[Marxism] Indo-US Nuclear deal REFORMATTED ONLY

dave.walters at comcast.net dave.walters at comcast.net
Wed Aug 22 19:54:59 MDT 2007

[Just reformatted it so I can read it. Too many unformatted documents on this list. Thank you for this. The bourgeois media in India covers all this
quite extensively--D. Walters].

?Here's an interesting situation: a coalition government between the
Congress Party and a range of left and Communist Allies. Marla and 
any other Indian comrades, please help us understand what's going 
on in your country. Some people think that in a coalition situation 
like this, the left forces are invariably captured by and beholden 
to the interests of the right. The WSJ seems to think this time it 
may not work out that way. We'll see. Also, no linkages is given to 
the recent violent land struggles, not to speak of the ongoing 
military activity of the the Naxalites, so it's a very complex 
situation. Indian comrades, please help us out here! Thanks.
Part of what's intriguing here is a certain similarity between the
Indian and the South African situation, though of course in India
Communists run separate from and against Congress, whereas in the
South African context, there are Communists inside the ANC, and 
they don't run against the ANC.
Most of us in the United States don't have much experience with 
parliamentary struggles, so it would be great to hear from some of 
the list members from India, where parliamentary issues and struggles 
are more a part of daily political life. Thanks!?
For the last 3 months, I have been busy with organizing  Party school 
for youth, women and TU activists in my state Andhra Pradesh. I  find 
it difficult to follow all the messages on marxmail due to my frequent  
traveling. Recent political events have completely changed the 
political picture  of Andhra Pradesh, home to 72 million Telugu 
speaking people of this  predominantly agricultural state, which is 
making inroads into IT with Hyderabad,  the capital city as the hub.
  The two left political Parties, The CPI and the CPI (M) have  
enhanced their image significantly. . Hundreds of thousands of landless 
and homeless  poor are coming out and participating in the land 
struggles led by the  communists.  Previously, there used to be 
fleeting  references to the agitations taken up by the CPs in the local 
and national  media. But today, their activities and statements make up 
the front page news,  if not the headlines. The Congress Party state 
government is scared of the next  move of the communists to launch the 
second phase of the land struggle in the  state.
  Left parties launch 2nd phase  of land struggle in Andhra 
  Hyderabad,  Aug. 22 (PTI): Stepping up their offensive against the 
Congress government in  Andhra Pradesh, the Left parties today launched 
the second phase of their  protest demanding the distribution of land 
and housing sites to the poor. 
  Holding party flags, CPI and CPI(M) activists  accompanied by local 
people occupied vacant government land at several places  across the 
state to press their demands under the 'Bhooporatam' (land struggle)  
  The state secretaries of the CPI and CPI(M), S   Narayana and B V 
Raghavulu, led their party activists who planted  party flags and 
squatted on the government land. 
  Tension prevailed at Chnnaganjam village in  Prakasam district, where 
Narayana, accompanied by a large number of people,  encroached on 
government land and refused to leave the site despite efforts by  
police to clear the area. 
  Communist activists occupied lands at 12 places in  the city, police 
said. The situation was under control and no untoward incident  was 
reported, they said. 
  The first phase of Bhooporatam had turned violent  during a Left-
sponsored shutdown on July 28, leading to police firing at  Mudigonda 
in Khammam district that left seven persons dead. 
      Among the main demands of the Left parties  are constitution of 
an independent commission with quasi-judicial powers to  oversee the 
distribution of land, regularisation of encroachments by the poor  and 
an end to the transfer of assignment lands to private companies.
     now about the Nuclear Deal:
  As regards the Nuclear deal, the Left has taken a firm  stand, that 
of not allowing India?s  sovereignty to be compromised, by surrendering 
to US interests. The monopoly  press had launched a vitriolic attack on 
the Left, claiming they are working  for China?s  interests and are 
prepared to sacrifice India?s  interests.
