Where is the 123 (India-US Nuclear) Agreement, or rather the politicians’ handling of it, taking us? I am a reasonably well-educated citizen, read a few newspapers daily and watch TV, but still the drama is confusing.
I understand that the present opposition mooted the idea of the nuclear treaty when they were in power. Now the agreement is anathema to them for whatever reason. They wanted a discussion in the Parliament, then a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) and again, a debate in the House followed by voting. The Speaker had already ruled that such procedure would be against precedent.
The Left has its own reasons for opposing the agreement. The old ‘imperialism, colonialism and capitalism’ jargon is still there, but added to it are ‘integrity, sovereignty and security’ of the country. The protest follows a well-trodden path – the Left has a history of campaigns against tractors, computers, mechanization in industry, and so on.
Currently the Left is also busy leading jathas from Chennai and Kolkota to ward off any danger from the foreign warships that are temporarily in the
The scientists seem divided on the deal. Whether they have assessed the agreement in its totality or merely looked at some technical point or the other is not clear. And some wizards have suddenly realized that energy produced under the deal would be costlier than power generated through other methods.
The media too is split on the deal. One saw the sad instance of an esteemed Chennai-based daily doing a flip-flop on the issue and then coming out with an unconvincing explanation for its volte face. That paper also claimed (others too did) that the majority of MPs were against the 123 deal.
The Government appears to be adamant on proceeding with the nuclear agreement. What should be done in the given situation? Repeatedly stating that the Government has been reduced to a minority on this issue is not enough. The Constitution of India was written by wise men. It has the provision for handling such situations.
If the NDA and the Left genuinely believe that the 123 Agreement compromises
Why is the hesitation to test the strength on the floor of the House? Is it fear of failure or the possibility of losing some seats should there be a fresh General Election?
For now, they are merely messing up the functioning of the Parliament with a lot of sound and fury.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain. Shows the Preamble to the Constitution of
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Also see: Indo-US nuclear agreement