, the least he could have done was to part ways with the left on his own.

    Udayan, I don’t dislike Singh. Just that I believe left has taken a principled stand on the matter ( a rarity in Indian politics) and it is not proper for us to criticise their action just because we disagree with their principles.

  8. Hello Mohan,

    Can you explain how is torpedoing Indian interests and advancing those of the Chinese amounts to “principle”?

    Udayan’s — and Nitin’s — point is that the status of the Indian Prime Minister should not be degraded in the eyes of world. Which is what precisely the commies are doing by withdrawing support to him when he is meeting G8 leaders in Tokyo. D

    Why couldn’t they wait till MMS came back from his trip? What’s the tearing hurry? Do you think behaving in an uncouth and uncivil manner is also a matter of “principle”?

  9. Oldtimer, they believe the deal is not in India’s interest and they have made their position clear why they think so. Whether we agree with that position is a different matter.

    As for the hurry, what was the hurry for Dr. Singh to announce this IAEA decision? As I said, if he was going to do that, why not let his partners know that he is going to announce this and break the alliance himself? By going back on the assurance he had given his partners, while technically he was still part of the alliance with the left, the PM himself had degraded the position considerably. There wasn’t much left for the left to do.

  10. Dear Mohan

    >>Oldtimer, they believe the deal is not in India’s interest and they have made their position clear why they think so. Whether we agree with that position is a different matter.

    It is not at all a different matter. There can’t be two opinions about certain things. For instance, communism killed millions of people, and communists may believe that killing people to help the cause of history is a matter of principle. But is it a matter of principle for the rest of us?

    Why do Communists believe that the deal is not in India’s interests? I have not seen them make any cogent argument except rant against America. Can you explain?

    >>As for the hurry, what was the hurry for Dr. Singh to announce this IAEA decision?

    Because he was going to meet the people he struck the deal with and had to let them know that he was sticking to his part of the bargain. An honorable thing to do.

    What’s the commies’ excuse for their obscene hurry to pull out support? Did they need to urgently communicate their resolve to the Chinese?

  11. > Why do Communists believe that the deal is not in India’s interests? I have not seen them make any > cogent argument except rant against America. Can you explain?

    Because according to them we will be surrendering our independence in foreign policy. We make all this investment in setting up the nuclear reactors etc. and then NSG can pull the plug on nuclear fuel because of some foreign policy decision we take in the future, what happens to all that investment?

    > had to let them know that he was sticking to his part of the bargain. An honorable thing to do.

    What about going back on his assurance to his alliance partners? An honorable thing to do too?

    > What’s the commies’ excuse for their obscene hurry to pull out support?

    Once he went back on his assurance, why would they continue with the alliance?

  12. Hello Mohan,

    >>Because according to them we will be surrendering our independence in foreign policy.

    According to them killing so many people was not bad either. Or sabotaging Gandhi during WW-2 to support USSR was not bad too. Or declaring China’s chairman as their chairman was not bad also. So let’s stop this “according to them” charade. What is “principle” “according to them” isn’t necessarily a universally acknowledged principle. In fact, I contest that communists can have any principles that the rest of the humanity acknowledges as principles, because if communists are humane they wouldn’t have killed so many people. But I am waiting to be proved wrong by you.

    So to repeat, what “according to them” is a “principle” is not necessarily a valid principle. You need to demonstrate that it indeed is.

    >>We make all this investment in setting up the nuclear reactors etc. and then NSG can pull the plug on nuclear fuel because of some foreign policy decision we take in the future, what happens to all that investment?

    You mean, they were worried about the *investment* (that is not yet made)? You’re not kidding, are you, Mohan?

    Nope, that is not their argument. They just ranted against America.

    >>What about going back on his assurance to his alliance partners?

    And therefore they will rub the nose of India’s prime minister in the dirt before the eyes of leaders of the G8? “Principle”, according to them?

    At any rate, he made no “assurance” that you have been bandying about.

  13. I am not surprised.This was expected of them. The party that never complains when the Chinese intrude in our territory talk about Indian sovereignty. Isn’t it clear which country they are with? The Indian voters will not forgive them I am sure.

