Update: Please read a revised and expanded edition of this post at The Great Indian Mutiny.
Exactly 60 years after independence, India stands on a precipice. If it is ready to open its arms and join the world powers, it can soar into the sky. If it acts afraid, and bows to China, it will plunge to the depths of its isolationist socialist past.
Why the Left’s Opposition?
China. There was a time when the CPI(M) blatantly stuck posters all over Kolkata stating “China’s Chairman is our Chairman!”. Many experts, like B. Raman, have conceded that “The Left’s campaign against India’s relations with the US reflects more China’s concerns and interests than those of India.”
While the Left is posturing as the supreme nationalist, Jaideep Mazumdar offers a startling summary of what they’ve really achieved and the mistakes they’ve made in the last 30 years of their governance in West Bengal:
- Banned English from high schools, colleges, and even universities -as ‘imperialist’
- Banished Computers, as they were a ‘capitalist and exploitative’ ploy
- Banished Businesses and Industry — “Tata, Birla, Go Back!”
- Promoted militant Trade Unionism
- Shunned Global Institutions — World Bank, IMF, ADB were devils
- Which is the 2nd largest city in West Bengal after Kolkata? Stumped? Because of Urban Neglect.
All the above mistakes are now being reversed without being acknowledged. These are your righteous ideologues who’re out to protect you from imperialist Uncle Sam. So, why is China behind them? Because:
While the Indo-US deal includes supply of fuel and India’s right to reprocess spent fuel, the agreement with China does not. China has had to accept bilateral inspections by US inspectors while there’s no such clause in the Indo-US deal. USA’s nuclear deal with China is linked to various external factors like China’s relations with Pakistan, its behavior in Tibet and its non-proliferation record. The Indo-US deal has no such linkages, nor does it provide any role to external agencies to oversee the separation between civilian and military reactors in India, unlike the US-China deal that forced China to allow Australia to attest its separation plan.
For a detailed analysis of the differences between China’s and India’s 123 agreements with the US, see this article in the IE.
What if India Backs Out of the Deal
Yesterday, Karan Thapar talked with K. Subrahmanyam on India Tonight (CNBC TV18). The summary and conclusions of the discussion were as follows. There would be the following consequences if India backs out of the deal now.
India will lose its credibility so badly on the world stage, that our ties with countries such as France, Germany, Russia, UK, Japan, and Australia will be affected. From trade to WTO negotiations to immigration — all aspects of diplomacy will find us in difficult positions with little to bargain for. We may be able to do little if a Haneef kind of case happens again, and we sure can expect tightening of immigration restrictions against India.
Forget 9% growth ambitions. There will be no FDI. Lack of political stability will pull out all those billions of dollars that have been pouring in the last few years. India’s isolation will have enormous economic impact.
The potential of nuclear power to supply up to 15% of our energy needs is a significant one. It can ameliorate our energy crisis substantially. By remaining in technological isolation, we will never be able to satisfy our energy requirements. This in turn, means an economic impact as well.
Strategic National Security
If this nuclear deal does not go through, India will permanently accept China as the ruling supremo in the Asian region. The deal is the backbone of a broader strategic alliance not just with the US, but with Japan, Australia, and Russia as well. The planned joint naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal are just one of the many that we will conduct with a host of other nations in the future — if we stick to the deal. Those who do not understand the strategic necessity of such a closer cooperation should familiarize themselves with the Chinese String of Pearls strategy. India will need to learn to bow before China and accept more sophisticated Pakistani infiltration in Kashmir. Today, claims that Arunachal Pradesh belongs to China are being made publicly. Imagine what can happen tomorrow, when no one in the world is going to listen to what India has to say.
Pessimism or Gravitas?
The above are not An Unquiet Mind’s opinions or conclusions. Do you think they are overly pessimistic or intentionally sensationalist? K. Subrahmanyam is not known to be either — he is India’s foremost strategic thinker, referred to as the ‘doyen of India’s strategic foreign affairs experts’. Both Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh’s governments have placed utmost trust in him. He had placed the Indo-US Joint Statement of 2005 as one of the “Five Decisions that Changed India”. Also see “The Legend that is K. Subrahmanyam”.
Such a man does not make statements lightly or sensationalize issues. We are standing on a precipice. If the Indo-US nuclear cooperation doesn’t go through, expect more brain drain, rather than the reverse. This is critically important for the future of India. We cannot afford it to be left to the Left and be left behind.
|Share this post :|