Skip to content Skip to navigation

Indo US Nuclear Deal: Why this hurry and at what cost?

Amidst protests against price rises of essential items throughout the country, the PM Manmohan Singh has again started harping on the issue of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. The Deal has been pushed forward in India in an anti-democratic manner without approval of the Parliament - in fact in the teeth of opposition by a large majority of parliamentarians. The Deal has the potential of disturbing regional stability and further distorting India 's relationships with important neighbours like China , Pakistan and Iran.

This cannot also but severely undermine the prospects for both vertical and horizontal non-proliferation and thereby the prospects for global nuclear disarmament. This allurement also has the danger of further propelling India towards becoming a junior military ally of the US and a market to mint profits for its MNCs and also the nuclear industry of other advanced countries -- Russia and France, in particular.

Most importantly it will be a set back to the environmentally friendly sustainable ways of meeting our energy requirements. Power from nuclear energy is a failed project in developed countries and the eagerness of the Prime Minister to clinch the Deal fails to generate any enthusiasm among the common people of India. Neither is nuclear energy a solution to global warming as some experts make it out to be. On the contrary the entire nuclear fuel cycle is fraught with danger and exposes human beings to hazardous radiation. The world is yet to find a safe way for disposal of radioactive waste, a factor which is constraining the growth of nuclear power programmes in the developed countries.

The US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan all seem to be reviewing their nuclear energy programmes and commissioning of new nuclear power plants in all these countries has almost come to a stand still. Australia , the biggest supplier of Uranium in the world, is yet to initiate a nuclear power programme. Everybody has realized there is no future in nuclear energy. Advanced countries are looking for alternatives. But because of the parochial vision of our government the ruling class of this country has become obsessed with the nuclear option without any clear understanding of its implications. There seems to be a superficial feeling that this Deal is somehow going to enhance the stature of India in the community of nations. Hence it is matter of vanity and false sense of pride with possibly no concrete benefits for the people of this country.

A Planning Commission study shows that even with the best possible estimates of capacity addition in power generation after the Deal is through, the country is not going to increase its share of electricity from nuclear energy from the present 3% to more than 7-9%. And this would come at a huge cost -- financially and politically. We would be required to bring our foreign policy in line with the US policy as has been already exhibited by India being forced to vote against Iran in the IAEA meeting.

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal is meant to serve the interests of the global nuclear power industry and is a ploy to keep India away from staking claims to shrinking fossil fuel reserves in proportion to its large population so that these reserves may last for some more time for the rich countries.

The undue importance given to the Indo-US Nuclear Deal as opposed to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, even though gas is predicted to be the major source of power globally for the next two to three decades, raises questions about the motives of the Indian government.

The most diabolical aspect of the Deal is the increasing military proximity between the US and India . Joint Indo-US military exercises have already been going on for the last seven years with the aim of building interoperability.

A Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School has been established at Vairengte in Mizoram. The US Congress has been briefed that in a war that is being predicted with China in about fifteen years from now, the US would like to see India on its side. US envisions a military base for itself on India soil soon.

The increasing militarization of the India State is also being used to stifle civil liberties and democratic movements in the country. India must learn a lesson from the history of US military involvement in various parts of the world which have been left devastated. It is dangerous to have the US as an enemy but fatal to have as a friend.

The friendship and the elusive geo-political status or possibly a seat in the Security Council, whatever the Government of India is aspiring for, is going to come at the cost of loss of sovereignty to the nation. Our status will be reduced to that of a second rate UK or Israel .

In the face of unprecedented pressure mounted by the US , the Left Front, a partner in the UPA alliance, must be congratulated for successfully stalling the Indo-US Nuclear Deal up till now. The Deal is now stuck at the stage of finalizing a India specific agreement with the IAEA. The Left party leaders have displayed foresight in foiling the US hegemonic designs in South Asia even though they have yet to take an ideological position against the nuclear power programme.

Manmohan Singh, who talked about renewable energy for the last time at NAM meeting two years ago, has directed the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to draft an umbrella legislation for promotion and growth of renewable energy, under duress. It would make more political, economic and environmental sense for India to pursue a path of self reliant renewable energy programme for fulfilling its need rather than the elusive nuclear energy for which we'll always be at the mercy of external agencies. But then India will have to give up its own hegemonic designs of acting as a regional military super power.

Clean source of energy will have to be accompanied by clean politics. India will have to work on the agenda of regional peace, disarmament and stability rather than converting it into a region of warfare. If Manmohan Singh embarks on this twin objective programme, he would be remembered for his wisdom more than he would be if he were to finalize the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. He would favourably alter the course of history of not only this nation but also possibly the world towards a cleaner, safer and secure future.

- Dr Sandeep Pandey

(The author is a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee (2002) for emergent leadership, heads the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) and did his PhD from University of California, Berkeley in control theory which is applicable in missile technology. He can be contacted at:
Author info

editor's picture

Please send your comments to

Add new comment

Random Stories

Himanta alleges cash deal between AGP, BJP

10 Mar 2009 - 4:20pm | editor
Assam health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has alleged cash deal between AGP and BJP as when both the parties were striking deal for the Lok Sabha which evoked sharp reaction from the regional...