  14. This is Biz Standard’s editorial from the 6th of July. The link works only for subscribers, but let me paste the whole of it for the benefit of comrades who have selective amnesia. Desa drogis would of course be an understatement when describing them and their ilk.
    Editorial: Getting it wrong again
    Business Standard / New Delhi July 06, 2008, 0:25 IST

    The Marxists are about to make another mistake that they will live to regret — if they ever admit to any mistakes and therefore to any sense of regret. But by having opposed the Indo-US nuclear deal to the point where their partnership with the ruling alliance is about to fall apart, and therefore risking the stranglehold that they have had on government policy, they have done themselves no favour. More important, they will go down in history for having been staunchly opposed — yet again — to the clear national interest. Whether the nuclear deal goes through or not, and whether the UPA government survives or not, the Left has discredited itself.
    There is a long history of such conduct, going back to the Communist hostility to the Congress-led freedom movement and the willingness to act as agents of the British imperialists (because both Soviet Russia and Britain were on the same side in World War II). That was followed by the denouncing of Independent India as a bourgeois sham, leading to armed insurrection against the lawful government. And when the Chinese attacked India on the northern borders, the Communists once again did not take a clear position with the national mainstream.

    As for economic issues, when the Green Revolution was achieved, the Communists criticised it as a phenomenon that would displace labour and help only big farmers — whereas it is the Green Revolution that helped India become self-sufficient in food. Indeed, in Punjab which was at the heart of the change, there has been a growing labour shortage, and not the creation of surplus labour. The Left was also critical of the induction of computers, organising strikes to stop computerisation and thereby condemning office workers and whole organisations to manual processes long after they should have computerised and achieved quantum gains in productivity. Once again, the war cry was that workers would be displaced, whereas it is the computer age that has created huge employment in the country — with the Left Front-ruled West Bengal now struggling to reap some benefit by inviting the computer software giants to come to the state. And, of course, the Communists were bitterly critical of the “IMF-World Bank-dictated” economic reform programme that got launched in 1991; ironically, it is this very programme that has given the country freedom from IMF conditionality and also from the need to borrow from the World Bank.

    Till date, no one in the country has heard the Communists uttering any mea culpas on these and other issues. Instead, the states where they rule have been the biggest victims — West Bengal and Kerala. The former lost its industrial primacy and suffered a flight of capital for the best part of a quarter century. And Kerala, despite its excellent socio-economic indices, attracts the least investment among the southern states. There are occasional signs that some lessons have been learnt from this experience, but no change in fundamental positions.

    For many years, the Communists have also criticised those not of their ilk as being foreign agents, compradors and such like. Yet, as Soviet documentation has established, it is the Communists who were busy taking money from a foreign country, even as they pointed fingers at others. And coincidentally or not, the Left’s opposition to the nuclear deal happens to tie in quite nicely with the interests of Communist China, which would like to see India remain in a nuclear straitjacket.

  15. The commies will hopefully be dealt with in the same way as the JDS was short shrifted in Karnataka for their refusal to develop Bangalore (or the state for that matter).

  16. > The Indian voters will not forgive them I am sure.

    The indian voter can very easily be duped. Just promise him (or her) free power, free water, free petrol and s/he will vote for you.
    Those who know better will shake their heads and often emigrate.
    Not vote.
    Just emigrate.

  17. I also doubt Indian voters will punish the Communists. For starters, in states like Kerala and West Bengali, voters may simply be afraid to vote against them. The Communists have never been shy of letting their goondas run wild. Secondly, given the high rate of inflation – all incumbent parties are at risk.

    What I never understood is why opponents to the Communists have never campaigned at the obvious – that the Communists owe their allegiance to a foreign capital, and not their own?

  18. Mohan: I’d bet real money that Karat and Co.(mrades) have a secure hotline to Beijing. The Left’s “principled stand” is about as principled as Pakistan’s “principled stand” on Kashmir.

    Sud: I so sincerely hope you are right that the Comrades will have their LS strength halved in the next election. 5 years with a red gun to our heads was plenty.

  19. Although I’m firmly in favour of the Nuclear Deal, I would vigourously defend the Left’s right to disagree with my opinion. The Left are representing their constituency. It is unquestionable that there is a segment of the population in India who do not want the Nuclear Deal. Perhaps this segment is mis-informed. Perhaps they’re wrong. But as long as the Left represents this constituency, it is not just the Left’s right, but infact, the Left’s duty to oppose the nuclear deal. They are representatives of the people, not servants of the Prime-minister.

