Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Chandrababu Naidu was an effective Chief Minister. But the people of Andhra Pradesh dismissed him because he could not dissociate his party from BJP when pro-rich policies of Vajpayee were playing havoc with the lives of workers, farmers and consumers.
Congress allies should learn the lesion from this.
If survival in power is their aim, they should persuade the Prime Minister that the nuke agreement with USA should be discarded as it pushes us into American hegemony or be kept in abeyance till at least the Parliament votes in its favor. If he remains adamant in imposing it on our nation, they should immediately dissociate from the Congress in order not to become neo Naidus.
This deal seems like a fraud played on our people.
Dr. Singh insists that it is in our interest.
But, according to an eminent Senator of the United States, it is in interest of USA.
CLEARLY IN INTEREST OF THE USA
Reuters, on August 12, quoted Senator Joe Lieberman, a political heavyweight of America, known for his role in policy making and proximity to President Bush, to have emphasized that the deal will get support of both the Houses of USA Congress because “it is so clearly in the interests of the United States”.
“For U.S. nuclear firms, it opens up the Indian market, estimated to be worth $100 billion”, says Reuters in another report on August 25, sub-captioning this phenomenon as a “bonanza for U.S. Firms”.
Now, therefore, it is clear that the nuke deal, which is held as a “bonanza for U.S.Firms” and is designed “so clearly in the interests of United States” has been “signed” behind our back by Dr. Singh, who has misused his position to make it “sealed” and “non-negotiable” at American behest.
In a democracy, where peoples are collectively supreme, a Prime Minister cannot assume autocratic powers to bind all the peoples and their country to a foreign power by signing a deal that would be “non-negotiable” for all time to come.
When Dr. Singh says that the deal is “non-negotiable”, because it is “signed” and “sealed” under executive powers vested in his government, he inadvertently admits that before signing the agreement he had decided to use the executive powers clause, as and when necessary, to escape, if people of India do not want to accept American hegemony in any form under any mischief of this deal. Such a modus operandi does not vouch either for integrity on part of the government or for national interest of India.
NO CARTE BLANCHE
Executive powers contemplated under the Constitution of India neither grant the government any immunity from answerability to the House of the Peoples nor strengthen it with any carte blanche to act above the Parliament.
So the Prime Minister cannot be allowed to have the luxury of using the executive powers vested in him to make a deal “non-negotiable” when that deal is vitiated with scope to subject our country to the hegemony of a foreign power.
A responsible government manned by selfless leaders of our people should first have placed every details of this deal before the general public, explaining all the prospects and consequences thereof, so that the nation could have arrived at a conscientious decision in this matter. This was the bare minimum necessity as the deal deals with dangerous nuclear materials and has designs that portend serious debacles notwithstanding the governmental projection of benefits.
SERIOUS DEBACLES AHEAD
“Many of the risks associated with civil nuclear power are well known”. This is said by the Oxford Research Group (ORG) in a study captioned with a poser: “Too Hot to Handle?” wherein it says, “The two current proposals to reduce the risk that a global expansion of nuclear power poses for nuclear weapon proliferation and nuclear terrorism, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and the Nuclear Fuel Bank both have serious shortcomings. GNEP requires spent-fuel reprocessing and the use of Fast Feeder Reactors (FBR). Both have been shown to be commercial disasters. In addition, FBRs have proved to be very unreliable, uneconomical, and unsafe“.
This expert observation in juxtaposition with Dr. Singh’s assertions seems more convincing and it portends serious debacles if the 123 Agreement is executed.
The 123 Agreement provides for “transfer of nuclear material, non-nuclear material, equipment, components and information through authorized persons” whereas it has defined a person as “any individual or any entity subject to the territorial jurisdiction of either party but does not include the parties”.
It is pertinent to note that the ORG Report (cited supra) is prepared “On The Future of Civil Nuclear Power” and authored by Frank Barnaby and James Kemp. With a foreword by the Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy Spokesperson and MP David Howarth, it has concluded that the “current national and international safeguards systems cannot monitor the movement of nuclear materials through reprocessing and enrichment plants sufficiently adequately to ensure that the diversion of nuclear materials from civil to military use will not occur. In short, the plutonium economy will inevitably increase the risk that the capability to fabricate nuclear weapons will spread and that fissile materials will be used by terrorists to make nuclear explosives“.
Against this backdrop, India entering into a “non-negotiable” agreement with USA that a private person or entity subject to territorial jurisdiction of that country (ensured by the phrase: either party) can be used for “transfer of nuclear material” including “non-nuclear materials, equipment, components and information” is bound to be disastrous for our Motherland.
