Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some responses...

To begin, let me refer my readers to a comment made to my previous post on the nuclear deal. This post is intended mainly as a riposte to the said comment. Arun, while it is true that American ambitions in the rest of the world are far from innocent, I think it is naive to think that India will have to support the US' "atrocities" in the rest of the world if it signs the nuclear deal. The nuclear deal with the US is precisely that: a deal detailing the intricacies of civil nuclear cooperation with the United States. It does not mean that India relinquishes control over its foreign policy. It does not mean that we become the United States' unquestioning ally on the lines of the UK either. It does not even mean that we are totally dependent on the United States for energy, technology, fuel or anything else. After having signed the deal with the US, India is free to sign similar deals with other countries of the P-5. There is nothing in the 123 Agreement that bars India from doing so.

Secondly, I had said in my post that the withdrawal of the deal symbolises a surrender to the Left. The issue here is not of how beneficial the deal is to India. The issue is loss of credibility. The issue could have debated, argued upon, fought for or even rejected before the signing of the 123 Agreement. That is perfectly democratic. But, the fact that a democratically elected government backtracks on a commitment made after the signing of the agreement by no less that the head of government is condemnable. I would not have complained if the withdrawal had resulted from a change of government following a national election. Governments are perfectly free to withdraw from a commitment made by a previous government. That is national politics. But the withdrawal of the commitment by the very same person who signed it in the first place is unacceptable. What makes matters worse is that he takes the decision, not after a vote in Parliament, as is expected in a democracy, but after talks with some selected leaders of the Left, which extends "outside support" but refuses to be part of the government. Not to mention that the meeting is chaired by a woman who is, in no way, accountable to the people who elected her, because she holds no position of responsibility in the government. She is a Member of Parliament like any other. But, her status as daughter-in-law of the Dynasty gives her the power to decide the fate of an issue as important as a bilateral agreement that could have a tremendous impact on India's future. With that, I rest my case.