Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby kujo » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:28 pm

From Viennese waltz to Kathak dance. What a beautiful transformation this has been!

Hope each and everyone of the Indian administrative and political person involved in this diplomatic dance transformation, remember what transpired and retain their skills for a long long time...

cheers
kujo

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby Sandeep » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:37 am

Can comebody tell me why Sonia Gandhi agreed to take all this political risk for the Congress party? Just pure financial angles from whoever in India with her making money off this, or is there anything more sinister behind it (of the Italian variety)? Lord knows that I do not trust that foreign-born woman even one blasted bit!


Jay, I think you are unnecessarily critical and skeptical about Sonia Gandhi. IMO, Sonia, Priyanka and Rahul along with Manmohan (all working together) have made this deal successful. Just Manmohan would have never taken such a stand without an unconditional support from Sonia. She was very instrumental in helping this deal happen and we should appreciate it. It was a political masterstroke from her to drag the deal till she found a help in Samajwadi Party before thwarting the CPI efforts. She definitely took CPI by surprise.

Manmohan knows what is good for India and Sonia knows how to get these things done in India. Both together have scripted a memorable event in Indian history. Its time many of us in India believe that Sonia can and will do something good for India. One need not be born in India to be passionate about this country. Mother Theressa is a good example. Just the willingness to do good, to be efficient, to be remembered in the hearts of millions in one word to be a good civilian is enough to ignite the passion. Not everything is done for some benefit. Sonia is doing something good and let us appreciate it.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby jaydeep » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:38 am

Prakash takes fight beyond UPA govt
Mr. Karat is still hoping to scrapping nuclear deal as CPM only support to 'next' government in the future when they will scrapped this deal ... As the 123 Agreement has a provision that says - “Either party (country) shall have the right to terminate this agreement prior to its expiration on one year’s written notice to the other party.”

Also Sushma Swaraj of BJP commented that the influence of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origins could be seen in the Indo-US nuclear deal ... :rofl:

Jaydeep

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby PKBasu » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:11 am

Sonia's support for the nuclear deal was lukewarm at best for four years. Only in November last year, when Manmohan threatened privately to resign over the issue, did Sonia agree to get the Congress-I party behind the deal. The only one who deserves credit for the deal is Manmohan Singh. Rahul Gandhi only jumped enthusiastically on the bandwagon late in the day -- realizing that he would win brownie points with the middle-class by supporting the PM on a pro-US issue that the middle-class supported him on.

I generally agree with most things Rajeev Srinivasan says, but on this I think he is going a bit overboard:

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/sep/08rajeev.htm

India is not bringing destruction upon itself by signing the deal -- although I agree that it is a major problem that China's 123 agreement with the US is on substantially more liberal terms than ours is. Also, I would be interested in knowing whether the assurances that Pranab Mukherjee gave (about our voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing, and supposed assurances about signing the CTBT, Missile Technology Control Regime, Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, etc.) is part of the conditionalities in the actual treaty signed with the NSG, or whether it is just a non-binding addendum to the agreement with the NSG. If it is part of the conditionalities, we may as well have signed the NPT -- and this whole exercise of signing a deal with the US has been a ludicrous charade.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby Sandeep » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:38 am

Sonia's support for the nuclear deal was lukewarm at best for four years. Only in November last year, when Manmohan threatened privately to resign over the issue, did Sonia agree to get the Congress-I party behind the deal. The only one who deserves credit for the deal is Manmohan Singh. Rahul Gandhi only jumped enthusiastically on the bandwagon late in the day -- realizing that he would win brownie points with the middle-class by supporting the PM on a pro-US issue that the middle-class supported him on.


I disagree. On what capacity would Sonia and Rahul (especially Sonia) come out in public and support the nuclear deal? Sonia can only take decisions on internal politics of congress and she did what should be done when it mattered. She is not even a central minister to air any opinions on this issue publicly!! It was only Manmohan who was doing all the talking and it should be that way (not just this issue but anything that mattered).

