(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 06, 2009
PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT:
Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has just
completed his second State visit to
visit has taken place during the
Obama administration. It took place amid speculation that unlike the
the George Bush presidency, the Obama administration does not accord
special status to
CONTOURS OF A
Such a view
reveals the flawed mindset of much
of the Indian establishment. They are oblivious of the fact that they
being overlooked are the strategic
The prime minister's four day visit to Washington and the discussions conducted there and the speeches made by the prime minister provide ample indication that the Congress-led government will continue on the path towards forging deeper strategic ties with the United States. One of the key aspects of this alliance is the defence relationship. The joint statement issued by the US president and the Indian prime minister reiterates the commitment of the two leaders “to continue pursuing mutually beneficial defence cooperation through the existing security dialogue, service-level exchanges, defence exercises and trade and technology transfer and collaboration”. The United States is eager to become a major arms seller to India. The prime minister responded to this American priority in his address to the US Chamber of Commerce: “We have an expanding area of defence collaboration including the possibility of procurement of defence equipment from the US. Our domestic private sector defence suppliers are now allowed to have upto 26 per cent foreign investment, opening a new avenue for Indo-US collaboration”.
The signing of the End Use Monitoring Agreement during the visit of Hillary Clinton in July 2009 just as the earlier signing of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) by the Vajpayee government in 2002 have opened the way for large scale purchase of US arms and defence equipment. This does not mean however that the United States has lifted the restrictions on the transfer of dual use technology. The hopes that purchase of large scale American arms will lead to a relaxation of these controls is still to materialise. The United States has single-mindedly pursued defence collaboration to ensure “interoperability” between the two armed forces. This is being ensured through regular joint exercises between the two armed forces, and by putting in place a regime which can enable India to buy weapons and defence equipment which will be under the strict supervision of the Pentagon.
the prime minister was careful to
assert that the world has to prepare for the peaceful rise of China and
would engage with China to develop a multidimensional relationship and
resolve outstanding issues, in the talks with the US leadership there
underlying current about the “assertiveness” of China.
The tendency to play up
minister's pronouncement about
economic policies and foreign investment in
side tried hard to finalise the
reprocessing agreement which they hoped could be signed during the
it was not to be. The right to reprocess spent fuel imported from the
All in all, the Manmohan Singh visit has underlined the character of the Indo-US strategic alliance. The United States has enlisted India as a military ally and is on the way to becoming a large scale supplier of weapons which will enormously benefit its arms companies; the United States has been able to prise open various sectors of the economy for American capital and is now looking forward to FDI in higher education, retail and other services. The Indo-US nuclear deal has straitjacketed India into adopting positions contrary to an independent foreign policy.
The United States, unlike what the pro-American acolytes in the Indian establishment want, will continue to accord importance to Pakistan which is not only a non-Nato major ally but also its dubious partner in the “war against terror”. As far as China is concerned, the United States has acknowledged that given its weakened economic power and the global economic crisis, China will inevitably play an important role in the global economy and world affairs.
It is really a sad day that we have a government in India which finds virtue in being a supplicant and revels in being a subordinate ally.
This came out strikingly a few days after the Manmohan Singh visit to Washington. India voted for the resolution censuring Iran in the IAEA. The non-aligned group of countries decided to stand by Iran. That is why countries like Egypt (the current chairman), Cuba, South Africa, Brazil and Malaysia voted against the resolution or abstained. Even Pakistan and Afghanistan abstained. The nuclear reprocessing agreement with the United States is still to be finalised. India cannot afford to antagonise its senior ally.
The prime minister asserted in Washington that Iran should not acquire nuclear weapons. As usual, he kept silent about the Israeli nuclear arsenal and the need to keep West Asia free of nuclear weapons.
In 2005 too, after the first Manmohan Singh visit to Washington, a few weeks later, India voted against Iran, for the first time. Nothing has changed in between except that India is now more firmly aligned with the United States.