  The fact that the bourgeoisie party (Congress party) has to  depend 
on Leftist support has irked many in the upper classes and now, the  
Left?s firm stand against the nuclear deal is totally unpalatable to 
  The Left in India  has extended crucial support to the minority 
government of the Congress-led  United Progress Alliance, with the aim 
of keeping the fundamentalist BJP away  from power. In the last three 
years, the Congress government of Dr Manmohan  Singh has overruled many 
of the Left?s objections in matters of allowing FDI  into the country, 
privatization of State Enterprises, cutting down workres?  rights and 
giving tax breaks to the rich at the expense of the poor. Despite  the 
support it extends to the government, the Left has virtually 
monopolized  the opposition space and fought many political battles and 
have considerably  enhanced their political image, while sidelining the 
rightist BJP.
  But now, the Congress Party can no longer enjoy the support  of the 
Left, if it goes ahead with the deal with US. Mid-term elections seem  
imminent, given the inflexible stand of the prime minister Singh.
  We have to wait and see. These are very significant and  testing 
times for us, Indian Communists.
       Here are a few relevant clippings from Indian press.
  Left refuses to budge on N-deal  ress Trust Of India
  New Delhi, August 20, 2007
  First Published: 12:02 IST(20/8/2007)
  Last Updated: 16:44 IST(22/8/2007)
       The CPI(M) on Monday struck to its stand that the government 
should keep the  Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement on hold till its 
objections are  "properly evaluated".
  After a meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, 
CPI(M)  leader Sitaram Yechury made it clear that there was no change 
in the stand of  the Left parties and the situation was as it is.
  "The situation is where it is. We have not heard anything about the  
Committee (to go into the Hyde Act and its implications on the 123  
agreement)", Yechury said after meeting Mukherjee, who is playing the 
role  of a trouble shooter.
  The CPI(M) leader said that the Left parties told the government to 
keep the  whole thing on hold till their objections were "properly 
  Yechury's meeting with Mukherjee assumes significance as the Left 
parties  are meeting this evening to study the response of the 
government on their  ultimatum regarding the nuclear deal.
  The CPI(M) leader's statement appears to show that there was no 
immediate  end in sight to the stand-off between the Left parties and 
the government  despite the UPA's declaration that it would address 
their "legitimate  concerns".
  PM stands firm on nuke deal
  NDTV Correspondent
  Wednesday, August   22, 2007 (New Delhi)
  Despite all the dire warnings by the Left the Prime Minister  
Manmohan Singh stood firm on India  going ahead with Indo-US nuclear 
  It's the case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, 
the PM  perhaps the irresistible force here.
  In a joint press conference with the visiting Japanese prime 
minister, Dr  Manmohan Singh made it clear that India will go to the 
Nuclear Suppliers Group  (the NSG), a necessary step for the nuke deal 
to go through.
  ''Certainly true that we have some turbulence but I have confidence 
we shall be  able to over come it. When winter comes spring cannot be 
far behind,'' said  Manmohan Singh.
  He asked Japan  for their help with the NSG. However, the Left has 
warned of ''serious  consequences'' if India  goes to the NSG.
  The Left parties have made it clear they will not budge on their 
opposition to  the Indo-US nuclear deal.
  However, they have decided to wait till the government spells out its 
stand on  negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency 
  Left sources made it clear to NDTV that they would announce their 
plans on the  future of their ties with the UPA only after a clear 
statement from the  government.
  Which means all eyes will be on September 18 when the Atomic Energy 
Commission  chief Anil Kakodkar travels to Vienna  to attend the IAEA 
  Divisions within Left
  The 85-member Central Committee of the CPIM on Wednesday began a two-
day meet  in the capital to discuss the standoff with the government 
and it is expected  to endorse the decision taken by the CPIM 
  The highest executive body of the party the Central Committee is 
meeting to  ratify the party's stand against the Indo-US nuclear deal 
or the 123 deal.