Anyways, my only concern is that BJP might scrap this deal if at all they come into power in the next elections (with left shamelessly supporting them)! Though it is not easy to do that, there is every possibility BJP might do itl if they think they can only come into the power with the help of left.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby shibi » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:55 pm

I don't think the BJP or for that matter even the Left has the courage to scrap the deal, if and when they come to power. Just talking while in the opposition is one thing but to act on it while in power is another.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby prasen9 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:17 pm

Sandeep wrote: On what capacity would Sonia and Rahul (especially Sonia) come out in public and support the nuclear deal?
As a citizen of a country with freedom of speech.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby Sandeep » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:28 pm

As a citizen of a country with freedom of speech.


It is a national party and all their opinions will be aired through Manmohan, which is what happened. If Advani says something, it means BJP wants that not just Advani. It is not necessary that all 150 odd congress MPs need to be vocal about their support for nuclear deal.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby PKBasu » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:17 pm

Sandeep wrote:
As a citizen of a country with freedom of speech.


It is a national party and all their opinions will be aired through Manmohan, which is what happened. .


Huh??? Sonia had no qualms expressing her strong opinions on a whole host of issues, and taking 100% of the credit for things like the NREGS (national rural employment guarantee scheme) and the egregious farm-loan waiver.

Her deafening silence on this issue (until Manmohan's famous sulk last November) spoke volumes about her utterly lukewarm attitude toward the nuclear deal.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby jayakris » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:03 pm

shibi wrote:
sandeep wrote:Anyways, my only concern is that BJP might scrap this deal if at all they come into power in the next elections (with left shamelessly supporting them)! Though it is not easy to do that, there is every possibility BJP might do itl if they think they can only come into the power with the help of left.

I don't think the BJP or for that matter even the Left has the courage to scrap the deal, if and when they come to power. Just talking while in the opposition is one thing but to act on it while in power is another.


Well, there is no DEAL to scrap. An agreement to allow deals is all this is. It is ridiculous to scrap an agreement that does not hold us responsible for anything if we do nothing! Once we enter into deals with actual nuclear supplier companies, future governments can try to pull out of them, but as shaili said, the left or BJP do not have the courage to do any of that - because there will be no political mileage in that, at all.

It is the anti-nationals like Prakash Karat, who is looking for anything under the sun to try to save face (now that his masters in Beijing themselves can't find anything much to say) who are saying idiotic statements like that. I don't think any of the serious leaders of BJP would say something like that. They would try their level best to first act like this was a bad deal ("walked into a trap" etc as Yashwant Sinha said), then will go quiet, and once in power claim to have started it off themselves earlier anyway!

BJP is not going to join with the left to come to power, Sandeep. The only party that would join *anybody* to come to power is the Congress. Let us not make the Congress opportunists out to be saints here, please. And I still do not buy your argument that Sonia Gandhi has turned into such a patriot. It will take a lot more from her, for me to buy that. It really has nothing to do with her being Italian. In fact I trust her more than I trusted her mother-in-law for that matter - which is not saying much.

PKB is right, that she was widely reported to be very lakewarm to the nuclear deal (rightly so, due to the political risks) till Manmohan Singh showed he was willing to leave for this cause that he considers so important for India (for him it was the next idea "whose time has come, that no power on earth could stop"). She came to her senses then. The only reason I see for her staunch support to the deal later is probably her acute political savvy which caused her to realize that they would all fall together if she did not become a big supporter, and that there was indeed a chance for them to pull through together. On this matter, I am assuming manmohan Singh left her without much choice. My question above was to see if there happens to be anything more to it. I am fine agreeing with you that there probably weren't any sinister anti-national interest from her, but I still do not trust her much. Yeah, perhaps I like her a tad bit more than Indira Gandhi, that is all.

Jay

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby Sandeep » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:54 pm

Her deafening silence on this issue (until Manmohan's famous sulk last November) spoke volumes about her utterly lukewarm attitude toward the nuclear deal.


PKB, she never took credit for anything. It is us who mad eher a hero and again it is us Indians who are talking about her lukewarm response. She has never made any comment which claims he credit for loan waiver or NREGS.