    Terming someone you disagree with as being agents of the enemy is appalling.

    I hope the Left is proven wrong and are voted out by the people. But I would never call them unpatriotic or insincere. Atleast the Left have been consistent in their (opp)position. The people who voted for them knew (and expected) this opposition. I cant say the same for the BJP.

  20. Oldtimer,

    See http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080709/jsp/nation/story_9524274.jsp. All the questions are about what happens to the reactors should the NSG pull the plug on fuel supply.

    As for assurance, this was what was decided: “The government will proceed with the talks and the outcome will be presented to the Committee for its consideration before it finalises its findings”. Implicit in that is that the government will not go to the IAEA board for approval till the co-ordination committee finalises its findings.

    Nerus, agree.

  21. None of us are questioning the Left’s right to pull the plug. They can do whatever they want. But, they could have waited for the PM to come back. Don’t they care about anything more pressing issues in India to fight for? The economy is weakening and inflation is high. They should have taken all the grievances to the PM personally after the trip and taken a decision. I really hope none of the LF MPs come back to the Parliament. This might be the time it will happen. What are their solutions to the energy independence and economic development? Why don’t they talk about jobs to the people? They opposed our nuclear tests but supported Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Their policies towards national security, foreign policy and economic development are a grave threat to our nation. Hopefully, their political irrelevance will force them to adapt to the evolving environment and not adhere to dogmatic ideology.

  22. Well, a bad deal is a bad deal – and the nuclear deal is absolutely terrible for India’s strategic interests. Yes, the Left has many sins to atone for and I passionately despise them just as much as any other Bharatiya nationalist. However, it’s not just the Left that is opposing the deal, it’s also the BJP. And since when did we start Cogress-traitors with protecting India’s national interest.

    Too many debates about the deal have degenerated into name-calling and and hominem attacks. This is extremely unfortunate because even though this deal is being marketed as “good for India’s energy security”, it is designed by the US to meet their original objective of “cap, rollback and eliminate” India’s nuclear weapons program. US Senator Joe Biden has said as much when he spoke in favor of the deal from the US perspective. You can see this reflected in the text of 123 agreement itself which speaks much more about restrictions and curtailment of India’s nuclear weapons program through perpetual intrusive inspections, US’s right to demand return of all fuel in case of a nuclear weapon test (this is the real source of US creating their leverage on India: imagine that once India invests in 20-30,000 MW of nuclear capacity that depends upon imported fuel, wouldn’t it expose India’s economy to US’s arm-twisting through this threat? Don’t you think any Indian government in the future will be unable to risk the blackout of India’s electricity grid if they dared to do a nuclear weapons test?).

    This deal essentially ensures that India’s nuclear weapons program will be minuscule and unsophisticated compared to China’s due to the imposition of restraints against testing as well the pressure to further work with the US on the FMCT. Detailed analysis and critique of the deal are available on the excellent blog of Dr Brahma Chellaney at http://chellaney.spaces.live.com/. Rajeev Srinivasan has also spoken out against the deal on his blog. See his article, “Nuclear Deal from First Principles”, http://rajeev2007.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/the-nuclear-deal-from-first-principles/.

  23. It is indeed a testament to the forcefulness and the brazenness with which the left has whitewashed its past sins that it is being called principled, patriotic and sincere today.

    The left has openly supported PRC during a time of war with the PRC. Leftist doyen Jyoti Basu had, back in the 40s, voted for WB to be part of East Pakistan, for Chrissakes! Surjeet received Soviet funding and the Communists were in cahoots with the Brits opposing the freedom movement, pre’47. Is all that forgottenn and forgiven? So easily? Wish the RSS and the ‘yindoo fundoos’ could be granted a fraction of such forgiving generosity for their infractions that were all inspired by a desire to protect this land and its timeless traditions, btw.

    At some point, at some level, one has to, regardless of one’s position on democratic dissent, draw the line and call treason by its name.

    The Chinese would do to us what the Maoris did to the Morioris, btw. Heck, under Mahatma mao, they did that to their own people and their own millenia-old culture, what to speak of us and ours? The left continues to openly and brazenly back such monsters. Am I wrong, sir?

    Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Why are intelligent, well-read folks so eager to forgive the communists their genocidal and treasonous crimes? The Indian commies have to date not regretted or retracted their past, have they? Then, why this rush to consecrate them with labels like principled, patriotic (‘Hah!’) and sincere?!?!

    /Have a nice day, all.

  24. Sud,
    I hear you , dude ! People like Mohan and Nerus are the reason, commies have been around – even reasonable people are fooled by them – also there is very little understanding/knowledge of the evil that communism is – India’s collectivist society is a very fertile ground for Marxist thought.

    Communism’s mass murderers from Lenin to Stalin to Mao are worshipped or held in very high esteem – for God’s sakes we celebrate May Day which is more or less World Communist day !

    The best thing from this episode may be that the Congress has cut off its dependence on the commies for some time to come – India is going to be more bi-polar and communism is going to diminish further.

    Remind me again why the geniuses in Bengal and Kerala are among the “most educated” in India ?

  25. The commies vehemently opposed Indian nuclear tests; now we’re told they are worried about our right to tests! Commies want South Asia to be nuke free, but no such desire for Asia(read China) to be nuke free. Actually, they’re now supporting Iran’s right to enrich Uranium, the logical conclusion of which is–what else!–nuke tests. Could someone please tell me the inscrutable ‘principle’ in the above positions, please? Still want to argue that the Marxists are consistent?

    Alright, on to the Marxist perfidy. Perhaps a symptom of Freudian slip, but the fact remains that Prakash Karat’s initial response to the nuke treaty was that Marxist don’t want a gang-up against China. Based on what some have loudly proclaimed above should we conclude that China is CPI(M)’s ‘constituency’ that they are speaking for.

    What exactly is the Communist’s constituency that was dead set against Indian nuclear tests but is worried over our right to test in future? Is Mr Karat speaking for any real Indian constituency or merely ventriloquizing China?

    Has Karat and company expressed similar concern over Chinese gang-up against India, ever?

    Oh, and kindly spare us the rhetoric of “independent foreign policy.” Such thing does not exist.

  26. HS Surjeet, PC Joshi, Jyoti Basu, among other commies were paid informers of the British during the Quit India movement. They betrayed quite a few socialists and congressmen who went underground in those days. That is why genuine revolutionaries such as JP and Achyut Patwardhan kept clear of them after Independence. Genuine liberals such as Minoo Masani exposed the commies for their perifidy immediately in the years after independence. The commies are scum even as scum goes, and should be treated with utmost contempt. Both in WB and Kerala the Cpi(M) runs a huge criminal and undeground business enterprise.

  27. socal,

    > Commies want South Asia to be nuke free, but no such desire for Asia(read China) to be nuke free.

    No different from the stance of nuclear-haves – no new country should acquire nuclear weapons, but those who already have can continue to have them.

    > The commies vehemently opposed Indian nuclear tests; now we’re told they are worried about our right to tests!

    Yes, now that we have tested and Pakistan has also tested, it would be suicidal to give up the right to test.

    > Karat’s initial response to the nuke treaty was that Marxist don’t want a gang-up against China … should we conclude that China is CPI(M)’s ‘constituency’ that they are speaking for.

    How so? Is it not possible that ganging-up with the west against China is not in India’s long-term interest? Pakistan tried this “gang-up with west against a powerful neighbour” strategy and where did that take them?

  28. @Mohan: Speaking of independent foreign policy, I don’t see any exampple of it during the Indira Gandhi years. We had become the lapdogs of the USSR, and I didnt see any left objection to it! Heck, CPI was perhaps the only major political party that supported Indira Gandhi during emergency.

    “No different from the stance of nuclear-haves – no new country should acquire nuclear weapons, but those who already have can continue to have them.”
    But very different from the stance of nuclear haves objecting to a rogue state like Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and then threatening peace and stability in an already volatile region. I wonder why Leftists always gang up with dictatorships and theocratic regimes, like Ahmedinijad’s Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan and Venezuela.

