17-Aug-2007

Two Styles

It's getting difficult to take Rajdeep Sardesai seriously, on TV and especially in print. Especially when he writes like this.
The Left opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal must again be seen as part of its attempt to impose its ideology on the country’s political agenda. This is not about the details of the 123 Agreement any longer, not even about a robust discussion on the country’s energy needs, this is simply now about the unseen “dangers” of forging a closer strategic relationship with the “Evil Empire” in Washington.
No, not "unseen" dangers - seen dangers of aligning with the evil empire. Instead of comparing the Left to a child that needs to grow up he should have seen that it is the US which is the selfish, petulant child with none of the innocence of childhood. The US is like a spoilt kid that will not stop till it gets what it wants - oil, markets for its military-industrial complex, geo-political power.. And it will be the same which ever party comes to power - Democratic or Republican.

All Rajdeep needs to do to know that it is not 'unseen' dangers is read this piece:
Consider the negotiations themselves. Right from the first day, or rather the eve of the first day, the government has been beset by bitter battles over the limits of what was acceptable to India and what was not. In Washington on July 17, 2005, the Department of Atomic Energy had to fight for the right to redraft a statement that the Ministry of External Affairs had already negotiated with the American side and which it considered final. It was only thanks to this eleventh hour internal battle that the strict reciprocity of U.S. and Indian commitments in the July statement was established. What happened that evening set a trend for the next two years. Invariably, these internal battles became more serious on the eve of difficult decisions: the anti-Iran vote at the IAEA in September 2005 (when a tightly argued note by Secretary Rajiv Sikri recommending abstention was overruled at the highest level); the contours of India’s separation plan in January and February 2006 (when some senior officials pushed for putting the fast breeder reactors into the safeguarded list); and the ‘right of return’ and reprocessing in the 123 talks — when the Government’s Apex Group on nuclear matters was forced, as recently as May 2007, to overrule a weak draft that the MEA thought was acceptable.

At every stage, the government was divided into those who felt it was easier to submit to U.S. pressure and those who argued India had nothing to lose from sticking to its principled positions. And it was not always that the latter prevailed. If a negotiating process that went through so many dubious twists and turns still managed to produce a reasonable 123 agreement, this was largely because India finally realised it pays to stick to one’s guns. But the country as a whole remains sceptical and the onus is on Dr. Singh to dispel this scepticism.

Now that is an article that relies on actual facts and presents evidence for its arguments. Much better Rajdeep sticks to TV- there the moment passes and one forgets.

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