[Marxism] Indo-US Nuclear Deal: Noorani Analyses Hyde Act

David Walters dave.walters at comcast.net
Thu Aug 23 15:59:01 MDT 2007

Sukla, thank you for posting this. It is one of more sophisticated 
arguments I've encountered from India on the 123 deal. I've noticed that 
it's impossible to get away from *any* analysis in the Indian media, 
it's like the number one discussion point in India these days.

A few points, first on your commentary in the beginning of the essay. 
You state that the only way to oppose the deal is on the basis of 
opposition to The Bomb. Again, I think this is a mistake. By accepting 
the parameters of the Hyde Act means you are agreeing to essentially the 
extra-territoriality of US law as applies to India.

I think even if it IS the issue of The Bomb, you need to always be clear 
that you don't respect US imperialist laws applying to your country. 
This means you can't use the argument of US laws to bolter a 
non-proliferation argument. Personally, I think this holds true for the 
NPT as well but one can, at least on the level of rhetoric, agitation, 
etc separate the two laws. But anyone who actually *uses* the Hyde Act 
as a positive political reason to oppose the 123 deal is in bed with the 

I think there really needs to be a ban-the-bomb movement that is 
distinct from the issue of nuclear energy. By continuing to tie them 
together you are excluding, by default, those Indians who support 
nuclear energy but oppose nuclear weapons. Any disarmament movement in 
India has to be based on Indian national sovereignty, not the fake "the 
rest of the world condemns us" point of view which is essentially the 
POV of all the imperialist supported NGOs. If any disarmament movement 
develops there, it has to allow for pro-nuclear energy advocates to 
function or you WILL lose the argument. You can be pro-nuclear energy 
and be 100% opposed to proliferation. 

Secondly, and maybe more to the point, India ALREADY has the bomb. This 
means that it is a question as you pointed out once previously, of 
developing thermonuclear bombs that confronts India today. Both Pakistan 
and India have A-bombs, but no H-bombs. It seems to me that the A-bomb 
question has to be seriously confronted since it puts India on the map 
as a nuclear weapons country and H-bombs become...commentary only, 
nothing particularly changes even if the 123 deals dies in the Congress.

Lastly, the CPI and CPI(M) oppose the deal over the 123 treaty based, it 
seems from all the items you posted and their web sites or where they've 
been quoted, strickly over the question of sovereignty. So, you reject 
this position or not? It seems a totally legitimate left position to 
take (and, obviously, the near-fascist "Hindu" nationalists as well).

Sukla, you realize, that were you and I sitting the Indian Congress we'd 
both cast the same vote on this deal? Ha!

The Noorani analysis is interesting but I think he overly "lawyers" the 
issue of how the Act applies. Technically he's correct, but in the 
reality it is the Hyde Act that dictates what India can and cannot do, 
if India signs the deal.


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