    Perhaps the below article by Dr. Daniel Pipes can help claarify the Left’s murky dealings with Islam :
    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5720

  29. Friends,

    While it is very tempting for us to keep talking about how evil the commies are – and certainly, I agree that they are – I think the real focus of this debate should be on how good or bad the deal is for India. Commies, in this case, just happen to be bringing the same opinion about the deal that impeccable nationalists such as Arun Shourie, Brahma Chellaney and Rajiv Srinivasan are bringing to you. Clearly, commies’ motivation in opposing the deal are likely to be more nefarious than the BJP’s. However, we are doing our nation a great disservice if we are distracted in shooting the messenger at this critical moment in time.

    Let’s hold up our collective noses and instead train our gaze on the nuclear deal itself, which is a Trojan Horse designed to destroy India’s strategic capabilities. This is spelt out in detail by Arun Shourie’s exceptionally well researched articles on http://www.expressindia.com.

  30. Comrade Mohan,

    The link you posted talks neither about any Commie objection against “investment” nor any assurance made by the PM to the communists. In the absence of evidence, one must conclude that you are just making these two things up.

    Furthermore, “addressing one’s constituency” does not constitute “principle”. If so:

    (Commies’) hatred of liberal economic policy would be ‘principle’
    (BJP’s) advocacy of liberal economic policy would be also ‘principle’.
    (Commies’) hatred of a Ram temple at Ayodhya would be ‘pricniple’
    (BJP’s) pitch for the temple also would be ‘principle’.

    and all our political parties would then be very, very principled. Indian politics would be a model of principled politics for the rest of the world to emulate. Farce, isn’t it.

    Furthermore,a political party’s doings do not automatically become ‘addressing the constituency’. If so, please explain how commies addressed their constituency by murdering people at Nandigram. (They in fact lost local body elections in the area because of these murders).

  31. Collaboration with the british, working for china in 62, being on the payroll of soviet commies as revealed by mitrokhin archives, document the communist record of treason. But what might be treason for us might be just the “march of history” for the commies. The communists are pan-nationalists.

    Despite such history, that might have completely wiped out any political outfit anywhere, the indian commies have not only managed to survive but thrive. The turning point came with the rise of Indira Gandhi. She allied with the commies to consolidate herself in power. It was during the 70’s that the left-islamic combine captured all educational research institutions, the NCERT, and all major universities in India. With this they were able to bulwark their own ideas and narratives and whitewash their own past.

    ____________

    This deal is a very vital step in the NSSP. It would break the technological shackles of the scientific community and also recognize India as a nuclear power.

    It would enable India to set up nuclear installations in the range of 15000+ mw, enough to build 600 new cities, and infrastructures of scale.

    It would enable India, as well as many other oil deficit countries of the world to contain the rogue OPEC cartel led by the bastard arabs, that willfully allows oil prices to rise from $60 to $130 in less than a year.

    It would enable an oil deficit India to gain energy security. Essential for any war situation.

    It would enable India to deal with the twin security challenges of pakistan and china with force multipliers.

    And above all, nuclear fuel would enable India and the world to make the great transition towards clean sustainable energy production and contain environment destruction.

    _____________

    Most patriots opposing the deal have unfortunately taken an extremist position. PUtting all their eggs in the – to test or not to test – basket. Pokhran III, when it happens, will be determined by the security situation.

  32. This deal, if it comes through, might be disappointing for the bjp {with the – we would have done better – theme}. But in every way, it is a big nail in the left-islamic combines coffin.

    Quisling Karat has just given a menacing presser full of newspeak. It would be very interesting to see the trust vote. The commies as their tactics might mobilize muslims across party lines. The muslims might vote for India, or they might vote for thier Ummah.

  33. Dear Gujjubhai,

    Reference to authority, in the case of the deal, will not get you anywhere. For every Chellaney against, there is a K Subrahmanyam for. For every Jaswant Singh against, there is a Brajesh Mishra for. For a Shourie, there is a Kalam.

    The fact that nationalists oppose the deal doesn’t make it a bad one. (The fact that Commies oppose it doesn’t automatically make it a good one either).

    So you have to make your opinion. And that’s where the problem lies. How can an average person make up his own mind on an issue as complicated, Byzantine and secretive as this?

    As my co-blogger Offstumped has put it—ultimately, the fault lies with the UPA for not selling the deal to the people.