  Now the CPIM is making it absolutely clear that India  can go to the 
IAEA meeting, the world atomic body, but it cannot talk about the  123 
  In other words, the support to the UPA government would be withdrawn 
if the  government goes ahead and negotiates a safeguards agreement 
with the IAEA and  the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  Meanwhile, it's been decided, the debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal 
in  Parliament will be held on August 29 and 30 first in the Lok Sabha 
and then  Rajya Sabha.
  But there seem to be divisions within the Left on the way forward 
while a  section believes that efforts should be made to resolve the 
crisis through  dialogue, there are others who say the Left has no 
choice but to withdraw  support.
  On Monday, veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu had said that pulling 
down the  government was not an option and that the crisis would be 
resolved through  dialogue.
  But the same day, another Polit Bureau member, MK Pandhe, had said 
the Left would  not have any other option but to pull out.
  INDIA: Political Fallout of Indo-US Nuclear Deal Turns Severe
  By Praful Bidwai
  NEW DELHI, Aug 17 (IPS) - The United States-India nuclear  
cooperation agreement, tabled in India?s Parliament on Monday, has 
precipitated  the worst-ever political crisis for the Prime Minister 
Manmohan Singh?s United  Progressive Alliance (UPA) government since it 
was formed a little over three  years ago.
  Although the existence of the ?left-of-centre? UPA  government is not 
immediately threatened, it has clearly lost the support of  the 
communist parties on this defining foreign and security policy issue. 
  Support from the 59 members of parliament of the Left  parties, led 
by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has been critically  
necessary for the survival of the UPA, which lacks a majority of its 
own in the  543-strong Lower House of Parliament. 
  This means the UPA will remain isolated on a major issue  pertaining 
to India?s external relations and her strategic posture, with a strong  
bearing on her energy options. The alliance will become politically 
vulnerable  and might find itself in an impasse in the coming months. 
  Singh, who has staked a lot on the nuclear deal, faces an  unpleasant 
choice. A majority of India?s  legislators oppose it for a variety of 
reasons. If he tries to bring them on  board by addressing their 
concerns, he will have to go slow on the deal?s  implementation. 
  Here, he risks losing a narrow window of opportunity for the  
agreement?s ratification by the U.S. Congress by the end of 2007, 
before it  goes into election mode. 
  Alternatively, he can quickly ready the deal for U.S.  ratification 
after getting it approved by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers?  Group 
(NSG) and by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But that 
will  deprive it of domestic legitimacy and broad-based support. 
  Ironically, Singh brought this crisis upon himself. On Aug.  11, two 
days before the text of the "123 agreement" (so called  because it will 
amend Section 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, 1954 to lift  
prohibitions on nuclear cooperation with India)  was laid in 
Parliament, the Kolkata-based "Telegraph" newspaper  carried an 
interview with him. 
  In the interview, Singh staunchly defended the deal,  attacked its 
critics, and dared the Left to withdraw support to the UPA. He  said: 
"I told them that it is not possible to renegotiate the deal. It is  an 
honourable deal, the Cabinet has approved it?if they want to withdraw  
support, so be it..." 
  He also said: "They are our colleagues and we have to  work with 
them. But they also have to learn to work with us." He chided  the Left 
for not having "thought" things "through" on the  nuclear agreement and 
the welcome accorded to it by nuclear scientists and  experts. 
  This brought a sharp rebuff from CPM general secretary  Prakash 
Karat, who said the UPA was running the government with the Left?s  
support; it should decide whether "it wants to run this government".  
Karat also sarcastically remarked that Singh is "very sensitive about 
his  government?s relations with the U.S., but this (the deal) is a 
matter of  serious national import." 
  "After Singh so openly challenged the Left, and made  disparaging 
remarks against it, Karat had no choice but to join issue with  him," 
says Anuradha Chenoy, a social scientist with Jawaharlal Nehru  
University in Delhi, and a keen observer of Left politics. 
