August 24, 2007

Left In The Cold

The Indian Left are a hillarious bunch. Not that other Indian parties are any less crazy but the Left takes the cake. They are still stuck in the Cold War Era while the rest of India has managed to move on inspite of the politicians.

Some of their arguments against the 123 Nuke deal goes like this

  • Indian sovereignity is challenged by the 123 deal.
  • US will dominate India in different aspects.
  • By agreeing to the terms despite the Hyde Act, the current government is cheating the Indian people.
  • Once the deal is done, India cannot have its own independent foreign policy
  • By aligning itself closely with the US, India will be perceived as supporting all US acts including the Iraq war.
  • By treating India as a special case, the US has ulterior motives.
  • Why does India need the deal, IAEA or even the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) when one Indian company has landed a contract for Uranium mining in Niger?

The list goes on and on.

Yeah, yeah, says the BJP which actually began negotiations for the deal with the US Govt. and is currently in the opposition party. BJP is agreeing with the Left which makes the communists uneasy.

The UPA coalition forms the current Indian govt. with the support of the Left. The UPA is a bunch of parties which is headed by the Congress is a scared lot but sees backing out as a loss of face. More importantly, many want to stay in power as there are lots of perks that goes with it. The Congress cannot be seen replacing the Prime Minister unless he volunteers to quit. The only man who seems steadfast is the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh for all the wrong reasons.

He defends the deal and his reasons go something like this

  • It will bring India energy security.
  • Nuclear energy is the only clean energy source apart from solar energy!
  • This will also stop India's reliance on others for energy security!
  • One doesn't oppose the deal after 24 months and the Left should be serious.

Now that we have seen both sides arguments let us see how far both of them are correct.

1) No deal with another country is free of strings including the US.
2) The Nuke deal is not about civilian energy -- it is about strategical alignment.
3) Civilian Nuclear Energy will not satisfy energy needs of India. It is not only costly but also at maximum can satisfy 6-8% of the total energy needs of India.
4) China has a similar deal with the US.
5) True, Taurian Resources from Bombay ( now Mumbai) has landed a contract in Niger -- a Uranium exploration contract and not a mining one as claimed.
6) India will stay sovereign despite what the Left may think -- especially those who sympathise with China and see any alignment with US as anti-China, especially the CPM.
7) With the current mess US is in, US will be a junior partner to India in South Asia. Japan and Malaysia would be the main partners of India in Asia.
8) The Indian Left should not take its instructions from China, just as any other Indian party or coalition cannot take instructions from the US.
9) India was the only country in the world that passed a resolution in the Indian Paraliament which unanimously condemned the Iraq war. Not even the Arab League, Islamic nations or regional formations like ASEAN did. 10)Sorry Mr. Singh but what about wind energy which is also a clean source of energy and with peninsular India, the coast lines can be used to maximum advantage.

While the Nuke deal will pull India out of desert after the Pokhran tests and enable it
to be back without signing the NPT or CTBT, it also gives US leverage to conduct
joint exercises in the Bay of Bengal and scare the hell out of North Korea and potentially China which has currently encircled India like author Azam Gill warned in his book - Winds of Change.

While it won't ensure energy security as the poor PM thinks, it will also not endanger the sovereignity of India as the Left says it fears.

To trackback as to why the Left suddenly woke up, it all boils down to the gauntlet thrown to the Left by the current PM, an economist and who has personally staked his reputation on the deal, when he gave an interview to the The Telegraph newspaper based in Calcutta ( now Kolkatta) when he said that he stands by the deal, irrespective of what the Communists think.

How dare the Indian PM think and speak on his own? This is against the ideology of
the Left which calls for "Collective Thinking" -- whatever that means.

This got Karat and Bardhan of the CPM and CPI parties respectively very angry.

Btw, the Indian Left is not one single party but 4 actually, the two major ones being Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India( Marxists) or CPM. There used to be one Communist Party which later split due to ideological differences but that is another story. It proves one cannot think collectively.

So, the Left is threatening to divorce the UPA and BJP led NDA is waiting. Only problem is Left dislikes the BJP more than UPA. The Third Front which is the UNPA doesn't have enough seats even if the Left agrees to marry it, they don't enough seats to keep the government going.
Left doesn't wish to be seen as pulling down a duly elected government.

The Indian Left has painted itself into a corner. It has been appraised of developments of the Nuke deal regularly by the PM but it chose to object 24 months late. Not filing for divorce means it will be perceived as impotent and pro-America.

The Indian Left needs to wake up and update itself immediately.

Or it will be Left in the Cold (pun fully intended).

Copyright © 2007 by Deepa Kandaswamy, All rights reserved.

August 22, 2007

Double standards in Freedom of Speech for Indians ?

Indian Envoy to the US, Mr. Ronen Sen's remarks has sent most of the Indian Parliamentarians into a tizzy.

Read his entire interview here.

They are angry because Mr. Sen referred to those opposing theIndo-US nuclear deal indirectly as "Headless Chickens". He has apologised but most Indian politicians cannot forgive or forget it.
It is amusing that they are getting so worked up even though former Defense Minister, Mr. George Fernandes had suggested that the current Indian Prime Minister (PM) should be shot for proceeding with the Indo-US nuclear deal!

Read how Indian politicians defend Mr. Fernandes here.

If Mr. Sen, an Indian diplomat says, "Headless chickens", politicians demand he be stripped of his job and be punished!

If Mr. Fernandes, an Indian politician says, "The PM should be shot" hey, it is unparliamentary language. He doesn't even have to apologise as that is Mr. Fernandes's style !

Looks like freedom of speech in India is restricted to only the Indian politicians.

Despite their 60th anniversary of Independence, India is still not a democratic country where freedom of speech can be exercised by all.