  34. oldtimer,

    they are asking what happens to all those imported reactors (and the indigenous ones we subject to IAEA scrutiny) once NSG pulls the plug. Point being, we are making this upfront investment (not only in terms of money, but also ceding control over some of the existing reactors) and what happens if the fuel is stopped in future?

    assurance – I didn’t say it is in that link. That quote was from Nov ’07 co-ordination committee meeting and the assurance was implicit in it.

    Nitin,

    I agree it is difficult for the layman to make up his own mind. But that doesn’t seem to stop some here who seem to have not only made up their mind, but assert that this is an issue on which “there can be no two opinions”!

  35. Nitin,

    If anything, the fact that many respected analysts cutting across the ideological spectrum are so divided on whether the deal is good for us or not should be a major concern for every Indian, isn’t it? Personally, I have read and analyzed all relevant sources such as the 1954 Act, 123 Agreement and the Hyde Act, as well as the various analyses from everyone and I have come to the conclusion that this is a horrible deal for India. In fact, I remember debating this deal with you last year on this blog, and we could not reach an agreement.

    The reason why UPA could not sell the deal to the people of India is very simple: because it’s a bad deal!! Don’t you think that their spin doctors would’ve been working overtime to gain political mileage out of the deal if there was anything even remotely sensible in it? Essentially we are trading away the future ability to develop our nuclear arsenal for a tightly controlled, returnable supply of overpriced uranium from a very tight cartel even though we have indigenous Uranium sources that we could develop in places like Meghalay. Alternatively, we could use coal or natural gas (for which there is an open, worldwide free market – we don’t need to depend upon Iran or IPI) to fuel our power plants. So why are we creating a dependency upon imported Uranoim that could be used as a threat against us through the right of repossession AND restricting our nuclear weapons capability?

    Rajeev Srinivasan’s blog post deals with exactly this kind of analysis where he derives his conclusions from first principles. I’d strongly recommend that you don’t dismiss this out of hand as a “reference to authority” or “two sides to the story” but objectively analyze arguments on both sides and think about this issue. It matters greatly because God forbid, if one side has it right then we are really screwing ourselves with this deal.

    Personally, I have done that and therefore I oppose the deal. No matter how much lipstick you put on that pig, it’s still a pig.

  36. Gujjubhai,

    The answer to your concerns is first supply diversity and second astute management of foreign relations. No one argues that India should build its economy heavily relying on (any one kind of) imported fuel. The grid is (and should be) powered by a number of different sources. And if there is a risk of supply disruption on any one kind of fuel, that risk needs to be factored into the equation. So, there is no substitute for fixing the energy policy (eg get a good grid, create incentives for investment in power sector etc) or strategic thinking.

    The second aspect relates to thinking strategically about foreign policy. The United States treats a China with trillion dollar foreign reserves differently from a China with 100 billion in foreign reserves. That’s just one example. The larger point is that how a country will respond to your action depends on what it has at stake. Signed pieces of paper don’t mean much in international relations: interests do. This has come up in a previous discussion on the nuclear deal. Only weak powers worry about international agreements. Worrying about clauses and sub-clauses is a relic of the weakness of India’s past, not a sign of the confidence of India’s future.

  37. Mohan,

    “No different from the stance of nuclear-haves – no new country should acquire nuclear weapons, but those who already have can continue to have them.”

    >>>So, the commies were/are for a status quo that undercuts India’s interest? One can understand the nuclear-haves position but how were/are the communists okay with China having nukes but India not possesing them despite the history of Chinese aggression that persists to this day?

    Why are the communists supporting Iran’s right now but always opposing India’s right? Where is the principle in these two decidedly opposite position of theirs? Care to explain.

    “Yes, now that we have tested and Pakistan has also tested, it would be suicidal to give up the right to test.”

    >>>Could you show me one statement of the Marxists where they explicitly support India’s right to test?

    “How so? Is it not possible that ganging-up with the West against China is not in India’s long-term interest?”

    >>>Well, when have they objected to China’s ganging up against India’s interest or China ganging up with the US–you know the 1972 Nixon-Mao talks, I hope–against the Soviet Union? The commies have always been for a gang-up against West: comintern, cominform etc. Clearly, the idea of ganging up itself is not alien to them.

