Rising 1–2-3 or Falling 3–2-1? (123 Trilogy Part 1)

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.

International Diplomacy

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.indiausamap-thumb.jpg

Economic Growth

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.

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  • Pingback: University Update - West 8 - Rising 1-2-3 or Falling 3-2-1?()

  • You know Mahen­dra, this sub­ject upsets me so much that I usu­al­ly refrain from com­ment­ing! I feel very strong­ly about this and ofcourse echo your sen­ti­ments but I feel so angry!! With the Left I mean. I don’t want to say more.

  • Nita: I can­not tell you how grate­ful I am to you for shar­ing my anger! I feel so help­less, des­per­ate, and angry! It upsets me so much that my blood has been boil­ing for the past few days, and I couldn’t resist writ­ing about it. I avoid­ed the top­ic for some time.

    Because I felt so strong­ly about it, I thought I will not be able to do jus­tice to it. But then I thought again: after all, I start­ed my blog to vent out my unqui­et thoughts and feel­ings about things that I’m pas­sion­ate about. Why keep it boil­ing with­in myself?

    But it was very dif­fi­cult to write a restrained, ratio­nal post, with­out let­ting too much of my frus­tra­tion through!

    At such times, I feel help­less because even though this top­ic is very much in my cir­cle of con­cern, it is so out­side my cir­cle of influ­ence! The gap between the two is what is most dis­tress­ing.

  • As I remarked in anoth­er blog, India’s main threat is not Pak­istan, or Kash­mir, or Chi­na, but its own Left. They will not rest till they drag this coun­try till the days of the Novem­ber Rev­o­lu­tion, and cre­ate gulags where they will send all of us.
    Pre­pare to migrate if they come to pow­er in the com­ing or sub­se­quent elec­tions.

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  • You said it. Writ­ing a ratio­nal post on this sub­ject. I am quite inca­pable of it! 😀 The words I will use are the ones I cen­sor on my own blog! 🙂

  • Oh and btw Ramo­bodoc, can you tell me why peo­ple in Ben­gal vote for the Left? I have my own the­o­ry on it, that the elec­tions are rigged, but peo­ple tell me I am wrong. Whats your take on it?

  • Nita: //You said it. Writ­ing a ratio­nal post on this sub­ject. I am quite inca­pable of it!//

    That’s why I refrained from writ­ing. Then a light bulb moment occurred: “Oh, but there will be a com­ment sec­tion, where I can real­ly vent out!” 🙂

    Why do peo­ple vote for the left in Ben­gal? I’ve also often won­dered about the same ques­tion. How come the anti-incum­ben­cy fac­tor doesn’t work at all? Any insight — Ram­bodoc or any oth­er Ben­gali who’s read­ing this? Please enlight­en us!

    Oh, and what I’m real­ly scared of, is when Bud­dhadeb Bhat­tachar­jee did try to devi­ate from Left­ist ide­ol­o­gy and try to attract invest­ment in the state, his Gov­ern­ment did such a poor job of it, that it led to the Nandi­gram dis­as­ter! So, these things are real­ly going to work in push­ing them back towards an extreme Left­ist stance.

  • Nita and Mahen­dra,
    The Left is a chron­ic dis­ease in Ben­gal. The peo­ple are in cahoots with the par­ty, a sort of con­spir­a­cy to ensure con­tin­u­a­tion of one par­ty rule. How so? Want a job? Psst..go to the par­ty boss. Want a piece of land? Psst..give a bit to the local Com­mit­tee. Want to beat up your girl friend’s para­mour? Let’s go, com­rades!
    The Par­ty has sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly infil­trat­ed into vil­lages, talukas, dis­tricts and cities. At every lev­el, there is a CPM office, with an impres­sive organ­i­sa­tion that can con­trol the local soci­ety. Any­one who dares to resist may get beat­en up or killed. Dur­ing the elec­tions, there is the phe­nom­e­non of ‘sci­en­tif­ic rig­ging’ about which there should be a Wikipedia arti­cle.
    Last­ly, I should add that for some peo­ple, CPM has become part of their career growth. A doc­tor who is a good for noth­ing and fails in all the PG entrance tests needs to just work in the Gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal. Five years lat­er, he gets into an MD/MS course with­out hav­ing to take ANY exam. So for him, the par­ty is part of his career.
    A few still vote for the CPM because they believe in com­mu­nism. Suck­ers!

  • I had heard vague­ly about this when we lived in Kolkata. About how peo­ple are intim­i­dat­ed into voting…and thats how I had come to the con­clu­sion that masss rig­ging was going on. Any­way, all this is typ­i­cal of com­mu­nism. Thanks for the info.

  • God! This remind­ed me of We The Liv­ing! Thanks!

  • very cer­tain­ly inter­est­ing r the com­ments
    very well known are the facts
    the com­mis as doc said are into every­thing in ben­gal
    From a friend and a per­son who has worked in ben­gal
    they work in a mafioso man­ner
    i heard that the com­mis also hold land papers of most peo­ple who received govt land, after the land was redis­trib­uted in the 60s if not they con­trol all func­tions of gram pan­chay­at, so as to con­trol rural­folk, this is a very potent tool and the flare­up of sin­gur showed how they can try to get their way.

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  • Please cor­rect me if I’m wrong, but is there real­ly any chance of con­tain­ing China’s dic­ta­tor­ship in the long term with­out the US and India team­ing up?

  • Prax: thanks for pro­vid­ing fur­ther insight. Yes, com­mu­nism is anoth­er kind of fas­cism, and they can­not suc­ceed with­out act­ing like a mafia. Con­trol­ling land doc­u­men­ta­tion and influ­enc­ing gram panchayats…how deplorable!

  • Paul: this one too was iden­ti­fied as spam…and no, I have no answer. Your ques­tion is a very inter­est­ing one though!