in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

Nuke Economics

I could recollect a lecture hour at school, when my physics teacher wrote a title at black board, reading Nuclear Reaction. An articulate teacher she was, explained the next one hour about the technical details of nuclear reaction with a bundle of equation and jargon. She asked me to summarize the whole lecture, and sat behind.  I stood up nervously and after a minute whispered ‘a chain reaction triggered due to collision between two particles producing enormous power’ and quickly sat down with a sense of relief. She pointed to the board and asked me whether that’s all she taught, and I immediately said ‘Yes, Ma’m’ with a big smile on my face, erghhh….which in turn did set up a nuclear reaction on her face.

If she has seen the current political fiasco, she would have appreciated my wisdom the other day and would have even ordered a round of applause from the other students. Yes, I was correct when I said ‘a chain reaction triggered due to COALTION between two PARTIES producing enormous POWER issues’. This is the statement which precisely sums up the nuclear reaction in today’s relevant terms. Little did I know that day, I would be technically and politically, correct relating to the future Nuke Deal issue.

As Indian government keep harping about the vivid and illustrious growth story of today’s India, little they do for its sustenance. Services industry does contribute a sizeable amount of our GDP, rips open new avenues for employment and in turn improves the quality of dining table in every household. This industrial growth has set up soaring demand for land in cities and hence real estate prices has shot up and costs has reached Manhattan-style skyscrapers in every major city of India, and spilling over to tier-II and III cities too. Lands untouched a decade ago, are now shaping into multi-storied office buildings, shopping malls and luxury apartments. Every square inch built is illuminated with power units, which in turn generates huge demand for electricity and fuels as a whole.

Hence, no doubt that energy demand would be on the rise, in the world’s second most populous and growing country with each passing day. If this energy crisis needs to be meted out, then it requires a strategic planning and a broad outlook keeping in mind the future.

India has its hand laid on different energy sources such as coal, bio-diesel, wind power, solar and nuclear energy. The then president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is one of the strong advocators of Jatropha cultivation for production of bio-diesel. In one of his recent speech, the President said that out of the 60 million hectares (600,000 km²) of waste land that is available in India over 30 million hectares (300,000 km²) are suitable for Jatropha cultivation. But the production is far-sighted in India.

Theoretically solar energy potential in India is far more than its current total consumption. As said, it is theoretical. Wind power is in its budding stage with government setting up its own turbines [Central Windmill Energy Technology] in Pune, Gujarat, parts of Tamilnadu etc.  The energy has lot of potential in this country, provided the government focuses more on its production and allows foreign companies to set up its own wind turbines.

At last, another important source of energy is nuclear energy. India has domestically developed nuke reactors for their power and weapons programs separately. However, the major ingredient of nuclear cycle, uranium, is found limited in India. India has also done a great amount of work in the development of a Thorium centered fuel cycle. While Uranium deposits in the nation are extremely limited, there are much greater reserves of Thorium and it could provide hundreds of times the energy with the same mass of fuel. There isn’t sufficient infrastructure built to utilize thorium deposits for energy production in India, which is a different story altogether.

Being a popular non-signatory of Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, India has often been denied of advanced nuclear technology from foreign countries to breed its nuclear reactors. With limited imports of fuel and technology gained from other countries, India has always been behind its vision target of 20GW of nuclear capacity by year 2020, owing to the nuclear test done in 1974 and 1998.

If India ever wanted to ramp up its nuke production, it is inevitable to gain access to the advanced nuclear technologies and Uranium from developed countries, with US being a significant player. It’s a welcome move that US came forward to lift sanctions on nuke program of India and allow them access to technologies, with the proposal of 1-2-3 agreement. Since 2 years, diplomats from either nation were involved in negotiation in certain clauses of the agreement to sign the deal. As, certain clause came close to be a back door entry of Hyde Act, it aroused several debates across the nation, questioning the worth of the deal and the risk of the national interest. However, the Indian congress was involved in progressive talks with their American counterparts to brush off any strings attached in the agreement. Thanks to the keenness shown by US, the bill was passed in American Congress with much effort and was finally tossed on India’s table for its approval.

Now this turns a familiar topic, as we see the headlines and political cartoons in media every day, about the left’s opposition to this nuclear deal with US. Left’s leader Mr. Karat expressed his reservations about the deal, not due to any concern in the clause, but, it brings proximity to US. It’s ill-fated to see the party which won meager percent of votes in parliamentary elections, now holding forte in Indian Parliament, on acts which guards national interest. It’s rather a sorry state of affairs to have been controlled by politicians whose vision for society begin and end with communism, which has not been the flavor of this country.

It’s not been cease of memory yet, to have forgotten the circumstances where CPI and its allies had put down the nation favoring their international ideologues. To begin with the most notorious example that communists were never been bothered about the independence of India when they were raising their vocals against the Quit India Movement in 1942; In 1948, after India gained independence, the then leader of CPI claimed ‘this freedom was fake’. In 1962, Sino-Indian border conflict, a section of communists upheld the flag of china and complained openly India plays an aggressor. Later, the pro-Chinese faction led their way out from their parent party CPI to form CPI (Marxist). The standpoint of communists in those crucial moments when Indian patriotism were at stake could be seen totally contradictory and opposite, to their ranting today, when they say that India-US treaty does not serve the national interest. How ironical it could get than this?

Given its track record, the Left’s attempt to see itself as a protector of India’s national sovereignty is a disgrace. Communists in India have acted, at critical periods, at the command of the Soviet Union or China. In so doing, communists have sacrificed India’s national interests. And unfortunately they seemed to be set repeating the history again.

It was BJP who initiated the deal for India in their regime, which had continued over today. UPA government pays its price today, for not including the opposition party (BJP) in the debate over the Nuke deal. But certainly, this is not the time for BJP to play its trick, to gain political advantage over congress, as it is India’s integrity which is at stake. It’s appalling to look at everyday’s headlines that the ruling government of India is down their knees, waiting for approval from their iniquitous political-ally which at best screws up the integrity of this nation.

Thus Indo-US treaty, for you and me, has reshaped into various forms far from its original state of conception, with clandestine political motives and vendetta taking centre stage, leaving behind the original purpose in the shade. The deal, which is expected to be a historical breakthrough in the diplomatic ties with US, is still on the LEFT of table and needs to be passed over else, pushed over. With enough intricacy overstuffed, the great picture is definitely in making, but whether it would turn out to be a Mona-Lisa or a stain on the wall is yet to be seen.


November 15, 2007 - Posted by | Infra Structure, Issues, Politics

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for your national interest. you have navigated the article without any hiccpus. My applause for it!!
    It seems like extract of certain period.

    I will be more interested and happy if you are able to give the points on which exactly the 123 deal is prolongated or rather stopped..

    Prabhu take my words, you have reached the point of writing articles in interesting way, hence concentrate on bulls eye i.e. core content. Try to give more information!!!!


    Comment by Rajesh D | November 23, 2007 | Reply

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