When Congress leaders of India, beginning from Arjun Singh to Rajiv Gandhi, in their the then capacities helped Anderson to escape Indian Laws after the Bhopal Gas tragedy and we have not yet been able to punish the culprits and fetch justice for the victims of the genocide that Union Carbide had perpetrated on our people by way of testing the killer effect of a non-nuclear gas, what would happen to our country if a private “person or entity” belonging to USA jurisdiction, but authorized to “transfer nuclear materials, non-nuclear materials, equipment, components and information” to our land resorts to subterfuge and allows, as observed in the ORG report, “diversion of nuclear materials from civil to military use” may be easily guessed.
Passive secularists being bedfellows of active communalists in India under the strange scheme of plutocratic miscegenation, the 123 Agreement has every mischief to generate a new environment of such “diversion” to suit the nefarious purposes of religious fundamentalists, who have emerged as the rulers of the roost, as witnessed in the assault on Taslima in Andhara Pradesh in a passive secularist Congress regime or in making a College Principal march naked on the streets in Madhya Pradesh in the active communalists BJP regime.
HIDDEN DANGER FROM THE HYDE ACT
Such techno-hazards apart, concern of the Left Parties on subjection of India to USA hegemony through the nuke deal deserves serious attention. It is better to quote their statement, where they have stressed on the mischief of the USA, hidden under the Hyde Act, irrevocably under which the deal is to be operated.
Serious concern had been expressed by the Left Parties about various conditions inserted into the Hyde Act passed by the US Congress. A number of them pertain to areas outside nuclear co-operation and are attempts to coerce India to accept the strategic goals of the United States. These issues are:
Annual certification and reporting to the US Congress by the President on a variety of foreign policy issues such as India’s foreign policy being ‘congruent to that of the United States and more specifically India joining US efforts in isolating and even sanctioning Iran [Section 104g(2) E(i)]
Indian participation and formal declaration of support for the US’ highly controversial Proliferation Security Initiative including the illegal policy of interdiction of vessels in international waters [Section 104g(2) K]
India conforming to various bilateral/multilateral agreements to which India is not currently a signatory such as the US’ Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group etc [Section 104c E,F,G]
All of these are a part of the Hyde Act. The 123 Agreement refers only to the narrow question of supply of nuclear materials and co-operation on nuclear matters. The provisions of the Hyde Act are far wider than the 123 agreement and could be used to terminate the 123 agreement not only in the eventuality of a nuclear test but also for India not conforming to the US foreign policy. The termination clause is wide ranging and does not limit itself to only violation of the agreement as a basis for cessation or termination of the contract. Therefore, these extraneous provisions of the Hyde Act could be used in the future to terminate the 123 Agreement. In such an eventuality, India would be back to complete nuclear isolation, while accepting IAEA safeguards in perpetuity. Therefore, the argument that provisions of the Hyde Act do not matter and only 123 clauses do, are misplaced”.
It is a misfortune for our country that the mainstream media has abandoned its responsibility to educate people on such alarming aspect of the nuke deal. It is more alarming that the national broadsheets and TV channels are trying to project the deal as a must for India’s betterment through misconstrued opinion polls.
During the Vajpayee days Media had been playing this trick of opinion polls. But our people rejected Vajpayee when the real poll-time came. And, also rejected his allies.
The present allies of Congress should therefore be cautious.
FOUL PLAY OF PLUTOCRACY
Dr. Singh was never the choice of India for the post of Prime Minister. He grabbed this post behind the curtain of a political confusion to which the agents of plutocracy had dragged the Congress into at a time when the peoples of India were eager to save their Motherland from active communalists, the stooges of hoarders, blackmarketeers and adulterators.
He is the father of the sin that has derailed Indian Resolution for Socialism enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution.
Had it been possible on part of Narasimha Rao and his curs in the cabinet, the Resolution for Socialism enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution could have been dropped. But it being impossible to change the Preamble, Singh as Finance Minister had resorted to a method of subterfuge and had subjected India to GATT behind back of our people and had paved the path for plutocracy to replace whatever semblance of democracy we till then had consequent upon which mega scams engulfed our country.
Shocked to the core our people had to reject the Congress; but blind in rage, they rushed into the trap of another masquerade of plutocracy, Vajpayee.
But no sooner Vajpayee took over than he shed the mask down and our national industries, one after the other, started being sold away to private profiteers under the guise of ‘economic reform’ that Man Mohan Singh had initiated by binding us to GATT.
In this continued regime of ‘free economy’ ushered in by Dr. Singh, the country was freely plundered by whoever had a politico-administrative clout.
