People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 29

July 19, 2009



G8 Summit: Protect India In The Real World



MUCH euphoria was generated at the presence of prime minister Manmohan Singh at the G-8 summit held in L’Aquila, Italy. India was seen as sitting at the world’s ‘high table’. The G-8 + G-5 summit, unfortunately, unfolded a different story as far as India is concerned. The prime minister had a taste of the real world, where the aspirations for a permanent place on the ‘high table’ appeared more distant. This was true with respect to the three main issues discussed there.


The first big jolt for India came with the decision of the G-8 to adopt new rules for the transfer of nuclear enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies and equipments for non-NPT signatory countries like India. This, in one stroke, declared that the promised full civilian nuclear co-operation advocated by India as the core of the Indo-US nuclear deal was simply not forthcoming. This resoundingly vindicates the objections to the deal raised by the CPI (M) and Left. The 123 agreement with the US spoke of conditional transfer of technology to India under the clause, “right of return” of equipment imported from the USA in the event of the US terminating the 123 agreement. Further, the reprocessing of spent fuel was to be done in a completely new safe-guarded facility, whose agreements and arrangements are yet to be negotiated.


India on its side is arguing that the waiver given by the nuclear suppliers group (NSG) is unconditional for the transfer of such technology and equipment. India therefore, can access these materials from other countries like Russia and France. This UPA 2 government clearly continues to remain in an illusion. The NSG, in the light of this G-8 decision is now discussing new rules for the transfer of technology and is obviously under US pressure to adhere to the NPT conditionality. Thus putting a question mark on India’s ability to access these technologies and equipments from either France or Russia, both being members of G-8 and NSG. Clearly US pressures on India to be signatories to both the CTBT and the FMCT will now further mount. All these developments only confirm the apprehensions aired by the CPI (M) and the Left on the dangers for our country’s sovereignty by entering into the Indo-US nuclear deal.


On the question of response to the unprecedented challenge that the world faces due to climate change, the Indian position of not accepting common targets for emission reductions for both the developed and the developing world has not found much acceptance. India has rightly been arguing that the developed countries will have to reduce their carbon emissions at much higher levels than the developing countries. For, it is the developed countries, whose industrialisation patterns have adversely affected the world’s climate. Further the prime minister has correctly mentioned that India’s acceptance of such targets would adversely affect the growth process which is very important for eliminating poverty and backwardness in the developing countries. The forthcoming conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at Copenhagen in December must, according to our prime minister be “ambitious, comprehensive but above all, equitable.” This means that the developed countries must reduce their emissions by 40 percent by 2020 while the developed countries are allowed to do so by 2050. The challenge thus continues to remain.


There, however, were expressions of niceties at the summit. President Obama had a separate individual meeting with prime minister Manmohan Singh. Both invited each other to their countries and both accepted. President Obama also broadly endorsed India’s call for urgent reforms in the United Nations. While India seeks a place amongst the permanent members of the Security Council, this is not the interpretation of “reforms” as far as the USA is concerned.


All in all, India has come face to face with the new harsh realities of the world. All the apprehensions that the CPI (M) and the Left have been voicing regarding the surrender of India’s sovereignty, as a consequence of the Indo-US nuclear deal are being reconfirmed at every step. The struggle to prevent India from succumbing to such US pressures and there by to protect India’s sovereignty, will have to be further intensified in the days to come.