  Chenoy added that it could not have been ??an accident that  Singh 
chose to grant the interview to a Kolkata-based paper, rather than a  
national daily published from New Delhi??. Kolkata is the capital of 
CPM-ruled West Bengal state which has  gained a reputation for being 
extremely market friendly. 
  Singh, said Chenoy, wanted to reach out to the West Bengal leadership 
of  the CPM, which is considered more "pragmatic" than the central  
leadership. ??Singh has a good equation with Chief Minister Buddhadeb  
Bhatttacharjee, whose ?free-market? policies he often praises." 
  However, it is unlikely that Singh?s stratagem of playing  off 
differences within the CPM will produce a major shift in the party?s 
stand  on the deal. India?s communist parties tend to close ranks when 
attacked.  Bhattacharjee might be sympathetic to right-wing economic 
policies, but has a  different stand on foreign policy issues. He has 
recently made strong  statements criticising the nuclear deal for its 
pro-U.S. strategic dimension. 
  On Monday, the Left parties reiterated their opposition to  the deal 
by walking out when Singh finished reading his statement on it in the  
Lower House of Parliament amidst relentless slogan-shouting by regional 
party  and right-wing MPs. 
  When it became clear that the Left would not cow down and  dilute its 
opposition, the Prime Minister sought a breakfast meeting with Karat  
on Tuesday, to which Karat agreed after much persuasion. Singh also 
talked to  Bhatttacharjee, whom he is likely to meet on Friday. 
  "Going by past experience, the Left parties are  unlikely to change 
their stand against the deal," argues Achin Vanaik, a  political 
scientist at Delhi University. "They usually act in unison. And it is 
known that the Left  parties other than the CPM are even more critical 
of the UPA?s policies and  would like the Left to reconsider supporting 
it unconditionally. The Communist  Party of India (CPI), for instance, 
advocates issue-based support." 
  Vanaik explained that more will be known after political  bureaux of 
the CPM and CPI meetthis weekend. ''We?ll soon know whether they  
dilute or maintain/harden their stand. Their biggest constraint is that 
they  cannot risk toppling the UPA government because that would help 
the  Hindu-chauvinist and jingoistic Bharatiya Janata Party. But they 
can continue  to oppose the nuclear deal without formally voting 
against the government and  thus risking the possible return of the 
  At stake here is the Left?s distinct ideological-political  identity. 
In the three states (including Kerala and Tripura) in which it rules,  
but especially in West Bengal, its economic policies are not markedly 
different from the UPA?s.  This has produced some discontent among Left 
  If the Left parties lose their image as staunch opponents of  U.S. 
"imperialism", they risk serious erosion of core  support and loyalty. 
Both the CPs are scheduled to hold party congresses early  next year, 
where their leaders will face the scrutiny of the  rank-and-file." 
  Unlike the Right and centrist parties, which focus primarily  on 
asymmetries in the "123 agreement" in the rights and obligations  of 
India and the United States, and some of whom (not the BJP) oppose 
close  relations with Washington, the Left concentrates its criticism 
on the deal as  part of a U.S.-India "strategic partnership" or India?s 
strategic  embrace of the U.S. 
  The Left too speaks of asymmetries at some length and is  worried 
that the U.S. can terminate the agreement arbitrarily, while India must  
accept safeguards (inspections) on some of its nuclear facilities in  
  The Left at least refers to the impact of "123" on  India?s advocacy 
of universal nuclear disarmament, which the UPA  promised to return to 
in 2004. The Left also mildly questions the relevance of  nuclear 
power, which the deal promotes, to India?s  long-term energy security. 
  "These are strong suits which the Left would do well to  develop," 
says Vanaik. "This will help it demarcate itself sharply  from others. 
In particular, it should emphasise that the nuclear deal will  increase 
India?s capacity to make nuclear weapons; and this cannot give us more  
security. On the contrary, it will fuel a nuclear arms race not just 
with Pakistan but also with China."  The International Panel on Fissile 
Materials, a group of  independent scientists, estimates that the 
nuclear deal will allow India  to produce and stockpile enough 
plutonium for more than 300 Nagasaki-type bombs  every year. This can 
be done through reprocessing fuel in unsafeguarded power  reactors, 
diverting domestic uranium from civilian to military uses, and  
continuing/expanding fissile material production in unsafeguarded 
civilian and  military facilities. 