    Forget that, is it not surprising that Karat’s first-response of India’s deal with US is to worry about its impact on China? His “great leap of logic” bypassing Indian interests and worrying about China’s tells something about Karat and companies loyalties. There’s a word for that.

    “Pakistan tried this “gang-up with west against a powerful neighbour” strategy and where did that take them?”

    >>>Well, China too tried this “gang-up with west against a powerful neighbour” namely, the now-disintegrated Soviet Union, and where did it take them? How come the commies don’t want India to emulate the success of their fatherland?

  38. “Yes, now that we have tested and Pakistan has also tested, it would be suicidal to give up the right to test.”

    And despite this flip-flop you still call the Marxists “consistent” and “principled”?!

  39. I am a bit curious, but how come India can’t develop its own nuclear program? Why does it need America’s help? I think someone already brought it up, but can’t India just find its own nuclear fuel in India instead of importing it?
    Additionally, wouldn’t being partnered with the US in such an obvious and tight manner further complicate relations with China?

  40. // We make all this investment in setting up the nuclear reactors etc. and then NSG can pull the plug on nuclear fuel because of some foreign policy decision we take in the future,//

    Where do you get this from? The Hyde act seems to relate the agreement to further nuclear tests by India or other proliferation issues. Those are not foreign policy decisions. This ‘foreign policy decision’ charade is leftist propaganda because they wanted India to side with the Mullahs in Iran in Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. And also, this ‘foreign policy’ stuff is an attempt to force India to sign up for a pipeline deal with Iran that will come through hostile enemy territory that is not even in the control of that enemy. Those ‘foreign policy’ decisions are independent of the nuclear deal. With or without the deal, allowing Mullahs to build a nuclear weapon is not in India’s interest. And allowing Iran to revise prices of Gas and renege is not in India’s interest either. Those days, with SP in their company, these were in the interest of the commies in their blighted pursuit of the Muslim (shia muslim) vote in Lucknow. They can continue this now with Maya in their company.

    By the way, declaring ‘Chairman Mao is our chairman’ is in whose foreign policy objective? Why dont you answer that directly?

    // Implicit in that is that the government will not go to the IAEA board for approval till the co-ordination committee finalises its findings. //

    What was the coordination committee ‘finalising’ for over two years?

    // it is not proper for us to criticise their action just because we disagree with their principles. //

    This is a gem. So what are we to do with someone when we disagree with their ‘principles’? Get killed by them?

  41. // For a Shourie, there is a Kalam. //

    Shourie let the world know his opinion backed by analysis through signed newspaper columns and in parliament. Kalam was reported to have lent a sound-bite at the Pokhran-II commemoration that the deal was good. And later he was reported to have ‘educated’ Amar Singh in a private meeting.

    you can correct me if I am wrong in this detail. If not, equating Shourie with Kalam is flippant.

  42. Nitin #38,

    I think that you’ve got it bass-ackwards. Powerful countries exercise influence through signing only onto one-sided deals, standards or rules. If there is any risk of any such rules diminishing their power, they just choose not to sign them. Case in point: US Senate refusing the ratification of CTBT. Think about this: going by your logic, why would they refuse to do it? After all, who’s going to challenge the US if it signed the CTBT and then did a weapons test? Similarly, why do you think EU and US are negotiating so hard to keep farm subsidies out of WTO agreements? Or why did China take 14 years to negotiate a similar 123 agreement to gain access to civilian nuclear technology that is fully loaded in its favor but refused to sign anything less?

    The reason why those “worthless pieces of paper” you sign on matter because the whole game is about creating the risk of making it very expensive – not impossible – just very very expensive for you to break those rules. Just the risk that they may ask for return of Uranium got you thinking about installation of back-up capacity, didn’t it? Now think about how much such costs would escalate as India builds more and more nuclear power generators in the future. The more nuclear MW’s generated by India, the higher will be the threat of potential economic costs of doing a test. Similarly, in a world that is getting more and socially, politically and economically integrated, there will be more and more ways to hurt India if it tests in the future. It may not even be the US: their cronies in the NSG could threaten as well. Australia, one of the largest producers of Uranium, has already made threats of pulling out of nuclear trade with India in future if India tests a weapon.

