Rather, I should ask -- what is wrong with the Indian public, that their "elected representatives" can freely assume that empty slogans [think "we do not want to be America's b*tch"] can convince the public to oppose a sound deal.
Some weeks ago, I came across this open letter, written by a host of eminent people who have a deep understanding of national defence, urging the politicians to act smartly and not oppose the deal.
Their main thesis:
It has been generally expected ever since our Independence that India’s size, strategic situation, civilisation, not least the talents of its people, were bound to make us one of the most significant influences in the shaping of the modern world. A major obstacle to our full achievement of that position has been the denial of the high technologies, particularly those related to security needs, which have enabled some self-selected powers to forge well ahead of us. We will continue to be denied access to such technologies unless the international community agrees to remove the existing sanctions. In opening the way to such an outcome, what is formally a bilateral agreement between us and the USA is actually the basis for agreement with the international community.Their main points:
1. This deal does not mean no more tests ever -- as with any deal, we are free to break out of it if we feel that the geopolitical situation has changed, as was clarified by our defense minister today in the debate.
2. Our PM has said that "we cannot agree to fissile-material cut-off unless they allow for our security concerns." This means that this deal does NOT stop India from having its own credible minimum nuclear deterrent.
3. Finally, to counter the argument made by the left and BJP alike ["this deal makes us subservient to America"], the authors say:
Without entering into the rights and wrongs of this view, we would draw attention to an objective fact: international relationships are shaped by strength, the stronger you are the greater your freedom of action. We believe India is more vulnerable to foreign pressures without this agreement than we would be by increasing our strength through an intelligent use of it to put through various development programmes which currently falter. To revert to our initial point, this agreement should be viewed as an instrument for making us that stronger power, confident of itself and of the respect of others, that counts more and more in the world, and can do more for its people.
Why am I posting about this today? because the recent debates in the parliament and the walk out today. I think the BJP and Left parties did not read the above open letter.
I personally agree with the defense minister when he said, as the walkout was happening, "They have no reason. They have no case.".
But seriously, what is the public thinking? Is pseudo-pride valued more than real progress?!
flabbergasted, and outraged,
P.S. I would appreciate comments [pro as well as con] from my dear readers on this topic. What do you think? Am I missing something here?