  Meanwhile, the political fate of the nuclear deal remains  unclear. 
How the UPA handles the issue will determine its longevity. 
  Left parties reject Indo-US N-deal
               Onkar Singh in New Delhi
  August 07, 2007 18:39 IST
  Last Updated: August 07, 2007 19:18 IST
  The Left parties which met in New Delhi  on Tuesday rejected the 
civilian nuclear agreement reached between India  and the United 
  Those who attended the meeting included Prakash Karat (CPM), A B 
Bardhan of  CPI, Abani Roy Revolutionary Socialist Party and G 
Devarajan of All India  Forward block. They released five-page document 
at the end of the meeting. D  Raja of CPI was also present while 
Sitaram Ychuri could not make it as he was  out of Delhi.
  "The left parties, after a careful assessment of the text of the 123  
agreement and studying it in the context of the burgeoning strategic 
alliance  with the United States,  are unable to accept the agreement," 
Prakash Karat, general secretary of  CPM told newsmen during the 
  The parties also urged upon the government of India  to not proceed 
further with the operationalising of the agreement." There  has to be a 
review of the strategic aspects of the Indo-US relations in  
Parliament. The left parties will press for a constitutional amendment 
for  bringing international treaties and certain bilateral agreements 
for approval  in parliament," he said.
  Though they conceded that the stand of the left parties and that of 
Bhartiya  Janata Party was almost alike but they refused to commit if 
they would ask for  a joint parliamentary party probe into the 
agreement before going ahead with  it.
  The left parties felt that the government of India  had surrendered 
its right to make independent decisions. While India  would have to 
abide by Hyde Act for a period of 40 years and each year the US  
president in power would issue a certificate on whether or not India  
is complying with the treaty. US however, would have no such 
  They also decided to oppose the joint exercises by US, Australia,  
Japan [Images] and India  in the Bay of Bengal from September 4 by 
organising a  demonstration, which will begin in Bengal and end in  
       Don?t proceed with the nuke deal: CPI(M)
  Javed M Ansari and Kay Benedict / PTI  Saturday, August 18, 2007  
17:32 IST
  NEW DELHI: The CPI(M) held its  fire and did not announce any drastic 
action at the end of its two-day meeting  of the politburo. 
  Instead, it lobbed the nuclear ball back to the Manmohan Singh 
government by  reiterating that the 123 agreement should not be 
  For the first time, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat came out 
clear on  the Left?s stand regarding the Indo-US nuclear deal. 
  He said the government should not proceed with the next two stages, 
which  are negotiations for a safeguards agreement with the 
International Atomic  Energy Agency and a waiver from the Nuclear 
Suppliers Group for the supply of  nuclear material. 
  While the CPI(M) refrained from taking the ultimate step of 
withdrawing  support, there was an implicit threat in the statement 
issued by the politburo.  ?It is for the Congress party to decide on 
the matter which will have  serious consequences for the government and 
the country,? it said.  The measured tone and tenor of the statement 
appears to be a result of  several days of behind-the-scene 
negotiations between the government?s main  trouble shooter external 
affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, and Left  interlocutors, West Bengal 
chief minister Buddhadeb  Bhattacharya and senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram 
  The stand adopted by the politburo has lowered the temperature for 
the time  being and seems to have given both sides enough elbow room to 
try and resolve  their differences over the nuclear deal. 
  Senior Congress leaders like Mukherjee admit that the government and 
the  Left differ on the 123 agreement as well as what constitutes 
operationalising  it. 
  As regards the 123 agreement, though the politburo has not entirely 
killed  the deal it has certainly blocked it for the moment by asking 
the government  not to proceed with the next stage of negotiations. 