    The deadliness of the deal is that it turns India’s very strength – economic growth – into a weakness because as India grows and consumes more and more energy, it becomes more and more dependent upon the US and the NSG cartel. Increasing nuclear power production makes the threat of repossession of fuel increasingly more lethal. That, combined with the economic dependence upon the NSG cartel, equals loss of of power. If you think OPEC is bad, NSG is much much worse: just look at how Uranium price has grown exponentially over the last 5 years.

    Even otherwise, India in general has always followed international treaties it has signed in the past. I think the policy of adhering to what one signs on is a pragmatic one if only because it keeps one’s credibility intact in negotiating other agreements. If you think you can break something that you don’t like, well, others can do it too. And that can hurt you. Sure, nobody would attack India militarily if India tests, but they can retaliate economically. And now, the deal involves not only the US but also the NSG whose members could collectively retaliate against India. Have you thought about potential risks to Indian economy if such an eventuality takes place?

    Anyone who understands negotiating can easily see how the US has out-negotiated India. The whole purpose is to curtail the “operating leverage” of the other side. This is done by increasing your options to exercise power over the other side while reducing theirs in return. In this one agreement, the US has introduced so many options that they or their cronies could potentially threaten India with in the future. The deal is just a complete disaster from military, strategic and economic perspectives.

  43. Gujjubhai,

    Nothing in the nuclear deal prevents us from exploring alternative energy options. If nothing, it buys us time to develop thorium-based nuclear power. I don’t understand why you think having nothing now is better than having something (at the probable risk of losing it sometime in the far future if and when we conduct the nuclear tests).

    The deal doesn’t put us under any gun to buy the fuel if we don’t need it. Stopping nuclear supply in the future will be as much a detriment to them as to us if we indeed become big customers. But if we were to become big customers, that means our energy needs would have become quite high by then for which we would have opened another supply line. What other alternatives do you suggest to satisfy our energy needs?

  44. While I have no issues with the Left having its own opinions about the agreement, and pulling out of the UPA Govt, professional courtesy and decency dictates that they should have done so only after officially informing the PM about it. The extremely dirty under-handed way in which they pulled out only shows how unofficial and childish they are with their policies and the way in which they present them to the general public at large.

    cheers……Jam

  45. Jujung,

    Why create dependency and cede power when we don’t need to? Sure, if India could get into nuclear commerce without any other constraints on its weapons program or being subject to intrusive IAEA inspections like the other NWS’s, then that would be fine. However, the price we will pay in terms of adverse effect on the nuclear weapons program and allowing the NSG or the US to threaten our electricity grid in the future is just too high for getting access to overpriced Uranium.

    Natural gas and wind energy are very much viable and more cost-effective generation options than nuclear. Furthermore, reducing T&D losses which run at about 30% in India will increase available electricity even more.

    BTW, natural gas and wind are not just my idea. Here’s the legendary Texas billionaire and energy tycoon T Boone Pickens proposing the use of natural gas and wind to overcome the energy crisis in the US and reduce America’s development on foreign oil:
    http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/

    India is a world leader in both these fields. Suzlon makes world class wind farms while Reliance and other companies are finding huge reserves of natural gas in the KG basin. There is also an open market for LNG that India can easily tap into.

    Gujarat under the leadership of Narendra Modi, in fact, is a stupendously successful example of how power sector can be and should be run. Modi has done a great job in reforming the electricity sector and Gujarat is now 100% self-sufficient in meeting the needs of Gujaratis. Why can’t the rest of the country emulate this successful model instead of going after highly expensive nuclear power that imposes so many restrictions on our nuclear weapons program?

  46. Following is the extract from Hindustan Times Story “Ambiguity in India IAEA nuclear text raises concern”

    Lnk:

    …Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a former Bush administration official and proponent of the deal, said fears of another Indian nuclear weapons test were theoretical and India had too much to risk by testing.

    “With the investments that they have made in this deal, the incentives not to test actually grow,” he said.

    “If India tests in the future, it will not be the first to test. It will test most likely in response to somebody else testing,” added Tellis.

    What does this mean?

  47. // “With the investments that they have made in this deal, the incentives not to test actually grow,” he said. .. What does this mean? //

    It should mean what gujjubhai has been saying. With this deal, the americans will have you by your whatchamacallits.

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