India gets NSG waiver – looking beyond the drama

Posted on September 6, 2008. Filed under: China, India, Muslims, Nuclear, Politics |

It was high drama and almost the typical unnaturally concocted Hollywood thriller at the NSG meeting that finally saw through a waiver specific for India, mainly under possibly a lot of arm-twisting led by the USA and also perhaps a good deal of contribution to this arm-twisting on a much more subtle level by the UK, France, Russia. The Indian Foreign Minister’s statement that this will solve India’s energy requirement problem, can at best be dubbed hogwash. Any new proposed nuclear reactor design takes around one and half years to be approved by the IAEA, and around five years to set up. So India is unlikely to get direct benefits in the power sector from this NSG agreement until about seven years from the present. The last significant opposition will now be coming from within the USA, by representatives of interests both within the country as well as from outside ranged against India. The reason these attempts will only perhaps be able to delay the final ratification of this agreement but not prevent its eventual clearance through the US Congress, is because of the political realization of the ruling elite in the Western circles of the importance of bringing India under its strategic control.

What does India gain after all? It does not gain much in terms of nuclear power or nuclear weapons technology. India had already developed quite sophisticated technology of its own during the first tentative engagement by the USA of India after the 1998 tests by India. Current projections of India’s power supply sources assign only around 3-4% of total production capacity, compared to almost half being produced by hydel, and nearly half being produced by coal. India has one of the largest publicly known reserves of Thorium, which can be reprocessed to bring it to usable fissile forms. On its own India would perhaps have needed a much longer time to achieve this, which may, just may be shortened using technological collaboration from some NSG countries. Apart from this India can only benefit from multilateral trade of nuclear substances and technologies, as an exporter and processing hub. There will be some cosmetic benefits perhaps too in the areas of dual processing technologies and access to space technologies, and perhaps some cascading effect in subsidiary technology such as computer chips etc., but it has to be remembered that in many of these latter areas, India is quite advanced on its own.

India now has accepted serious virtual limitations on its weapons programme. The 1954 Acts of the US Congress and the Hyde Act is binding on all US administrations until a future Congress repeals or reforms these acts – and it has to be remembered, that non-proliferation  concerns appear to come along only when India is seen to be gaining in weapons technology – such as the formation of the NSG specifically after India’s first tests, and not after the first tests by China, UK, or France, or the passage of the Hyde Act specifically targeting India.

India’s main benefits will be strategic. India is now firmly in the Western camp, and is going to be a virtual ally of the USA in the latter’s strategic concerns in Asia. India will probably play a balancing role between Russia and the USA, its already well-known concerns about China making it a blocker of Chinese imperialism, and serve as a strategic heavyweight in the extremely volatile current climate of Jihadi Islamic aggression  in the entire Middle and South Asian region. But it is China and Pakistan who have been primarily responsible in pushing India to ally itself with the USA. In Pakistan’s sole national project of destabilizing India and spread Islam, with tacit and sometimes not so secret help from China, and both country’s continuing aggressive actions against the territories of India – lies the main reason for what has ultimately led to the NSG meeting. But to take India beyond this meeting, and on its own feet, requires a superhuman effort on the part of its leaders and its people – as nothing will come out of even the strategic aspects of this agreement unless India outpaces the Chinese economy, modernizes its society and comes out of the influence of retrogressive religions like Islam, and becomes a fully capable military establishment able to take on China, a country which will now help the Islamic aggressors against India much more surreptitiously and at an increased rate, if necessary.

Postscript: Apparently the Indian government will convey its “disappointment” with Chinese “behaviour” to China!! The various spokespersons acted so surprised on media, as if they never expected such “behaviour” from China! I simply find it unbelievable that such “intelligent” people pretend so much ignorance. Did they think that by simply doing everything to gag the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan refugee protesters, India will have given enough sops to China to please it? Politicians and diplomats who are “surprised” should not at least be given the responsibility for security of a nation. On my post dated 1st August, I had clearly written

“USA’s diplomatic efforts ably seconded by India, almost had made it a foregone conclusion that IAEA would pass this safeguards by consensus. More difficult will be getting consensus at NSG, where some EU countries as well as China can cause significant trouble for India. It will be USA’s networks and dependence of these countries on the USA that can only see India through. Passage of the 123 agreement through the Congress may also hold some hiccups as there can be strong last-ditch lobbying by Pakistan as well as other interest groups within USA who from various considerations of race, religion, etc as hidden motivations can try to put restrictive conditions in the hope that India will be sufficiently provoked to reject the whole agreement altogether.”

What, I, not-a-politician, not-a-diplomat could see more than a month ago, surely these “professionals” cannot pretend not to have seen! Who are they trying to hoodwink – the Indian people?


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One Response to “India gets NSG waiver – looking beyond the drama”

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The nuke deal is more of a symbolic value, than any dramatic prospects of nuke power generation in India. It is less about nuke proliferation control, but all about India and the US coming closer, after five decades of hostility and neglect.
Now it is business time for India and the US, to make up for the lost time. The nuke deal would apparently open up trade in most other hi-tech areas, so far restricted, like space and defence related areas. Hopefully there will be an enhanced interest and inflow of foreign capital into Indian economy, that were held back due to decades of lack of trust. This might provide a boost to the pace, at which Indian economy has been advancing so far. All these would not be a welcome development in China, that is ” India’s enemy number one.” India from now on, must play its cards carefully, in order to extract maximum milage out of US, and putting China-Pakistan evil nexus into defensive, while remaining vigilant about US designs and its nexus with Pakistan, in the region.

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