The left front’s decision not to support the Prime Minister in the much talked about Indo-US nuclear deal does not come as a surprise, at-least not to me. But what is astonishing is the resolution of, otherwise ideologically different parties, CPI and CPM to take a common stance on this particular issue.
The news of the tussle between Prime Minister and CPM General Secretary, Prakash Karat has been doing the rounds on news channels lately. Dr. Singh is adamant about making the deal work, even if it means that UPA has to lose its support from the Left Allies. The deal as assured by the PM, will bring India back into the nuclear fuel trading circuit and give impetus to the nuclear technology in India . The lifting of the ban on the nuclear fuel supply to India will ensure uninterrupted import of power reactors and fuel from US. According to many, the deal has loopholes and clutches and India will be caught in its never-ending and irrevocable legal commitments and obligations.
The debate over the validity if the deal is understandable, but the political drama that it has created is not. Left’s ever-changing stand on liberalization, free market and Foreign Direct Investment, leaves one wondering if the opposition of the deal is on ideological or political grounds. The same parties that had invited foreign capital to West Bengal, now are opposed to the idea of the deal, as according to them, it will make India vulnerable to US whims and fancies. The talks of the deal were initiated by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in his tenure as PM. But that hasn’t stopped BJP from vehemently going against the deal and joining the left. Any strategic decision that has to be taken about our country’s international relations instigates opportunistic statements from the rest. The rest here are the ones (in the political domain of course), that do not stand to benefit from the situation; if they do not make noise and make themselves heard.
Looking at the scenario of politics in the country, it is difficult to imagine if there is any scope for a centrist/ liberal ideology to survive. It has become imperative for any political party to join either the left or the right camp. In this particular case, people with no, or at best little knowledge about the nuclear technology and it s development have been left with the task of deciding for its future. This skewed picture of power-play is perhaps, the reason why even after six decades of independence, we aren’t free.