New Foreign Ties

FranceWhile the new millennium ushered in an era of unprecedented nuclear advancements and developments for India, it also brought India within close supervision of several bigwigs around the globe. It marked the dawn of international recognition for India, one as a significant figure in the field of nuclear power deployment. Early to gauge this fact, the United States had initiated a path-breaking nuclear deal with India. Although it tried to delude India for quite some time, enticing it into a truce that formally would limit India’s implementation and use of its nuclear power (a conscious breach of sovereignty), the motives of the world’s most powerful country could not remain hidden for long enough and this US policy ultimately backfired.

Furthermore, another honcho in the realm of nuclear power, France, is currently in endeavour to join hands with India. It meets 90% of its electrical requirement through its 56 nuclear reactors and is most successful in deploying the aforementioned controversial and dangerous technology. Its approach to India is mutual and seemingly more beneficial to the interests of India.

The policies of France are, by far, more transparent and bilateral than that of the United States, giving it a more negotiable and favourable stand. The French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, has very illustratively and conspicuously remarked that the motive for the French co-operation with India is one that is purely development-centric. The stress lies on academic exchanges, industrial co-operation through direct foreign investment and arriving at common policies on global issues like those of global warming, economic and financial regulation, etc.
Fortunately, the intervention of France into India’s internal matters has been positive as it has supported India’s decision to go nuclear and is also backing India for a permanent seat in the United Nations. Evidently, this is the first time that a developed country has realized the true potential of India and is endeavoring to give to us what we deserve, automatically shifting our balance towards French cooperation. Its intentions are not to deprive India of any of its rights in its exercise of nuclear power, but to harness it for the balanced development of nuclear power towards the betterment of global harmony and civil life enhancement.

Yet, it is too early to pass a judgement. This is just one part of what France has to offer us. France is strongly against the granting of nuclear independence to Iran, an idea that is opposed by India as well. The dominance of France over nuclear issues can be traced to its control and monopoly over global nuclear power. France is also critical of India’s approach towards the policies of Myanmar and has been constantly supporting Pakistan with military arms under the pretext of stabilizing the conditions in the terror-ripped nation.

Under such varied delusionary circumstances, can we really rely on its policies? Another question that arises is regarding France’s eagerness to sign a deal with India, particularly on nuclear issues. Is the country adopting a diplomatic way of winning the confidence of the most prominently rising nation, in an attempt to mould the actions of the nation for its own interest? The time is ripe for the decision to be taken and it is momentous to the future of India. It can go on to becoming one of the greatest irreparable egregious follies to tread the lines of France or a very intelligent one to bag the favour of a developed nation.

Arindam Chakraborty


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