Archive for July, 2011

Nuclear deal is the biggest scam of soft spoken Manmohan

I have said this many times before, the “nuclear deal” will prove to be the crowning glory of the bloody scam trail left behind by the “honest and softspoken” PM Manmohan Singh, I mean “Dr Manmohan SIngh”. One more scam waiting to be uncovered is the EVM rigging scam the kind of which won P.Chidamabaram his election. P.C now nonchalantly struts around like the mother hen of the ministry as if nothing happend at all.

Read the  below piece on the “nuclear non-deal” by  Bharat Karnad and be very afraid of what lies for the free world.

Bharat Karnad

Manmohan Singh will be remembered, if at all, for the nuclear mess he quite deliberately led India into. Whatever his other failings, Singh understands the Congress’ political terrain well. Conscious that Rahul Gandhi was still wet behind his ears and lacking in political heft to be hoisted as prime minister by his mother, and that Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not trust Pranab Mukherjee not to do a Narasimha Rao if handed the top post, Singh played his trump card in Spring 2007. He dared Sonia Gandhi to order an ambivalent ruling party to support the nuclear deal on the anvil, or to accept his resignation.The reasons why the United States desperately wanted the nuclear deal were as clear from the start, as the traps and pitfalls in it that the Indian government chose to disregard, despite being warned about them by a few of us, including some of the most respected veterans of the nuclear establishment, writing against it. It was in the interest of the US to both prevent India’s emergence as a comprehensive nuclear military power, because that would unsettle the status quo it presided over, and to draw it into the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty net. These aims were realised by Washington cleverly using India’s dated non-proliferation rhetoric and its professions of being a ‘responsible’ nuclear power against it, and flattering a gullible Manmohan Singh into converting the ‘voluntary moratorium’ on nuclear testing, thoughtlessly announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, into a binding commitment to desist from testing again and to abide by the NPT norms. The other equally significant goal was to switch India from relying on the weaponisation-friendly plutonium (per the 3-stage plan drafted by Homi Bhabha in 1955 to achieve genuine energy and military security) to depending on the proliferation-resistant uranium fuelling imported reactors.Manmohan Singh has thus jeopardised the country’s strategic nuclear security — because the 1998 thermonuclear test was a dud, absence of further testing will translate into unproven, unreliable, and unsafe fusion weapons and a strategic deterrent lacking in thermonuclear credibility, and ignored the home-grown solution for energy independence, envisaged by Bhabha, based on interlocked first stage pressurised heavy water reactors, second stage breeder reactors (now in the take-off phase), and third stage thorium reactors (the prototype ‘Kamini’ 40MW experimental operating in Kalpakkam, which requires more concept, design, and engineering work and upscaling). Instead, Manmohan Singh’s purchasing 40 foreign reactors worth $150 billion (at today’s dollar value) producing 40,000 MW of electricity by 2050, will at once sustain the nuclear industries in America, France and Russia, and provide Washington the handle to keep India in line. Resumption of testing, say, will prompt immediate cut-off of uranium fuel, resulting in rapid shutdown of foreign reactors and precipitous fall of power in the grid. All this apparently makes sense to our blinkered economist-prime minister.What the United States offered India in return for Singh conceding so much, was only a promise (expressly stated in the July 18, 2005, joint statement he signed by President George W Bush) to treat India as a nuclear weapon state with all the rights and privileges. While the US has delivered little, India has gone whole-hog in implementing such self-injurious pre-conditions as separating the weapons units from civilian-use facilities, thereby destroying the integrity of the once dual-purpose nuclear energy programme, and putting the bulk of the indigenous pressurised reactors under international safeguards in perpetuity. This last, besides killing the capacity for surge weapon-grade plutonium production, has cemented India’s status as a non-nuclear weapon state. Under the NPT, weapon states are permitted to pull reactors out of the safeguards regime at will. To cover up for his government’s myopia, miscalculations, and misdoings, the PM has purveyed half-truths and outright lies regarding various aspects of the deal in Parliament and outside.For Washington nuclear trade equals selling reactors, because it is specifically barred from transferring advanced technologies relating to uranium enrichment, plutonium reprocessing, and heavy water production that India has evinced interest in, by the enabling US law passed in December 2006, which ban was reconfirmed by the US Congressional ratification of the so-called 123 Agreement concerned with restricting transactions in nuclear materials, goods and technologies under the overarching US Atomic Energy Act. In the event, it is a bit ingenuous of the Indian government to act hurt/surprised every time the Nuclear Suppliers Group imposes new restrictions and tightens regulatory mechanisms to pre-empt India, as a non-NPT state, from accessing such technologies. Delhi believes the US government can be induced to violate its own laws — an impression created by Washington now and again hinting at attempts to try and ease the NSG rules for India. This happened early last week with news reports about the US circulating a paper in the NSG championing India’s membership in it. It is no coincidence that just then the visiting US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, was urging the Indian government to sign the Convention on Supplementary Compensation limiting the liability payouts by nuclear technology suppliers to $300 million so that US companies can cash in on reactor sales. It suggests Washington manipulates its NSG initiatives as a sales stratagem. Learning from the Bhopal gas tragedy, Parliament recently voted the Civilian Nuclear Liability Act that exposed foreign firms supplying nuclear technologies which prove to be faulty, resulting in loss of life and destruction of property, to liability without ceiling.An Indian law is thus pitted against an international convention motivated by the commercial interests of supplier states. While the US holds its 2006 law as sacrosanct, the Indian government, astonishingly, thinks of the Indian liability law as a mere scrap of paper, and is preparing to get around it by signing executive agreements with suppliers to limit their liability to the CSC mandated sum, or resorting to some other diplomatic ruse. Not content with the harm the nuclear deal has already done the nation, Manmohan Singh seems determined to run what remains of sovereign nuclear India into the ground.

Bharat Karnad is a research professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. E-mail: