Friday, August 24, 2007

The Nuclear Deal: Politics Takes Center Stage

I have been repeatedly asked to comment on the situation in India.

I can't comment on an internal political matter.

From a somewhat pale technical perspective, ultimately energy is energy, whether it comes from Saudi oil, Iranian oil, Chinese Uranium or Spent Fuel, or American/Australian Uranium, it is still energy.

Diversification is the ideal way of securing the proposed fuel bank and to that end *whatever* needs to be done... **will** have to be done. It is true that our American friends have suggested that they will help us seek out alternatives if there is a disruption, but why take chances?

I do wish to inform our neighbours that I am making a note of their desire to test. Ofcourse the foreign office statement was pretty clear that the test would in response to an Indian test and I make note of that as well.

It is very interesting to see Pakistan still talking like this. With each passing day - the exact price of indulging in bottomless "India-Hatred" is becoming obvious. The military - which prides itself on holding the Pakistani state together - is itself falling apart. And yet - the Pakistani establishment shows no signs of learning from its mistakes.

Even today the LHCBA seeks to appoint Dr. A. Q. Khan as the President in place of Musharraf. The Pakistani establishment still believes that projecting this nuclear taveez (talisman) in the face of its people is going to somehow protect Pakistan from the apocalypse that it is headed towards. Somehow by shouting the word "NUCLEAR" in a crowded room - Pakistan will become immortal.

It does not pay to insult death like this.


At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I believe the subject was US-India nuclear deal -- not bashing of Pakistan. Why waste breath unnecessarily on Pakistan when the subject is dfferent?

The deal, no matter how important it is for technological reasons(and it is very important) was always from the word 'go' a political deal. The deal like this needs widespread discussions. The process is necessary to convince the people who really are not given all the information to fully grasp the long-term ramifications of a deal which is complex, and yet extremely important.
Manmohan Singh, and the rest of the crowd with Shyamn Saran on the lead, dropped the ball on that. What they believed, or foresaw, is anyone's guess. But it is simply stupid (as stupid and moronic as calling the parliamentarians/journalists "headless chickens" and identifying President Bush as the greatest president etc) to "assume" anything, or even thinkling of steamrolling politically difficult issues like this one with a minorty government.
But the deal has been worked to a point that it has merits. The deal has its limitations but no doubt has merits. As one analyst pointed out this could have been sold to the people easily as an "one-night stand", which satisfies both the parties. There is no reason to reject the deal out of hand. Use it as long you can, and derive the most from it. And then, put it on ice when it becomes difficult to continue with the deal any longer. India does not have to carry out a nuclear test to put the deal on ice!
One must remember that there is only one nation that encountered the full fury of atom bombs -- the first generation bombs at that. But that nation produces today almost 40 per cent of its electrical power from nuclear fuels. Japanese are neither stupid nor callous. The reason that they allowed this "killer" atomic process to become its savior in the form of providing them with electrical power that they need so bad, has a history worth studying. Years and years before Japan started putting nuclear reactors in place, Japanese governments spent oodles of time and money going from one prefecture to another holding town meetings and discussions with locals to make them understand why Japan needs nuclear power and why it does not have to be a "killer." Japanese people realized what Tokyo was urging them to do and they agreed -- at least most of them.
In India, as soon the agreement was drawn up in 2005, the only thing the Manmohan Singh government was trying was to tell the people that "we have a great deal"(because I say so) and the usually untrustworthy America has become a great friend, who will help us in an area that it ha so assiduously blocked for decades. These needed explaining.
There was hardly any attempt to find out what people think of this deal. If they do not like this, why they don't etc.etc.

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi m
i too along with you maintained silence for so long on this particular standoff.
1)Left are mature,responsible parliamentarians. The current standoff will ultimately benefit indian democracry . From the churning of the sea between devas(Indians) and the asuras(paki,china, USA ...) the wish fulfilling ashwamedha horse will emerge.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


from the stirring of the pot emerged amrut; not a horse


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