Monday, August 20, 2007

Nuke deal: India fooled by the US, says China; Karats merry in mating dance

aug 20th, 2007

yes, it's a mating dance.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kalyan97

After all, Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury and comrades make weekly trips to Beijing for instructions. Here are some. Hegelian dialectic is turned on its head by using matrimonial imageries of honeymoon and marriage. Marriage? What marriage? Mating dance.

China's happy that India-US deal's in trouble
18 Aug 2007, 0112 hrs IST ,Saibal Dasgupta, TNN
BEIJING: If the Left is all but pulling the rug from under Manmohan Singh's government, comrades in Beijing are gloating over the fact that cosying up to Washington has New Delhi all tangled up in red, blue and white.

It's uncharacteristic of Chinese Communist Party dailies to comment expansively on internal matters of the nations Beijing is trying to mend fences with. But China, wary from the start that the nuclear bonhomie between India and the US will challenge its security dominance, have obviously seen the troubles in New Delhi worthy of comment.

Judging by two articles published on Friday in the People's Daily and its sister publication, Global Times, Beijing seems to want Washington to reconsider its nuclear deal with New Delhi.

The Chinese-language Glo-bal Times, seen by diplomats and foreign policy experts as Beijing's window to the world, said the Indian government has to choose between its own survival and that of the deal. It devoted the entire front page to the deal with a large article headlined: "US warns India not to carry out nuclear tests anymore; India on the boil, Prime Minister faces stepdown".

It said the deal has caused a political turmoil in India leading to a situation where Singh might be forced to step down from office. It discussed in detail the objection to the 123 deal voiced by Indian opposition parties as well as Left leaders, some of whom still regard the Chinese brand of Marxism as the most suitable political ideology. Singh's photograph dominates the front page of Global Times, which is published thrice a week.

The Chinese foreign ministry and the official media had earlier voiced their objection to the deal on the ground that India was not a signatory to the NuclearNon-Proliferation Treaty. But now, the tone of criticism is strident.

It's the first time the state media has attempted to evaluate the political situation in India to judge the sustainability of the N-deal and the longevity of the UPA government.

Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily said the US has disregarded international opinion to use India as a "tool for its global strategic pattern" by supporting New Delhi's nuclear ambitions. Global Times said the US has been driven to seek an ally in India because of China's rapid development. It said Indians, who were earlier excited about the deal, now feel they have been fooled by the US into signing an unclear and unreliable pact.


san said...

Rajeev, as you know I was originally in favour of the N-deal, and then had to retreat from that to opposing it, in the face of US backsliding.

But I'm finally thinking that we're better off going for the deal. For one thing, it's a bilateral agreement and not an NPT-style universal treaty. The tactful statements from some of our experts seem to indicate that this deal is a temporary arrangement, because of the way it delineates the exit policy.

Right now, we have no better alternatives -- we have no way to acquire fuel from the international markets, and would be forced to rely upon our meager indigenous supplies. We haven't even achieved metallized fuel yet, for a good breeding ratio. Furthermore, even beyond fuel itself, there are a whole host of nuclear-related technologies that we are denied access to right now.

If we go for the deal, we'll be able to bypass those roadblocks, just as China is able to as one of the Big 5. We'll be able to catch upto them more quickly.

Fine, when we decide to exit the deal, either with an N-test or otherwise, it will mean that we have to hand back all equipment purchased. But that's not so bad, because it will be a drawn-out process, and furthermore there are provisions for compensation to be provided to us. Besides, you can't unlearn technology that you've learned, even if you have to hand tech items back. By the time we move to exit the deal, we'll be in a position to make a reasonable transition back to indigenous capabilities. And in the meantime, we would have gained a leg up technologically and economically.

Without the deal, we'll be achieving self-sufficiency in nuclear power by 2040, and that's a long time to wait. We need to move sooner, because life isn't just waiting around for us to catch up. If we don't, we could get left behind.

srikanth said...

Many of the so-called enlightened Indians are not able to hold their positions steadfastly because the picture is hazy and many must be in the same situation as San finds himself in. (Of course, 90% of the Indian public is not bothered whether there is a Nuclear Deal or not.)

There is no proper dialogue between the two warring groups and the Manmohan government has made things difficult by ensuring that there is no transparency in the whole process. If the Deal is for the good of the country, what prevented them from taking the BJP into confidence? Why did they have to do everything in a clandestine way, unless they have something to hide? Why do they have to paint themselves into a corner? If they had their way, I am sure, they wouldn’t have bothered to tell the public what is in the 123 agreement. One is tempted to ask whether it is a question of bruised egos or there is something else, which meets more than the eye. Only the know-all Sonia Gandhi seems to have all the answers.

