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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 32

Open Letter to the Prime Minister to Scrap the Indo-US Nuclear Deal

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Dear Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned, demand scrapping of the Indo-US nulcear deal with immediate effect. The content of the deal, which is currently being negotiated between India and the US, was first laid out in the Joint Statement issued by the Prime Minister and the US President on July 18, 2005 from Washington D.C. and further reiterated on March 2, 2006 in another Joint Statement issued by them from New Delhi. The signing of the Henry Hyde Act on December 18, 2006 is a logical interference of the content of the Act legally making India a junior ally of the US imperialism confiscating and truncating our hard-earned sovereignty.

We therefore demand that the Indo-US nuclear deal be scrapped and given up with immediate effect and the ongoing talks between the IAEA and India should be called off immediately.

The Indo-US nuclear deal is patently anti-people, will make India a strategic ally of American imperialism in South Asia to impose its hegemony over Asia. The deal also negates the concrete achievements gained by the international and national peace movements for disarmament and a nuclear-free world. After the example of the ruthless genocide, devastation and occupation of Iraq before us, we feel that the Indo-US nuclear deal will become an instrument for ruthlessly imposing the neo-liberal economic agenda and pliant regimes over the impoverished peoples of the Third World. Further tightening its hold through the Indo-US nuclear deal, US imperialism will have a firm grip over the governments of the indepndent nation-states of India and Asia. This makes a mockery of the cherished values of equal and democratic world order and the aspirations of the national liberation struggles including the whole spirit of decolonisation.

The Indo-US nuclear deal is an outrageous instrument of recolonisation of India and the Third World. The deal, as and when it comes through, will grievously undermine the current global regime of nuclear non-proliferation, as it is meant to make a unique exception in the case of India, in gross violation of the underlying principles of international peace workers, environment and women’s movements.

The fact that Pakistan has been brusquely refused a similar deal by the US in spite of persistent clamouring, and Iran is being demonstratively coerced to desist from developing its own nuclear power production, allowed and encouraged under Article IV of the NPT, further brings out graphically the abominably discriminatory nature of the deal. The deal is likely to trigger stepped-up vertical and horizontal proliferation all over Asia. This goes against our commitment to a nuclear-free Asia and world.

We totally reject the proposition that it will enhance India’s energy security and we categorically assert that nuclear power is prohibitively costly; therefore the deal will distort India’s energy options by diverting resource-guzzling, and the instrisically hazardous and potentially catastrophic nuclear power at the cost of eco-friendly and many times financially cheaper renewable sources of energy.

With the human development index of India and the Third World miserably low, we demand that instead of spending irrationally on nuclear power, expenditures on health, education, food security, rural and urban employment be enhanced.

We want to remind you that India as the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement and as a vocal participant in various international fora including the UN has always committed itself to a nuclear-free world and the abolition of the existing nuclear weapons. In the spirit of the above we want the Government of India to ban the entry of nuclear powered submarines of the US and other major NATO countries. After six decades of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear tragedies, we demand that immediate steps be taken for a nuclear-free Asia and world.

The above Indo-US nuclear deal will further reinforce the unequal strategic relationship between the US and thereby would add momentum to the US imperialistic project for unfettered global dominance. We reject any ambitions of the Indian ruling classes to act as a Big Brother in South Asia or to emerge as a global power basking in the reflected glory of the global headman and goon. This will not only undermine India’s position as a founding and leading member of the Non-Aligned Movement but will seriously undermine the prestige of the NAM as a whole by meekly surrendering to US imperialism defying the democratic aspirations of the toiling masses of the Third World for a nuclear-free, just and livable world.

Kuldeep Nayar; Justice Rajindar Sachar; Aruna Roy (MKSS, Rajasthan); Sandeep Pandey (Asha Parivar); Major General Sudhir Vombatkere (Retd); Ajit Jha (People’s Political Front); Banwari Lal Sharma (Azadi Bachao Andolan); Lingraj (General Secretary, Samajwadi Jan Parishad); Anil Sadagopal (Educationalist, Bhopal); Kavita Srivastava (PUCL, Rajasthan); Ulka Mahajan (Saravahara Jan Andolan, Raigad, Maharashtra); Anand Kumar (Professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, JNU); Sanjay Mangal Gopal (NAPM); Ambarish Rai (Lok Sangharsh Morcha); Savyasachi (Lecturer, Deptt. of Sociology, Jamia Milia, New Delhi); Minakshi Arora (Editor, People’s News Network); Ish Mishra (Reader, Hindu College, Delhi); Jayant Verma (Editor, Neetimarg, Jabalpur); Rakesh Rafiq (Yuva Bharat); Inder Singh (NHPM, Rajasthan); Gurdyal Singh Sheetal (NHCPM, Punjab); Prafulla Samantrai (Lokshakti Abhiyan, Orissa); Rajiv (Yuva Bharat, Lucknow); Putul (Yuva Bharat, Lucknow); Sawai Singh (Samagra Seva Sangh, Rajasthan); Sanjiv Sane (Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Maharastra); Gajanan Khatu (Lok Rajniti Munch, Maharashtra); Vineet Kohli (Research Scholar, Centre for Economic and Social Planning, JNU); Ajit Jha (Samajwadi Jan Parishad and NAPM); Thomas Kochery (President, National Fishermen’s Forum and NAPM); Dr John Dayal (President, All India Catholic Union); Feroze Mithiborewala (Muslim Intellectual Forum); Maulwi Farooq (Jamat-e-Islami Hind); Dr Zafurul Islam Khan (Editor, The Milli Gazette, New Delhi; Gopal Rai (Convenor, Teesra Swadhinta Sangram); Dunu Roy (Hazards Centre, New Delhi); Seela Manasweenee (Hazards Centre, New Delhi); Subhash Lomte (National Convener, National Campaign Committee for Rural Workers); Faisal Khan (Asha Parivar and NAPM); Kavita Krishnan (Ex-President, AISA), Editor, Liberation); Shailendra (Social Activist, Delhi); Dhananjay Tripathi (Ex-President, JNU Students Union); Vijay Pratap (Convener, Lokayan); Babu Lal Sharma (Convenor, Global Gandhi Forum); Rakesh Bhatt (Coordinator, SADED/CSDS); Kiran Shaheen (Media and Social Activist); Chandrika (Editor, Dakhal Duniya web magazine); Prakash Kumar Ray (Film-maker and Research Scholar/Film Studies, School of Art and Aesthetics, JNU); Jeet Bhattacharya (Research Scholar, Film Studies, School of Art and Aesthetics, JNU); Rishika Mehershi (Research Scholar, Performing Arts, School of Art and Aesthetics, JNU); Asit (Researcher and Social Activist); Kumar Sameer (Social Activist); Peeyush Pant (Editor, Lok Samvad); Susant Panigrahy (Social Activist, Pune); Ambarish Rai (Lok Sangharsh Morcha, Gujarat); Parimal Maya Sudhakar (Research Scholar, JNU).

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