  But it has opened a window for the future by asking the government to 
evolve  a national consensus on the deal and then proceed with the 
  The government, on the other hand, is of the opinion that the deal 
becomes  operational only after it goes through the stages of 
negotiations with the  IAEA, the NSG and finally the ratification by 
the US Congress. It is keen  therefore that the process should not be 
halted at this point even if the  actual operationalisation is put off 
for a while to satisfy the Left. 
  The politburo?s decision has put the UPA government and the PM in a 
bit of a  quandary. Manmohan Singh has virtually staked his political 
goodwill and the  fate of the government on the nuclear deal. The 
government has also been  touting it as the centre piece of its foreign 
  Soon after Karat enunciated his party?s stand, the external affairs 
minister  summoned the foreign secretary to find out the implications 
of what would  happen if the deal is put on hold. 
  The core committee of the Congress party met in the evening at the 
Prime  Minister?s residence to decide the Congress party?s response. 
The UPA leadership  has already met railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav 
and has started consulting  other constituents of the ruling combine 
before finalizing its position on the  issue.
       Left opts to wait and watch till September 18
  Wednesday, August 22, 2007  19:29 IST
  NEW DELHI: Left parties are  unlikely to take a decision on the 
future of their relationship with the  government till September 18 
when Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar  travels to Vienna to 
attend the  IAEA meeting.
  The Left parties will be closely following Kakodkar's visit to see if 
he  only attends the IAEA's General Assembly or discusses the 
safeguards agreement  with the UN watchdog, CPI(M) sources said on 
  "September 18 (when Kakodkar travels to Vienna)  is crucial. We will 
wait till then," a source said when asked how long the  Left parties 
will wait before deciding whether or not to withdraw support to  the 
  If Kakodkar discusses the Indo-US nuclear deal with IAEA, the Left 
parties  will decide on future of the relationship, the sources said 
even as the party's  Central Committee held deliberations to decide on 
future course of action.
  Under the nuclear deal, India  is required to negotiate a safeguards 
agreement with the IAEA.
  Kakodkar was supposed to discuss with IAEA officials the safeguards  
agreement but it is not clear whether he would do so during the visit 
in view  of the Left's demand that no step, including talks with IAEA, 
should be taken  to operationalise the deal.
  Asked how the Left parties would come to know whether Kakodkar 
discussed the  nuclear deal, the CPI(M) sources said the government 
will be asked for details  of the visit.
  The Left parties have maintained that they have no objection to India  
participating at the IAEA as it was a member of the General Assembly 
but no  discussions should be held on safeguards agreement.
  Government had made it clear that there was no going back on the 
Indo-US nuclear  deal.
       Press pause button on nuke deal: CPI(M) to govt
  Wednesday, August 22, 2007  18:25 IST
  NEW DELHI: The CPI(M) on  Wednesday asked the UPA government to 
"pause" the Indo-US civil  nuclear deal as the party's top brass met 
here to chart out its future steps  amid a tense stand-off with the 
government on the issue.
  "All we are asking from the government is to press pause button. It  
should properly evaluate all the implications before proceeding 
further,"  CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.
  His comments came as the Central Committee, the party's top decision 
making  body, began a two-day meeting to discuss the issue amid signals 
that the  government was not prepared to heed its ultimatum on the 
contentious issue.
  Party General Secretary Prakash Karat, who had earlier warned the 
government  of serious consequences if it went ahead with the deal, 
submitted a report of  the Politburo on the contentious deal before the 
Central Committee.
  He is also understood to have apprised the Central Committee of his 
meetings  with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia 
Gandhi to iron out  differences on the issue.
  The Left party is maintaining that negotiations with IAEA on the 
safeguards  agreement would bind India  in perpetuity.
  The Central Committee is expected to finalise the party's position on 
how  far it could go in its opposition to the government in the 
critical matter and is  likely to authorise the Politburo to take the 
appropriate decision at the  appropriate time.
   Vijaya Kumar Marla


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