When you woke up on the 3rd day of march 2006, three days after Air Force One landed at Palam airport, the media flooded you with head lines like 'the new clear deal', 'the historic agreement' and the 'win win situation'. Random sms polls indicated that a majority of those voting believed that the visit was fruitful, that the landmark agreement was indeed 'win win'. But what about the minority ? What about the ones that didn't vote?
Indian democracy revealed its contrasting dogma ... Where protocol did not stand in the way of Manmohan Singh welcoming this guest at the airport, and 1 lakh Indians protesting didn't stop us from honoring the worlds largest terror threat. One couldn't do away with the grand welcome, the six ring security, the road blocks; we were, after all dealing with the President of the 'United States of America'! Political, economic, military-World no 1.
So after Mr. President shakes hands with Mr. Manmohan Singh, and takes off...what does he leave behind...what do we believe he did ...More importantly what did we see?
We just saw, the world's most powerful man make a three day trip to our country, and sign a deal giving our civil nuclear facilities, a life time guarantee of nuclear fuel. Sounds pretty unbelievable when you read it that way, doesn't it? That's exactly the way Mr. Bush wants us to hear it.
Decades of being nuclear outcasts and 22 years of America showing no interest in India. Although this deal does say a lot for our country's credibility and where are economy is going, but can we trust a government that uses the words 'they have weapons of mass destruction' as a synonym for 'we want their oil', is it possible that a president that believes in bombing regimes that don't comply with US vested interests, is concerned about saving the environment by promoting nuclear power plants in the 3rd world.
Why the sudden shift from pro Pakistan ..To pro south Asian development? Why are Iran and North Korea next on their hit list for their nuclear development programs while India is told that it'll get a life time supply of nuclear fuel?
Do we really care? As long as we get what we want, and as long as they're inspecting ONLY our civil plants? But do you really believe that the Bush administration just woke up one fine day and said; let's do something good for India!
While political analyst's claim that it's nothing but the US trying to ensure the balance of power in south East Asia, and reduce India's dependence on oil from regimes who might be a 'threat' to global security. It still does not answer the question of: what is so important to the United States that makes them change 3 decades of foreign policy that makes them twist their own stand on nuclear issues. Inspite of knowing that he'll face opposition on the domestic and international front (signs of which are already emerging in British media reports) Bush went on to shake Manmohans hand.
How does he intend to sell the idea to the congress?
In the event that Bush manages to steer this deal all the way, maybe the fact
that in the next two decades India will represent a nuclear Energy market
worth approximately $30 billion, will help the US congress make up its Mind.
According to the 2001 census, by 2035 India's population will soar to 1.46 billion overtaking China. More than half of India's population is presently under 25 years of age. For the next 35-40 years we'll have far more number of people in the productive age group than in the dependent. With time this age group will be backed with better healthcare and education systems.
This will mean that by 2020 not only will India have the worlds most educated, employable, English speaking people. It will also serve as the world's largest market and more importantly the world's largest educated public opinion.
Now let's go back 14 years into the past from 2020, what if an economic power of the time comes to a country that's on the economic expressway... Manages to sell to it, the idea that it'll provide the one thing that the country needs to sustain its growth.. ENERGY. In the bargain also opens up trade agreements in various sectors of agriculture, software and space research, thereby wooing the industrial elite to open their doors to the dominant countries economic policies.
In a deal that at the time seemed like a magnanimous gesture by the super power, successfully enables it to economically root itself into the developing partner taking an imperialist stance that would in time help it maintain ..The one thing that was on its mind right from the start -supremacy.
While I maintain that this deal has opened up vistas of previously unexplored opportunity, one mustn't forget our policies of non alignment. Here's our change to stop Neo Imperialism before its too late, use their preventive diplomacy against them, use their power, but also create alternate sources of thermal, solar, wind energy, so that all future attempts of arm twisting can be averted.
In the words of Kautilya, "it is good to have an ally; the alliance will last only as long as it is in that ally's as well as one's own self-interest, because an ally looks to the securing of his own interests in the event of simultaneity of calamities and in the event of the growth of the enemy's power."