kanchan clarifies the bjp's take on the nuclear deal. it is broadly in line with the following:
-- no knee-jerk anti-americanism
-- the deal must be equally beneficial to both parties
very sensible position. of course, when advani said this, the ELM (but natch!) went all out to pervert what he was saying.
if this is the real bjp perspective, it is quite reasonable and sensible, giving the lie to both a) the 'let's sell our mothers to the yanks' and b) the 'let's do everything for the fatherland china' camps, which roughly coincide with the kaangress and the communists.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kanchan Gupta
Date: Aug 31, 2007 3:15
The Pioneer / Main Article / Edit Page / August 31, 2007-08-31
Mr Advani, go for amendment
Even as the Prime Minister continues to conduct negotiations, this time with comrades shaken by the possibility of China's long march to superpower status being halted by an incipient India-US strategic entente, on the 123 Agreement behind a veil of conspiratorial secrecy, the BJP's helmsman has sought to remove misperceptions about his party's approach to the civil nuclear cooperation deal. For the past several months, the distinction between the position adopted by the Left and the BJP's criticism of the deal has been increasingly perceived as becoming blurred, and hence indistinguishable. Beginning with the ill-advised move to forge a common front with the Left to force a 'Sense of the House Resolution' on the UPA Government, which was engineered by a disgraced courtier of 10 Janpath to spite his patron-turned-foe, the BJP has been seen to be echoing the Communists' strident anti-Americanism, thus suffering erosion in its brand equity, especially among urban voters.
In all fairness, it needs to be stated that this perception is deeply flawed, not least because even the most casual scrutiny of what the BJP's key speakers, Mr Arun Shourie and Mr Yashwant Sinha (we need not be distracted by loudmouths and gadflies eager to comment on each and every issue in the hope of making it to prime time news) during parliamentary debates on the nuclear deal will show that nothing has been said which stems from visceral hatred of America. The BJP's criticism has been based on technicalities of the deal which the party believes are not in India's national interest. The party has also been harsh on the Prime Minister for not being upfront and slyly, ever so subtly, misleading Parliament, and thus the nation. It is difficult to berate the BJP for fulfilling its responsibility both as a 'nationalist' party and as the main Opposition in Parliament.
On the other hand, the Left has never made an effort to hide the fact that it is driven by anti-Americanism in its criticism of the India-US nuclear cooperation agreement.