Sunday, 21 October 2007

After the Non-Ratification of the 123 Agreement...

So the Congress and its allies within the UPA, career politicians all, have discovered that they do not want to face the electorate right now. They’re afraid of the anti-incumbency factor--they don’t want to lose office as ignominiously as the BJP and its allies did in 2004. Hence the decision to give in to the Left’s blackmail. However, this does have serious implications for our image abroad--we might have lost the trust of the US administration, and Australia might refuse to sell uranium to India, keeping in view the non-ratification of the 123 Agreement between India and the US. Why is Australia hesitant about selling uranium to India without the 123 Agreement being in place? Because the 123 Agreement would have brought India’s civilian nuclear power stations under the safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Many western nations will not sell us uranium because we have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT). In fact, Mrs. Clinton recently stated that if she were elected, she would do her best to get the US Senate to pass the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), in an effort to cut down on nuclear arsenals worldwide. And if we do not get uranium, we will have to cut down on the amount of nuclear power we can generate, which will have its repercussions on our infrastructure, industry, and economic growth.

Of course, since most of the people in the Congress and the UPA who do not want elections are career politicians, national interest is the last thing on their minds. Yes, they’ll talk themselves blue in the face about it on the election trail, but when it comes to the crunch, power and pelf wins out each time. Why? Not one of these men, in the Congress, Left, or other political parties, is capable of doing an honest day’s work and making a living. They’re all used to living on the public purse, in government housing, without paying rent, or their telephone and electricity bills. They make do by selling influence when they are in power. As for the Communists, they’re obviously being paid by China. Otherwise, why the opposition to this agreement, and why the insane suggestion to set up a nuclear policy with China, which has been supplying Pakistan with not just technical know-how but also the equipment for making nuclear warheads? Is Comrade Karat living in cloud cuckoo-land? Or does the CPI(M) politburo suffer from collective senility?

The Left parties are afraid that India is being drawn into the US game plan for South Asia. What the Left fails to realize is that India, Russia, Israel, the US, the UK, and many European nations are a target of fundamentalist Islamic militancy because of what they represent and the values they uphold. It is in India’s national interest to work with the US to protect itself. As it is, more Indians have been affected by terrorist attacks than those killed in Iraq after the US declared victory.

The Left in particular, and politicians in general, have little or no sympathy or support for the new Indian economy that is emerging, largely due to the efforts of PM Manmohan Singh, when he served as Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao government. They have not contributed to it in any way--in fact, they’ve done much to obstruct it at every turn, especially in the case of developing infrastructure. Hence the demand that participatory notes should be banned, which would impede the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into this country. It would be much better to suggest that the holders of participatory notes should declare their identities to the authorities concerned, since there is concern that supporters of terrorism could use the stock markets to raise funds for their cause.

In fact, I’ve an excellent suggestion to make. Why don’t politicians use the participatory notes regime to return the money that they’ve looted from this country in scams of various kinds? They’ve managed to scuttle the investigation of those cases time and again, by arm-twisting the Indian police and the CBI--why not do the decent thing (if a politician can do the decent thing and still remain in politics) and bring back their ill-gotten loot?

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