Monday, July 07, 2008

On the Nuclear Deal and Other News

The Hindu has been publishing predominantly anti-nuclear deal letters everyday in its Letters to the Editor section. Perhaps this is the paper’s own attempt to convince the government of ‘popular’ opposition to the deal. This, in my view, is also a clear indication of the Editor’s bitterness about the likely loss of power to the Left at the Center.

M.K.Bhadrakumar today asserts falsely but categorically that this deal will bring India’s nuclear program under American supervision:

On Wednesday, on the sidelines of the G8, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inform Mr. Bush New Delhi has decided to give the final push to the nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S. The Indian deal goes way beyond Kim Jong Il’s “denuclearization.” It is a major non-proliferation move. India will surrender its right to test nuclear weapons; India’s nuclear program will come under U.S. monitoring and control; and India’s capacity and will for augmenting its weapon stockpile will remain under U.S. scrutiny.
He seems quite convinced, contrary to the terms of the deal, that the separation between civil and defense programs does not mean anything – everything will be controlled by the Americans. Despite no provisions in the deal actually preventing India from testing weaponry, he insists that the right would be surrendered (it is true that the costs of testing will be greater but that is as much due to our becoming integrated into the global economy; the only way to retain our right to testing without being penalized at all is by remaining isolated, a very difficult and self-defeating proposition in an increasingly interconnected world). And never mind that neither the US nor the IAEA will get to monitor our defense facilities which will remain outside the purview of these agreements; he insists, again in contemptuous disregard of facts that our weapon stockpile will remain under U.S. scrutiny (I am nevertheless curious why, as a committed leftist, does he even care about our stockpile? Have the comrades not long insisted that the weaponry should all be dismantled and India should go non-nuclear? Is this a newfound concern acquired all of a sudden to embarrass the PM?)

I just read that the Indian embassy in Kabul has been attacked with several killed. I would not be very surprised if the paper or Mr. Bhadrakumar in particular were to blame India’s proximity to the US or the nuclear deal in particular for this attack. Sitaram Yechury previously made a similar claim in the event of a bomb blast; let us see if he or his comrades will outdo themselves again.

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