Home > Current Affairs > The Indo-US Nuclear Deal… what is in it for us?

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal… what is in it for us?

A lot seems to be happening on the nuclear deal front… in spite of the major crying happening with inflation and reservations. I am not even sure if any of the major political parties are genuinely interested in winning the next elections… with India going through some major transformation from all angles.

I have been reading the Indo-US Nuclear Deal for quite sometime on the news pages but the only thing I could understand was that one party is supporting it and the other is opposing it. And am pretty sure half the politicos involved in this battle don’t even know what this deal is all about. It’s like the case of two monkeys fighting for a non-existent piece of bread. Again, it all seems to justify my previous post’s description of the mediocre polity in India.

Nevertheless, out of curiosity and also to demystify this nuclear deal, I decided to find the truth myself… and for that, phew, I spent so much time trying to locate the right sources and once found, it took me another hell lotta time studying it to read between the lines… and sieve out the truth from within!

And lo’ here is what I came up with… simple plain english explaining the impact (or maybe the potential impact) of the proposed Indo-US Nuclear Deal.

1. With the peaking petrol prices coupled with India China’s economic pressure on the fuel supply, the pressure is spilling over to the supply of fossil fuels as well. US is banking on fossil fuels for its internal consumption. Bush’s own statement – “It’s in our economic interests that India have a civilian nuclear power industry to help take the pressure off the global demand for energy.To the extent that we can reduce demand for fossil fuels, it will help the American consumer.”

2. The nuclear energy is being promoted as a clean energy low on emission and also as a substitute for oil. But, the flip and unsaid side is that not a single repository exists for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste produced in nuclear power reactors. To top this, there is a potential health and environmental threat.

3. With the US citizens objecting to any additional nuclear reactors in US owing to the potential hazards they pose, it is a safer bet to transfer the nuclear technology to another part of the world and then use it indirectly.

4. US has always been wary of the bilateral relations between shared between India and Iran, Myanmar, Sudan… which are perhaps one answer to the fuel woes of the country. And US obviously being deprived of this channel wants to prevent India as well from building a positive relation with these countries. US might just get this channel by force of war and that is what it is looking to do.

5. This deal integrates India into the non-proliferation order at the cost of capping the size of its eventual nuclear deterrent. This would become a bargaining point for US to threaten India to put it at a severe disadvantage vis-à-vis China thereby undermining Indian security in the face of eventual long-term rise of China as a superpower. It boils to US harnessing India’s eventual superiority before other superpowers such as Europe and China get to do that….

6. This deal will legitimize and sanctify nuclear weapons including the US nuclear arsenal. And it signals India’s goodbye to the agenda of global nuclear disarmament thereby setting a negative example for the world and encouraging nuclear proliferation.

7. The deal includes India reiterating its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing while the US has not made any such explicit reciprocal commitment. So, the real danger is in US walking taking up testing in future with India’s hands tied up.

8. As for the biggest claim of deal proponents that this deal promotes India’s energy security, the reality is that nuclear power is a dubious route to security because it is fraught with grave problems of operational safety, accidents, routine radioactivity releases and exposure, and above all, high-level wastes that remain radioactive for centuries.

All said, this deal raises a number of questions about the Indian government’s policies. No doubt the Government has answers to what it is doing and surely spinning off esoteric reports in the mass media is not the right way to educate the populace. The Government owes it to the people to provide a detailed account of its nuclear policy and make public the details of all dealings with US on this front. Let them give us the surety of working towards peaceful disarmament no matter what happens to the nuclear deal.

If this is the truth, isn’t it high time we act upon it…

  1. June 25, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Where’s the simple plain English again? 😛

    Also, for the uninitiated, what exactly IS the deal? You’ve explained the potential fallout .. but what exactly does it entail?

  2. June 25, 2008 at 11:41 am

    @ Hidayath

    Eeks… seems like the GMAT preparation is taking its toll!! As for detailing out the deal, I thought most readers would wanna know what is in it for them… nevertheless, will start my PhD (alongside you!!!) on the deal from next week once I get over with this manic exam…

  3. Muazzam
    July 17, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I had been trying to get a comprehensive understanding of what the Indo Nuclear fuss was all about… MashAllah it couldn’t be more comprehensive & simpler than that.

    I wonder about how effective the Right to Information act is. We certainly have a “right” to “information” about things which matter to the people how ever it doesn’t specify if the information provided is to be simple enought for all to understand. Most of the information in the media is so abstract that its difficult to comprehend without a thorough home work.

  4. July 17, 2008 at 10:57 am

    @ Muazzam

    RTI seems to have strengthened the common man on paper… but when it comes to practice, the public administration has one solution to make sure RTI doesn’t empower people – complicate simple things!

    As someone’s said, “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”. So, for the public administration it means, “if we can’t hide the needle from them, let’s drop it in the haystack and make them find it”

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