[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
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
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
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
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
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
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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