I think, even now it is not too late. They can reconcile the BJP to their thinking and ask for their support and forget about the left, but they won’t.

It appears that they are slowly veering round to the view that it will be good to go for a mid-term poll on this issue of the Nuclear Deal and I won’t be surprised if Congress romps home.

san said...

You're right, Srikanth, the govt should have taken an all-parties national unity approach. That's why I've also been making some comparisons to the Dhabol power project, because BJP could easily scuttle any deal, no matter how much lobbying Cheney has done with Sonia. It's surprising that the American side likewise didn't see fit to suggest to New Delhi about taking a national unity approach, with multi-party dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me for being such a conspiracy nut. This is what I think.

China is playing reverse psychology on us. China knows that the deal is one-sided and India is going to dogs, but just to make sure that deal is not jeopardised by BJP, they are putting up a propaganda that they are opposing the deal.

This will confuse the people who originally opposed the deal, because traditionally whenever China opposes, it means it is good for India. So BJP et al will be confused and their opposition will be muted. The deal will go thru' and we lose our weapons deterrent.

Harish said...

My 2 cents.
At this stage in the 123 Treaty belive its India's best bet to go for the treay, since the cost of backtracking is very high..
Apart frm a huge loss of face, much of the strategic relationship with US would be put in cold storage for a lonnng time.. Many nations including Japan, Australia might find lesser reason to trust an Indian govt in the future.. More importantly parties like COmmunists should never get the impression of issuing a veto on Chinese whims and fancies to India..

I think looking at the terms, India did not get a very good deal looking at the language, a point ppl like Arun Shourie and A.N.Parasd make very well..
However we should not forget, in many such deals its the intent of the nations that make this deal that is more important...
It is in US interests to support India in its efforts to grow as a major power..

For e.g the Tarapaur fiasco, where India had a much better deal on paper was dumped because US had no strategic need to support India...
Damn with the legalese.. was US attitude..

So my thought is even if the deal is not perfect, the intent of US would be to be supportive to India in the future..

It is more important that India plays its card well in the future well enough, spread the risk of US reneging on the treaty etc and protect its strategeic interests..

IMHO The alternative at this stage is not conducive to India's larger interests..

drisyadrisya said...

adding on to the debate

Lavakare in rediff

srikanth said...

I am not sure that it is prudent to trust the intent of the Americans and go the whole hog blindly into the Nuclear Deal. US will always be guided by their national interests and they care a damn about making India take its place in the comity of the nations as a superpower. Their sincerity can be best judged by their attitude towards allowing India into the Security Council as a permanent member.

Yesterday in Karan Thapar’s Devil’s Advocate Programme Siddharth Varadarajan, Associate Editor of the Hindu was making a point for the enactment of an Indian version of the Hyde Act to protect our interests in the event of India signing the Nuclear Deal with the USA. The most important point he made was that when India gives a contract for the import of nuclear reactors, fuel supply for the life time of the reactor should be linked with the sale of the reactor. I think this is a wonderful suggestion. May be there are problems with this approach but if the Manmohan government is sincere, it should sit with the opposition and chalk out a consensual strategy along these lines, which not only safeguards India’s interests but also clinches the Nuclear Deal. If the US is not prepared to give the green signal for the Deal in the changed scenario, so be it.

I find that Varadarajan has been making wonderful scrutiny of the whole Deal ever since this issue first came up. I find his analysis is as incisive as that of Brahma Chellaney. You can read his views on this issue in the following websites

karyakarta92 said...

Legislation by Parliament to safeguard India's national security interests with respect to the nuclear deal is a good idea.
The whole thing ought to be re-negotiated to explore the following ideas:

1. India permitting & the U.S agreeing to 100% foreign (American & other) equity in any new civilian nuclear reactors, i.e. the liability of monetary loss due to disruption in fuel supply to be borne entirely by American corporates.

2. De Jure recognition of India as a Nuclear Weapon State.

3. India carries out a series of weapon tests to perfect designs of thermonuclear devices prior to the deal going into effect & signs the NPT with the status of a full nuclear weapon state.

4. Or alternatively, the US provides India with blueprints for
thermonuclear devices, to be validated by testing on American soil, monitored by Indian scientists.

5. India & the U.S sign a mutual non-aggression treaty. The U.S extends their nuclear umbrella to India. India reserves its autonomy of action with respect to eternal enemies Pakistan, Bangladesh & regional adversary China.

6. The Indian seculars refrain from hobnobbing with Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro etc, cease all criticism of "American imperialism", "Palestine","Iraq" etc. The Yanks stop promoting the John Dayal, Sandeep Pandey types & cease all interference in India's internal affairs, but first implement a gag order on the obnoxious Madeleine Albright, Michael Witzel, Barbara Walters types.