She might have not hit headlines with her support for nuclear deal (rightly so, the deal might have never come into existence if we had gone for elections in 2006 when left parties threatened to withdraw their support), but she has always backed it and infact explained it to everyone where ever she toured. Infact here is an article on how Sonia is a corrective influence on the government way back in 2006 and has a small piece in nuclear deal

Sonia a corrective influence on govt?

Even on matters where UPA claims success, such as a potentially path-breaking nuclear deal with US, it has been Gandhi who has provided the critical mass. Even as PM Manmohan Singh staked his political capital on the civil nuclear cooperation pact, behind the scenes, it was Gandhi who gave ties with Washington a quiet push once she was convinced of the agreement's benefits. If there was a political risk in warming to US, in terms of minority support, it was Gandhi who ran the gauntlet.


This tells how she was always part of the action and this was in 2006. I don't quite agree that she has only supported the deal in recent times.

The only party that would join *anybody* to come to power is the Congress. Let us not make the Congress opportunists out to be saints here, please.


I am not trying to project congress men as saints, but if you look back you will see that Congress never had any strong alliances till recent elections. Infact, congress lost the previous elections due to their unwillingness to form any winning alliances! Seriously, it was BJP who did it! Didn't you see them joining hands with Gowdas just for the sake of power? And nothing wrong in it, today's politics are that way. Congress does it (they learnt it from BJP), and BJP does it too. No one is a saint, it is all about powerplay. Congress has learnt it well under Sonia, otherwise, with the arrogance they have got they would have never come into power!

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby PKBasu » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:52 am

Jay, Indira Gandhi was a disaster for the economy (in her first 11 years in office), and destroyed the institutions of democracy (Supreme Court, party structures, etc.) through her fanatically selfish approach to politics.

But she was a patriot through and through -- on that count, you cannot fault her. To give Sonia credit for being more of a patriot than Indira is completely unfair, in my view, and certainly Sonia's foreign-policy has shown none of Indira's unfailing commitment to being pro-India above all else. Indira Gandhi won us our first unmitigated military victory over a foreign power since the first Battle of Tarain (1191). Of course, Krishnadeva Raya lived much later than Prithviraj Chauhan -- and built a magnificent empire through much of peninsular India with military victories over other Indian kingdoms. But 1971 was a masterstroke both in military and diplomatic terms for Indira (remember, she got Joan Baez and the entire beat generation rocking to the Concert for Bangladesh when the official US position was strongly pro-Pakistan, especially after Yahya had helped Nixon/Kissinger with the opening to Mao's China). By 1977, Indira had further emasculated Pakistan, with quiet support for the Baluch, Pakhtoon and Sindhi movements -- which the Janata Party quietly shelved, providing an opening for Zia to hatch his Khalistan scheme instead.

Of course, Indira's diabolical tactics in domestic politics did grave damage to India -- including in Punjab (where she supported Bhindranwale's rise to counter the Akalis, and eventually paid the ultimate price for this), Kashmir (where her myopic tactics to defeat Farooq Abdullah by supporting his brother-in-law laid the seeds for the 1989 insurrection), Assam and the north-eastern states (where her connivance in Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed's demographic project of allowing massive Bangladeshi infiltration destroyed the north-east). Ironically, a lot of this occurred in her final term in office, during which her economic policies were much more rational, and in fact started India off on its faster growth trajectory (with the aid of an IMF loan, the largest taken by any country until that point, which brought about pro-market economic reforms).