Goalpara on the boil again

10 Feb 2013 - 4:58pm | AT News
The Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council area in Goalpara is burning over holding of panchayat polls slated for Tuesday. The public curfew will begin from 7 in the morning on Monday which will continue...

NRC report to get cabinet approval soon

24 Mar 2012 - 4:15am | editor
Assam cabinet sub committee report on NRC would get cabinet recommendation next week. If everything goes well, NRC updating is expected to start from July. Disclosing this at a press conference...

KMSS activists burnt Prime Minister Narendra Modi's effigy protesting BJP's view on the Northeast

‘Immigrant’ rocks BJP

4 Feb 2015 - 3:37pm | AT News
Once again various political parties and organizations are going all out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP after the party’s vision “by mistake” called in the north eastern people...

Other Contents by Author

Wanna do online journalism? You can do if you are confident and workaholic. Need only an online training. We at Assam Times are ready to help you translate your dream in this roaring job. Come January 1, 2018. Register now for online course free of cost and get the advantage. Manned by a team of sharp and dedicated journos of international repute we are coming up from the new years day.  
Yet another witch hunting incident fans no less shock and anger across the on Monday two days after it came to light. The incident took place at a remote helmet in Chirang district bordering Bhutan where thr body of the victim was recovered on Saturday. Identified as Guneswar Basumatary, the local resident of Koila Moila near Dotom was believed to have been killed alleging witch craft.  According to family members,Guneswar went missing on September 16 evening he visited his relative's house at Koila Moila area. Family members lodged an FIR with Amguri PS,case number 45/2017, under section 302/201 IPC. During a search operation, police and family members recovered body in decomposed...
A local magistrate in Nagaon on Friday remanded Mithu Roy to two days police custody after the trader was produced before it in connection with the recent incident where he and his associates thrashed four former ULFA rebels who approached him for fund to feed the flood hit people.  According to allegations, he was the main culprit who hired a few local associates to beat up the youths who were raising fund.  He was arrested on Thursday as he was on the run as police arrested his three associates on Wednesday afternoon.  Meanwhile, a huge gathering in the central Assam town demanded examplary punishment of the accused youths saying that they...
A candle lighting rally was  carried out at Salakati in protest against killing of ABMSU leader Lafikul. The was organized by ABMSU and was participating by ABSU, AKRSU, bengali Federation, Santhali Student's Union and many organizations. The rally was started from Salakati anchalik Abmsu office and concluded at Railway gate. Thousands housands of activists from various student's union and civilians participated and demanded early arrests of main culprits.The ABMSU demanded CBI inquiry into Lafikul murder,arrest main culprits and provide safety and security to the persons of the region. Moinuddin Ali,ABMSU leader said that main culprits should be nabbed  as soon as possible...
United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) said The Nagas Nation has lost a true and uncompromising Nationalist. "In the creation of Western South East Asia geographic identity with an organic soul giving hope to even the smallest nationality of the region opportunity to get just political representation amongst the family of Nations reflects his deep understanding and vision in keeping with his superb statesmanship".  Describing him as a 'Grandee' of the indigenous citizens of the WESEA region, ULFA(I) chairman Dr Abhizeet Asom in his condolence message to media said "as the Chairman of United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia, he brought an affinity amongst the...
Amid an escalating controversy over beef consumption, yet another leader has quit BJP in Meghalaya suggesting a setback for the saffron party in the pre poll political landscape.  North Garo Hills BJP president Bachu Marak pulled out of the party after the national party spokesman Nolin Kohli warned him against a beef party in Tura to celebrate the three years of the NDA government at the Centre. Marak, who pulled many people to BJP in the Congress ruled state rued in his resignation letter to state party president Sjibun Lyngdoh made it plain and simple that he would never go against the sentiment of the  Garo people for whom beef is an inevitable item at any feast. He...
A crucial meeting of BPF and AGP leadership with Amit Shah is clearing the decks for the expansion of Sarbananda Sonowal cabinet slated for April 15. Senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma along with AGP president Atul Bora, his BPF counterpart Hagrama Mohilary is meeting the BJP president in New Delhi on Monday where the entire process would be finalized. Sources told www.Assam Times that Bongaigaon legislator Phani Bhushan Chaudhury is likely to be inducted in the cabinet from AGP. Both AGP and BPF will have one each in the cabinet while BJP will have six new faces in the expanded cabinet. Those who are attending the close door meet include Hagrama Mohilary, Arul Bora, Hemant Biswa...
In a bizarre incident that triggers statewide anger and surprise, the police have arrested a top ranked officer in Dispur on bribery charges on Tuesday before recovering more than Rs 1 crore from his possession.He is none other than Kujendra Doley, the irrigation secretary who alleged to have been collecting lakhs of rupees from the contractors for releasing their bills.Acting on a complaint from a contractor, the sleuths of the vigilance and anti corruption cell caught the secretary red handed and seized an astronomical amount of money from his office locker he allegedly to pay minister Ranjit Dutta.Then Doley was taken to his residence in the city and Rs 10 lakh were seized in cash during...