Rarely comes a time when I support the Left front in India. In the context of the Indo-US nuclear deal , Left is Right is what I believe. Left is opposing the deal since it doesn’t wants a strategic tie up with US which goes against its communist interests, and I am opposing the deal since it will make India play a second fiddle to everything that US says and does, use India to dictate US foreign policies and to gain control over south Asia. If this deal is signed, then US will never allow India to grow beyond US militarily and politically. The difference between Left’s opposition to this deal, and that of mine is that, Left wont mind a similar deal with China though :)
The Nuclear Deal in Brief
Myth of energy security
Congress is very reluctant to sign this deal in the name of national energy security. Congress is known to commit historic blunders right from the day of the partition of India, to its handling of the Kashmir issue, to the Chinese incursion of 1962, to the Shimla agreement, etc and today its the nuclear deal.
Nuclear deal in no way does it give energy security to India. All it will do is to make India dependent on US for a mere fraction of its energy needs resulting in electricity which costs three to four times more than electric power generated from conventional sources! What about the rights to reprocess the fuel for which we have paid the money? Initially US refused fuel reprocessing rights to India, but later when it saw that India was acting tough, it said that India could reprocess the fuel provided it is done in reprocessing facilities maintained and monitored by US! Why on earth should we allow US to monitor and intervene in each and everything that we do with the nuclear fuel and reactors which we have purchased by paying billions of dollars to US? What kind of nonsense is this? For God’s sake, India is not Iraq.
What is the power generation possible by signing this deal? Currently we generate about 3% of our power needs from nuclear reactors. With the nuclear deal in place, assuming that about 12 more nuclear reactors become operational, at the most we will be able to generate 6-7% of our power requirements by 2020, i.e. about 12000 MW. And mind you, this electricity is costlier than conventional electricity, and in the future uranium fuel costs are expected to sky rocket just like oil prices today.
The need of the hour for India to manage its energy needs is privatization of the power generation and distribution industry, remove stupid things like providing free electricity for farmers (which is being extremely misused), prevent power wastage by effective distribution, put a cap on power thefts, make effective use of small scale power generation using abundantly available natural resources in the country like wind energy in the western ghats, river and ocean currents, hot sun in the deserts of Rajasthan, etc. See an effective example of this implemented in the Himalayan belt of India.
The Gujarat government today is providing 24/7 power supply to all its villages not by building more power generation plants or by generating more electricity but by simply acting on power theft and by well planned power transmission and distribution! Just by saving 12% of our power distribution and transmission losses India can have an additional 5000 MW of power!
Fast Breeder Reactors
With the technology of building fast breeder nuclear reactors which use thorium as fuel being almost in place now, India will be in the driver’s seat in the near future in this field because India has second largest thorium reserves in the world! I simply don’t understand why our intelligent prime minister Mr.Manmohan Singh is ignoring this fact. When we have our own thorium reserves and fast breeder reactors being developed, why on earth should we pay billions of dollars to get uranium and related technology from US? And also compromise our national security and independent foreign policy?
Thorium based reactors will make India completely independent in terms of our energy requirements, which is what even A P J Abdul Kalam has stressed on. We can even sell our thorium and the fast breeder reactors to friendly countries in the future. It will be completely irresponsible if we do not consider these facts carefully before thinking about signing the nuclear deal.
Backdoor Entry by US
Why is the US so reluctant to get this deal signed by India?
Simple, because US has not been able to control Indian nuclear plans. India hasnt signed either the CTBT or the NPT and US wants to take India into the non-proliferation ring by having this deal signed which is bound by the Hyde’s Act which is nothing but CTBT in disguise. US was taken aback when India conducted Pokhran II nuclear tests in 1998, since till the ground actually shook by the nuclear explosions US didn’t even have the slightest clue about it. The earlier Congress led P V Narasimha Rao government had planned for nuclear tests which the Indian nuclear scientists had been demanding for the past few decades, but it didn’t happen then because of the US pressure. But NDA led by Vajpayee handled the situation quite intelligently without even giving the slightest clue about its intentions to conduct the test.
