Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In the eve of Independence Day, a friend of mine, Prof. Mrinal Chatterjee, has sent me a panicle of data, one of which is, “Tera India Mahan, Mera Bharat Pareshan” that he has “seen scrawled at the back of a truck”. He has roughly translated it as “Your India is great, but my Bharat is in trouble”.
Dear Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, while unfurling the National Flag on the day of our independence, can you understand, what does this data cry to communicate?
It cascades down from the trolley of a truck probably owned by the working-for-survival driver himself; because it can never belong to “Your India” group.
Today being the Independence Day, and accidentally you being the Prime Minister, please try, if you can, to understand what does it convey. It conveys the feeling of the tortured citizens of this betrayed Country in its entirety.
Elected by our people the Congress has imposed you on us as our Prime Minister. And, accepted by our people as Prime Minister, you have managed the Country with such precision that it has been clearly cut into two parts in commons’ perception: “Your Great India” and “My Troubled Bharat”. The partition that religious fanatics had precipitated in 1947 was geographical; the partition you have precipitated is mental.
Try to understand in what sobs one must have been drowned while groping about words to coin the cry: “Tera India Mahan, mera Bharat Pareshan”.
You are our Prime Minister. Don’t make Prime Minister of India a stooge of US of America.
You have bound us with US of America in a nuclear deal without approval of our Parliament and you reiterate, the agreement “is signed, sealed and non-negotiable”. Who are you, elected indirectly for a limited period, to sign, behind back of our people, a deal, that you say, is “non negotiable” for all time to come? Have you shown the minimum curtsey befitting a representative to make us people of this Country, your Masters, know, what agreement you were to sign with a foreign Country, before making it “signed, sealed and non negotiable”? Who is your Masters: we Indians or those Americans? You must explain your position.
You could not have been the Prime Minister had the Communists not given you their support. Had you not been the Prime Minister, could you have signed the “non-negotiable” nuclear deal with the USA? When you owe your existence in the Prime Minister post to the Communists, was it not your duty to show them details of the deal before signing the agreement? Now when they raise their objection, you use mass media to challenge them “to do whatever they want to do” and assert, “if they want to withdraw support, so be it”! Is it becoming of a Prime Minister of India, Mr. Singh? Is it political curtsey?
A day ago, in the Lok Sabha, you have made specific mention on your speech of 17th August 2006 in the Rajya Sabha to show us how transparently you have placed before the Parliament details of the deal. I studied your speech. You have not stated anywhere that you have placed before the Parliament the draft of the agreement for the people to see how far was it acceptable. Sitaram Yechury, frontbencher of Communist bloc on whose support you thrive in power, had wanted to know, “whether it is a nuclear deal or a deal concerning civilian nuclear cooperation”. He would never have posed this question had the text of the draft agreement been placed before the House.
Mark his speech. He says, after this aspect is known, the question as to “whether we are being treated as a nuclear weapon State or not being treated as a nuclear weapon State” would arise.
“Do we have the same rights and benefits as the Prime Minister has said?” he wondered and proceeded to say, “if this whole issue is about civilian nuclear cooperation and if it is meant to augment India’s nuclear energy, then I would actually like to know whether any study has been done on the basis of which you are moving towards this option of augmenting India’s nuclear energy. Has the Atomic Energy Commission ever discussed this entire issue?
“The Atomic Energy Commission is also under the Prime Minister. At least, the country does not know and the Parliament does not know what their opinion on this entire nuclear deal is and whether such augmentation is feasible or possible”.
Dear Prime Minister, it is clear from the above that you had not placed the text of the draft agreement before the Parliament for perusal, for analysis, for proper information of the Representatives of the people.
You have stated that the deal will benefit India. This statement of yours has made a few Americans oppose the deal in USA. But making the position clear, Senator Joe Lieberman, known for his proximity to President Bush, has said: “There will be debate, there will be some dissent. In the end, it will be accepted and endorsed by strong majority in both houses of Congress because it is so clearly in the interests of the United States”. (Reuters, August 14, 2007)
So in USA voice, the Agreement you have signed “is so clearly in the interests of United States”.
Why have you done this Mr. Prime Minister? Why are you asking us to accept that the deal is in our interest when it “is so clearly in the interest of United States”?
At least, at this stage, tell us, who initiated this deal? You in your Cabinet or the United States? Please place the documents before the public so that we can know as to whether or not you are influenced by USA to sign and seal the “non-negotiable” agreement of the deal.
“Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and the Nuclear Fuel Bank both have serious shortcomings. GNEP requires spent-fuel reprocessing and the use of fast breeder reactors. Both have been shown to be commercial disasters. In addition, FBRs have proved to be very unreliable, uneconomical, and unsafe” concludes Oxford Research Group, under a caption “Too hot to handle?”
Please go deep into this report.
According to you, “primary motivation for India’s nuclear programme was the production of energy, defense came much later”. And, you have said, “Prudence demands that we must widen our energy options”. Though you have admitted that nuclear energy may not provide the final answer, to you, “all development is about widening human choices. And, when it comes to energy security, widening our choices means that we should be able to make effective use of nuclear power”. You are not alone in peddling such a plea. Every country that accepts USA hegemony has been marshalling pleas similar to yours.
In reacting to such a plea, the ORG has warned the British Government, “If a decision to go with nuclear power is taken then the UK will implement a flawed and dangerously counter-productive energy policy – one from which the blowback may be a lot worse than higher heating bills”.
So, Mr. Prime Minister, please think afresh.
“When future generations look back, they will come to acknowledge the significance of this historic deal”, you have told the House yesterday.
You had told the same thing when, as finance minister under Narasimha Rao, you had subjected us to USA propelled GATT in order to render our National Resolution to make India a Socialist Republic inconsequential. You had done that in a way of subterfuge because Narasimha Rao government was not in a position to obliterate this Resolution from the Preamble of the Constitution through an amendment. And, India’s resolve to become a Socialist Republic was not suitable to USA. This subterfuge you have branded as an act of economic reform!
As Prime Minister you have asserted that India has been shining because of the economic reform you had brought in and as then you had said, you say now that “future generations will acknowledge the significance of this historic deal”.
I do not know what the future generations shall say; but to my generation, your so-called reform has divided us so brutally that majority is unable to stop saying, “Tera India Mahan, Mera Bharat Pareshan”.
Take note Mr. Prime Minister, this divide is your contribution.
While unfurling the National Flag, please think of correcting the wrong you have committed. Allow vote on the Nuke Agreement. Allow majority opinion to prevail. Do not ask the Parliament to approve “signed, sealed and non-negotiable” an Agreement with USA. That would be sheer insubordination to Parliament. No proud citizen of this Country would cherish it.
You may gain back the support of the Communists and succeed in making your position solid as you assert. But note, people have started looking at you askance and be sure, if you succeed in obtaining post-facto approval of the Agreement with USA that you have “signed” and made “sealed and non-negotiable”, that shall never help you gain back people’s confidence.
So be honest in real sense. Place everything before the people, as according to the American Senator cited supra, the Agreement “is so clearly in the interests of the United States”.
Ask the people for their fully informed opinion on the deal and act accordingly.
Don’t impose anything, which is admittedly “clearly in the interests of the United States” on our people by shouting that it in our interest. Act as our Prime Minister; do not act as a promoter of American interest.
Correct yourself in such a way that nobody will like to say, “Tera India Mahan, Mera Bharat Pareshan”.