Where Are We Headed?

The other day I, along with a group of people, were sitting on this bench in college, when an unexpected debate about a controversial topic cropped up. We started speculating the after effects of the win of UPA over the Left, in the light of the trust vote. Manmohan Singh became the fourth PM to conquer a win ever since the vote of confidence has taken place in the history of India, thereby making it a remarkable win over the opposition parties.

‘UPA deserved the win. NDA could have easily won. This politics sucks.’- These were few of the controversial comments made by my peers. Was it really true or not? This led to a heated debate, and, everyone tried to keep themselves heard, by speaking louder, just as in the Parliament.
One of my friends said, “The nuclear deal would generate electricity for the masses. Don’t you want that to happen? Don’t you want that everyday when an Indian wakes up in the morning, he shouldn’t worry about electricity? There are millions of people who suffer from 18 hour long powercuts everyday, and certainly and unfortunately they have learned to live with it. Why can’t we give the government a chance to act in a positive manner? The deal will help feed New Delhi’s rapidly growing electricity needs, considering the city relies on imported oil for 70% of its energy needs.”


Another person contradicted this stand, by focusing on the fact that the deal requires India to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities, and submit civilian facilities to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or the IAEA. According to India, 14 of its 22 nuclear facilities are civilian. The pact could make bomb making at the other eight easier, as civilian nuclear fuel needs will be met by the US. Hence, there would be no regulation on the military services.


Another argument, in favour of the Nuclear deal was that, the direct benefits to India are three-fold: Increased energy diversity, greater access to technology and the potential for newer and deeper strategic partnerships. Further, nuclear energy currently accounts for a pitiful 3 per cent of India’s overall energy use, despite a sizeable nuclear infrastructure. The deal could greatly increase that figure in the coming decades. The Indo-US relations would be empowered in all dimensions. In addition, this deal would help India to be an active partner to bring about a climatic change, according to France, which signed a similar deal with India in February 2006.


Whatever the truth may be; it will soon unfold, after observing its impact on India. Whether the common man gains or the business man, everything would soon be unwrapped with the conclusive results. In this era, a common man does not want to hear the news about corrupt politics- whether the MPs were bribed or not, whether the win was pre-defined or not; what he wants to hear are the results that leads to the sustainable and equitable growth of the economy.


Sanjay Kataria


[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhillary/418667370/]