7. The U.S reserves the "right of return" of all equipment and withdraws the nuclear umbrella
if India becomes a Muslim majority country.

Does that sound like a fair deal to you?

There has to be some give & take in this "strategic relationship".
The Yanks need to change their cold war mindset and accept India as an equal ally like Israel.
The Indian seculars need to abandon their blind anti-Americanism.

Harish said...

Enactment of laws by Indian parliament is a very good idea if it can help protect our interests. Its unfortunate India's oppostion espescially the BJP does not pursue anything constructive.. They are intent on pulling down this govt and nothing else..
The less said about the Communists the better..

IMHO Re-negotiaton of the treaty at this point is day dreaming....

karyakarta92 said...

The above link is a commentary on the nuclear deal by Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy and Sandeep Pandey.

While public debate and consultation are necessary, such debate cannot be perverted by capitulationists and enemies of the state. Their concern for the environment rings hollow. After all, when India explores alternative methods of energy generation such as hydroelectric projects, these activists and their NGOs are in the forefront of the effort to sabotage it!
Medha Patkar's obstructionism with respect to the Narmada valley project is a case in point.
Leftist activism by people of her ilk is what has prevented India from proceeding to extract Uranium from domestic sources in Telangana,Jharkhand & Meghalaya.
In a way, these NGOs are one of the reasons why GOI is desperately seeking the American deal with a begging bowl.

There can be no two opinions on the requirement for reliable energy sources for the nation's economic growth. Nuclear energy is probably the fastest route to assure this. It should be developed indigenously to the extent possible or acquired from other countries without accepting humiliating conditionalities and compromising on national sovereignty.

There is also nothing intrinsically wrong with strategic
military cooperation with the US, as long as it advances our supreme national interest and does not reduce India to anybody's lapdog.

That is why, in my opinion, the deal in it's current form is unacceptable and needs to be renegotiated.

Doesn't the Hyde act prescribe cessation of all cooperation in the event of weapon testing by India? This is the right time for
India to revoke the moratorium on testing and proceed with open ended testing until we have a genuinely credible deterrent with ICBM's and a stockpile of thermonuclear warheads that would achieve parity at least with China.

The current deal would be killed.
Future governments in India & the US could then start negotiating a new, honourable deal from scratch.

Apparently, Shikhandi MMS now believes that he has miraculously grown a spine. He has been labeling all opponents of the emasculating deal "traitors".

I believe the Constitution of India prescribes death as the punishment for treason.
GOI should bring the real traitors
before a firing squad.
Medha Patkar, Aruna/dhati Roy,
Sandeep Pandey, Praful Bidwai etc
should be in the first batch.

Anonymous said...

Curious to know the usage of character Shikhandi here frequently (in comments as well as in the blog)

If I remember Mahabharatha right, Shikhandi was born a woman, becomes a man by doing penance and Arjuna uses him to defeat Bheeshma (since Bheeshma refuses to fight women)

How does that character fit MMS? Shouldn't we be using the name Sakuni instead, the conniving uncle?

karyakarta92 said...

Well, the credit for first applying the term Shikhandi to MMS goes to Shri. Yashwant Sinha. In the Hindi belt at least, the description is traditionally used
to describe individuals whose body language and behaviour exemplify
eunuchs/transvestites. Although this may not be a strictly 100% accurate analogy per religious scripture, can anyone deny the appropriateness and suitability of the term "Shikhandi" for MMS?
All actions and statements by MMS since May 2004 epitomize a state of Shikhandiness, in the context of submissiveness, subservience and obedience to the incumbent
"Master". MMS could also be described as a "Judas", if seeking an example of betrayal in christian mythology, although Indian christists cannot call him that (since he has betrayed the Hindu nation to christist evangelicals).

I would be interested in hearing any other interesting applied scriptural terminology for MMS.

Actually, it is the detestable Arjun Singh who has personified
Shakuni more, by cunningly conspiring to destroy the few institutions of excellence remaining in India and entangle Hindus in fratricidal caste war.

On another note, what is the position of our eminent legal luminaries and the Indian constitution regarding eunuchs and
transvestites holding offices in the legislature, executive, judiciary, armed forces?

The constituent assembly could not have conceived of a situation where the head of government would be a Shikhandi some day in the future.

Therefore, a Committee to review the working of the Constitution of India ought to consider this question also, in addition to the
issue of foreign nationals like Sonia Ghandi being elected as PM.

A physical exam should be mandatory for all members of the legislature, executive, judiciary
as in the armed forces to avoid such anomalous situations in the future.