Vajpayee’s blue-eyed boy Pramod Mahajan may be cited as an example. He was a son of a low-salaried schoolteacher. But the magic of ‘free economy’ had made him a multi-billionaire when Vajpayee was in power. While spreading saffron, he lived a five star life. He was a role model of all that Vajpayee and BJP stood for. He could invest many crores of Rupees for well-being of his younger brothers but had ultimately to succumb to bullets from his youngest brother’s gun, the crux of the quarrel between the brothers admittedly being his 2000-crore of Rupees worth black money empire!
From this empire, the slogan of “India shining” had emanated. People had seen enough of this shining. They refused a fresh mandate to Vajpayee.
WHO WAS REALLY REJECTED?
In rejecting Vajpayee whom had our people really rejected?
They had rejected Dr. Man Mohan Singh. They had rejected the economic policy he had clamped on our people that Vajpayee had continued.
So, Dr. Singh was not the legitimate choice of India for the post of Prime Minister.
As he had fathered the economic policy that best served the purposes of BJP, it had come to his aid by whipping up a controversy on Sonia Gandhi’s nationality, probably by being instigated by Singh himself.
Many strange things happen in politics and every strange thing does not come to light always. It cannot be forgotten that strange was the way Dr. Singh got imposed on us as our Prime Minister.
Ever since he has become the Prime Minister, he has invented newer methods to invigorate plutocracy. Helping monopoly trade to spread and allowing imperial houses to establish their own dominions on the soil of our sovereign land in the guise of SEZ is one such method.
The list is vast. But relevant to the subject in hand is his anti-democracy disposition.
“Signed, sealed and non-negotiable”. This is how he has responded to a just demand for keeping the agreement in abeyance till the people are fully apprised of the deal.
A deal, which, in the opinion of American Senator Joe Lieberman, “is so clearly in the interest of the United States”, cannot be equally clearly in interest if India. Difference is bound to be there. Our people have a right to know the quantum of this difference. And till we know of this, it is justified to say that the agreement should be kept in abeyance.
On the other hand, this is a deal, which, in the opinion of experts at ORG is not a sure safeguard against “diversion of nuclear materials from civil to military use”. This is a deal, which is “a bonanza to U.S.Firms” as it “opens up Indian market, estimated to be worth $100 billion” to private traders of America to trade in nuclear materials in our country subject to USA jurisdiction.
Juxtaposed with ORG observations on possibility of diversion of nuclear materials from civil to military use, the role allowed to private persons in the deal needs assessment by our people specifically as we are affected by ever-rising religio-militancy. Till then the agreement must be kept in abeyance.
Nuclear power generation, as per expert opinion hinted to supra, is most expensive and unreliable. How far this is correct needs to be assessed. And till then the agreement must be kept in abeyance.
The Hyde Act of America, as apprehended by seasoned and responsible politicians, is detrimental to Indian interest. The nuke deal being dependant on this particular American Law, how far making the agreement operational would safeguard Indian interest needs to be studied in depth. Till then its execution must not be allowed.
So the demand of the Left parties is right. It is wrong on part of Dr. Singh to impose this deal on us before we are apprised of every aspect of the deal.
But the USA is in a hurry. To help its traders and to provide a “bonanza to U.S.Firms” in the eve of election, Bush administration wants that Government of India proceed ahead with its execution.
If the Communists withdraw their support, “would Washington pursue the deal with a minority government whose parliamentary legitimacy could be in question?” journalists in USA were wondering. “Yes, said a U.S. congressional aide who asked not to be named”, reports Reuters on August 25.
The reputed Agency cites him to have clarified that the “desire to act on the agreement — before a new government took power in New Delhi, which might well seek changes to the deal — was likely to overcome misgivings about the weakness of a government without a majority”.
So, the USA shall sure press upon Dr. Man Mohan Singh to go ahead with the deal in order to please American Firms to whom it is a “bonanza” in the eve of election.
And, given his disposition, Dr. Singh is likely to proceed with the deal in order to please the Americans.
Then it would be a sure misuse of executive powers. It would be an instance of administrative breech of trust resorted to by a government against its own people. People may not be able to stop it but they shall sure stop this government from getting reelected.
Allies of the Congress, take care.
Filed under: administration, Animadversion, Editorials, politics Tagged: | Atal Bihari Vajpayee, bjp, congress, Hyde Act, Indian Parliament, Indo-US Nuclear Deal, Manmohan Singh, myspace, nuclear material, Nuclear Power Generation, Oxford Research Group, pramod mahajan