[WSMDiscuss] A Cock-and-Bull (Malicious) Story as regards the Indo-US Nuclear Deal: After Short 13 Years

Aaron Tovish aaron.tovish at gmail.com
Wed Aug 4 09:05:36 CEST 2021

Regarding the international campaign, at the time I felt a strategic
mistake was being made.  Folks in Washington were hoping that a few brave
countries would hold the line within the NSG. I suggested that those
countries would be more willing to act if it did not involve a showdown in
the NSG, rather the final decision should be subject to approval at a
meeting of the NPT State Parties.  The previous, NPT RevCon had taken a
firm and clear stance against such deals.
Given that the US government was dead set on ramming through the deal, in
some minds the question seemed to boiled to which course of action would
cause the least disruption to the NPT.  From that perspective, presenting
the NPT parties who were not NSG members with a fait a compli, seemed less
onerous than trying to win their support.
I wrote an article (which was unfortunate published in India after the fact
- against my expressed instructions) that outlined a grand bargain for
India to win NPT approval.  But the juggernaut had gained too much momentum
to be deflected from its predetermined destination.
Did the deal damage the NPT? Somewhat, but not to the degree that
noncompliance with Article VI has and, if continued, will.

On Tue, Aug 3, 2021, 11:57 Sukla Sen <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Deal was clinched in 2008.
> The Left and the BJP - both, had aggressively and vociferously opposed.
> So had the smallish anti-nuclear movement in the country.
> While the grounds for opposition of the Left and the BJP had considerable
> overlaps, the anti-nuclear peace movement had opposed broadly from a
> different standpoint - though there was some overlap with the Left.
> (For a voice from within the Indian anti-nuke peace movement: <
> http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article10224>.
> That was a part of the campaign.)
> The government of the day - threatened with collapse consequent upon its
> dogged insistence on going ahead and resultant withdrawal of outside
> support by the Left, could with some visible difficulty, eventually, save
> itself - though its honour didn't remain intact.
> There was uproarious scene in the Lok Sabha; some BJP members, duly
> captured by the Lok Sabha TV, rained currency notes - apparently delivered
> to lure some non-Congress members to cross over during voting, on the
> Speaker's table.
> The Speaker had stood solidly with the government and, as a consequence,
> would get expelled from his parent party - the CPI(M).
> Even in that superheated environ, no one - just no one, had made any such
> allegation.
> One of the reasons, apart from being visibly baseless, must have been that
> China itself had rather meekly submitted to the US pressure in two critical
> forums - IAEA and NSG, while a few others had shown some greater spine and
> held out for a little longer.
> Pakistan had, of course, opposed it all through - tooth and nail, quite
> fruitlessly.
> That was the story then - some thirteen years back.
> The BJP had been no less vicious in its opposition to the Deal as compared
> to the Left.
> Btw, I had then been a part of an international campaign, undertaken by
> activists, from different corners of the globe, championing global nuclear
> disarmament, spearheaded by Daryl Kimball - an eminent one from the US.
> I was the lone member from India.
> The campaign had primarily focussed on the US Senate.
> (The patriotic Indian press, it may be recalled, had coined a term -
> "Disarmament Ayatollahs", to label and mar those favouring nuclear
> disarmament.)
> Despite valiant strivings, the campaign eventually failed.
> Now a cock-and-bull story after the lapse of short thirteen years.
> In quest for a lucrative appointment?
> And this Shubhajit Roy - author of the report, had taken a telephonic
> interview of mine and also a few anti-nuke friends in India, obtaining the
> telephone numbers from me.
> Completely distorted my words and those of others too - in his subsequent
> report in the IE, as a part of his (and/or that of the IE) propaganda blitz
> in favour of the Deal.
> Had written to the Press Council.
> No result.
> <<Knowing the influence that the Left parties wielded in the United
> Progressive Alliance government of Dr Manmohan Singh, China *perhaps*
> [emphasis added] played on their fears about India’s tilt to the Americans.
> This *may have been* [emphasis added] the first example of China’s foray
> into domestic politics, but they were careful to remain behind the scenes,”
> he [i.e. former Indian Foreign Secretary Vjay Gokhale, in his subject
> book]  further writes.>>
> (Excerpted from: 'China tried to use Left to scuttle n-deal: Former
> foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale' at <
> https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indo-us-nuclear-deal-china-opposition-vijay-gokhale-book-7435411/
> >.)
> The credit goes to this Roy for the transition of the "may" into an
> assertive yes.
> So, it's a two-stage affair.
> The final bit being contributed by Roy.
> Sukla
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