Indira's overall report card, in my mind, is a mild positive (say a grade of 5.5 out of 10) while Nehru's would be mildly negative (4.8 out of 10): on foreign policy, Nehru was a disaster (1962 being the logical culmination of his idiocy in not objecting to China's invasion of Tibet in 1950); on the economy he gets a barely passing grade (holding back our comparative advantage in textiles, etc., and pursuing an absurd strategy on Mahalanobis' static mathematical model of Soviet-style planning that ignored India's entrepreneurial potential -- BUT nevertheless having the vision to create the IITs and IIMs, which are unique among developing economies). Nehru deserves credit for building some of the institutions of democracy -- including an independent judiciary, and a relatively autonomous bureaucracy. Indira destroyed those two institutions, and weakened the economy almost fatally in her early years (through bank nationalization, FERA, MRTP Act, etc.). So her grade on domestic policy would be a 4 on 10, but her grade on foreign policy would be a 7 on 10 (including the Soviet alliance, which the dogmatic Nehru would never have signed even though his heart was more with the Soviet camp than Indira's ever was; she was simply a much more pragmatic user of realpolitik, and her cache in the developing world was therefore substantially stronger than Nehru's in reality).

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby prasen9 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:21 am

Sandeep wrote:It is a national party and all their opinions will be aired through Manmohan, which is what happened. If Advani says something, it means BJP wants that not just Advani. It is not necessary that all 150 odd congress MPs need to be vocal about their support for nuclear deal.
Since when did any political party institute a gag order on its head? Of course, Manmohan represents the Congress and what he says can be attributed to the party. But, the fact of the matter is that all the MPs talk about some issue or the other regularly. Sonia gives interviews and pushes policy or criticizes policy. Politicians always talk about issues they are passionate about and all 150 odd congress MPs are vocal about things they care about. All the MPs do not need to be vocal about their support, but, they are vocal about something or the other regularly and what they are vocal about gives an idea of their pet projects and projects that are the most important to them. I do not buy that Sonia somehow needed some authority or PM post before she could talk about this issue. She could have made her views known and vociferously lobbied or laid out her reasons for support. That she did not implies that this was not one of her big priorities. It is quite possible that she did that and I missed reading about those. Then, the point is conceded. If not, however, the good folks here are right in claiming that her support was lukewarm. This was not just some other small issue, it was a big issue. I do not understand very well what the benefits may be to us, but, there is no doubt that there was some importance attached to getting this done and I defer to the experts on this.

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby jayakris » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:53 pm

PKB - I agree with what you are saying above. Just a clarification - I don't and didn't doubt Indira Gandhi's patriotism at all. The way I put it, that I trust Sonia Gandhi a bit more than Indira Gandhi, may have made it sound so. I was distrustful of Indira Gandhi only because of her extreme paranoia which made her take decisions which often worked totally against India's interests and helped drive us backward in the world, as far as our position in the world and our economic development were concerned. But none of it was due to any lack of patriotism in her. She was a ptriot through and through as you said.

I consider Sonia Gandhi to be much less paranoid and much more practical (and hence a little less detrimental to India than Indira, so to say :) ), but my distrust of her are for other reasons. Not exactly that she was born and bourght up abroad, but that I do not have evidence that she fully appreciates the religious underpinnings of India's culture and history, particularly as far as the majority faith is concerned. She always seems to understand only the minority religion's positions in India. With India-born politicians of the majority religion, I know that it is due to political expediency, but with Sonia, I have never been fully convinced that it is only that. I am never suspicious of an Antony or a Fernandez on this count, but I have been, of Sonia. Perhaps the Fracois Gautiers out there also influence me a bit on this. But I would hasten to add that I am still open-minded on this, and perhaps in the long-run SG may convince me that I should trust her more. I will leave it at that.

Jay

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Re: Indo-US nuclear deal and its implications

Postby jayakris » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:12 pm

Meanwhile there are some Australians who are speaking against the country's government for being China-supporters -Confusion over uranium sales grows as Stephen Smith reaches India

Viw from Germany - Germany Grudgingly Accepts Landmark Nuclear Deal with India

An editorial in New Zealand - Deal damages N-free stance

.. And Brahma Chellaney keeps on mumbling and muttering, without enough ammunition to fully attack the deal, but generally continuing to say a bunch of warning messages etc, in this Op Ed piece in the Wall St Journal Asia - Nuclear Distraction

.. and on what Indian companies are up to, from Asia Times - India throws open a $100bn nuclear bazaar

Jay


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