- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

Debate Over India-US Nuclear Deal

Categories: North America, South Asia, India, U.S.A., Environment, International Relations, Politics

For the past few months there has been a heated debate in India about its its nuclear deal with the USA [1]. This is an issue for which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [2] has lobbied hard and tried to get political consensus. In fact, some analysts and observers point out Mr. Singh was ready to go for snap national poll, if required.

The Left Party [3] led by Comrade Prakash Karat, which is an important coalition member of the current government in power has not been in favor of the nuclear agreement with USA. The Indian Political Blog [4] writes:

And then, suddenly, like a Jack in the Box suddenly popping out, the Congress and the Prime Minister appear to have outsmarted the Left.

Where does this leave the Left ? It has an alltime high of 59 MP’s, but Kerala is famous for changing its political mind quickly, and the Left suffered some major reversals in West Bengal local elections, thus ensuring that early next elections could see a much reduced Left MP count. Even now, it could almost seem like that they are no longer relevant.

This past week the government was able to garner the necessary votes and support in spite of the Left Party's opposition.

Touchbase [5] has a succinct post that demystifies the US-India Nuclear deal right from the 123 agreement to the Indian Left party's opposition to the deal. He writes:

So the deal contains many loopholes when it comes to national security. But at the same time helps to satisfy India's growing need for power. So its going to be a tough time for this minority government to finalise a decision regarding the deal.

Prof. T. T. Ram Mohan of Big Picture [6] writes that the India-US nuclear deal has been reduced to a test of patriotism. He goes on to present two contrarian views about the nuclear deal and concludes:

Chellaney is right. This deal is about a strategic alliance with the US to counter the rise of China, it is merely being presented as an energy proposition for political and diplomatic reasons. The real worth of the strategic alliance lies in the transfer of a whole range of advanced dual-use technologies- these technologies cannot be transferred unless India's status as a nuclear power changes.

There are a couple more steps before this deal can be ratified by the US Congress. These steps include getting approvals from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Supplier's Group.