If the US is really concerned about India’s energy needs, as it claims and hence wants the nuclear deal, then why does it insist on the 123 agreement and Hyde’s act? India will be paying for the nuclear fuel and the reactors and the US will be supplying it. This should have been a simple buyer-supplier deal. As long as India keep paying, keep supplying the fuel for our reactors. Instead why put 110 conditions for it? This itself proves that the real intention of US behind the deal is not of India’s energy needs, but its own political agenda.
And then there is the economic agenda of US too. Nuclear deal results in billions of dollars of worth of equipment to be sold to India by US companies. And the resulting maintenance charges etc are permanent. There are industrial lobbies in both the countries who are interested in the deal and of course politicians too who can make good bucks in this deal.
India has been buying the same nuclear fuel from Russia for the past so many decades. Has Russia ever laid down any such stupid conditions to India? Why is our UPA government going begging behind the US for nuclear fuel? Can Mr.Manmohan Singh or Congress explain this to us? Why are they hell bent on making India a dependent on US? There is no binding on US in the deal for permanent assured supply of nuclear fuel to India! What if tomorrow India wants to pursue a foreign policy which is against US foreign policy and then US decides to stop the fuel supply? Is this the energy security which UPA the Congress party is talking about?
The deal talks about separating civilian and military nuclear facilities in India with civilian reactors being provided fuel and monitored by US under the disguise of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). The supporters of the deal say that since our military nuclear facilities will be separated from civilian facilities and since only the civilian facilities will be monitored by the IAEA there is no need to worry about our strategic secrets ending up in US hands. Well, but the IAEA or US can always have our military installations inspected by alleging that the fuel meant for civilian reactors is being redirected to military reactors! When there is an allegation, the only way to disprove it will be to allow IAEA inspectors into our military installations for them to verify the allegation. And IAEA inspection team will have CIA spies who report directly back to US administration about our defense capabilities!
See what happened in Iraq’s case for example. “Scott Ritter, a former US marine and an UN inspector between 1991 and 1998, revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency placed spies on the Iraq UN inspection team. Among the supposedly independent UN experts were CIA covert operators , Mr Ritter said, who reported directly back to the US intelligence services that were at the time pursuing a policy of regime change in Iraq.”
See how state department officials of US are reminding day in and day out to India that “time is running out” to sign the deal. Why is US so desperate to get the deal signed? Isn’t it a common sense that it is the benefiter of any deal who will be more desperate? Why did the US officials recently meet the top BJP leaders to get their party’s support for the deal? Of course, US knows that in the absence of Left parties support for the deal, only BJP support to the UPA government can allow Manmohan Singh’s government to sign the deal.
By the way how many are aware that India has already signed a similar deal with Russia in 2006 ! Russia doesnt even care for NSG which says NSG states cannot export nuclear material to non-NPT signatories! Russia only follows IAEA guidelines which allows for supply of nuclear fuel for power generating purposes for civilian rectors and only disallows export of bomb making quality fuel. There was no such hue and cry about the deal with Russia because Russia put no conditions like US has. With Russia we just pay for the fuel we get, thats it.
Government sources have indicated that Manmohan Singh will not go to G8 Summit next month if the deal is not approved by the Indian parliament by then. Why? Because he will lose face with the world leaders if the deal is not signed!! For God’s sake, India is not just Manmohan Singh or Congress. Who asked Mr.Singh to promise to those world leaders the deal without first taking everybody into confidence here in India? Is this how political decisions that impact the future of the country are made?
Both Manmohan Singh and Bush administration know that the deal is only a first step towards a broader strategic alliance between the two countries. The US is interested in this alliance to use India to contain the growing influence of China, and also to control India itself. It is losing hold in Pakistan to control the Jehadi elements after Musharraf who was dancing to US tunes has been stripped of his powers by the new Pakistani government. Strategic alliance with US means US missile defense shield in India, US forces in Indian soil, seas and air. Not the other way round :)
Think of a situation where US uses Indian soil for anti-terrorist operations in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in turn the terrorists who till now were fighting US, end up attacking Indian cities and killing our civilians! It is exactly what is happening in Pakistan today. All those jehadi forces in the gulf will then turn their heat towards India. We already have enough terrorists who are attacking our people day in and day out, why add more to it? Let us not increase our problems n-folds by such stupid moves.
India has the potential to become a great power on its own. All it needs is a proper leadership which can guide the nation towards this goal.
Don’t under estimate yourself. Recognize your potential. Rise India, Rise.