Fears over Indo-US nuclear deal

According to reports, the Government of India is either thinking or has already engaged some lobbyists to convince the US legislators to approve the Indo-US nuclear deal. Apparently, President Bush is trying his best to get the deal through and hence meeting various legislators.

I am certainly not happy at the deal and the various concessions that India has made, more so, on the Iran issue as a bargain to obtain nuclear fuel. Many experts believe that though production of nuclear energy sounds cheaper than by thermal or other alternative mechanism, one must consider the huge prohibitive cost after a nuclear plant’s life has run out, which is at the most 30-40 years.

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There is a prohibitive cost for entombing the plant to prevent any leak. Nonetheless, it remains always a hazardous risk. The serious accidents at Three Miles Island in the US and the Chernbol leak in Russia bear witness to this.

Moreover, India engaging in lobbying with US legislators is neither politically correct nor morally desirable. We in India will resent any foreign government lobbying with our legislators on any particular deal to be entered into with the government. May be, lobbying is legal in the US, but we won’t accept it in India.

We have expelled MPs for asking questions at the instance of lobbies of certain industrialists and professionals. I hope the Government of India has not finalised the arrangements with lobbyists. Even if it had, our Indian standards and morality demand that we cancel it immediately.

I hope the Left would have this much leverage to ensure that if it could not stop the nuclear deal from going through, it can at least prevent the moral standards and governmental behaviour set by our Constitution from being torn to threads.

Justice RAJINDAR SACHAR (retd), New Delhi


I refer to H.K. Dua’s article “Breaking from the past” (March 6). The Indo-US nuclear deal is most welcome, but India should not sit in the back seat and let the US dictate terms on her behalf. Earlier, the nuclear cooperation agreement and now this nuclear deal may be the US’ attempts to ensure balance of power in this region. But the US should not be allowed to use India as a tool.

S.K. MITTAL, Talwara


The nuclear deal is indeed historic. However, one point is getting unnoticed, i.e. the US’ recognition of India as a true friend and ally in the present global scenario. Surely, the US found India to be more dependable and trustworthy than others in its fight against terrorism, especially after the horrendous 9/11.

The US has fully realised that though Pakistan was with the Americans in their fight against terrorism, it is India which proved to be more sincere than Islamabad.

V.R. SETHI, Chandimandir


True to the well-known maxim, ‘Change is the only constant thing in the world’, the Indo-US ties are also changing. However, time alone will tell whether this change would be for the good. The conditions and circumstances prevailing today do force us to make a move for the change. Let’s hope for the best.

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar


This is how our banks work

THE customer service in nationalised banks is deteriorating day by day. Since the core banking has been introduced in State Bank of Patiala, the customers have to spend hours for the same work which was taking a few minutes earlier.

The computers are down most of the days either because of power failure or lack of interconnectivity or simply because the staff don’t know how to operate the machines. Recently the banks have increased service charges manifold for every facility like withdrawal, deposit, issuance of cheque books and demand drafts.

Staff shortage, non-performance and rude behaviour make one’s visit to the bank an unpleasant experience. These nationalised banks are trying to copy foreign banks but the kind of services they render is simply nauseating.

RAMESH GUPTA, Narwana (Haryana)

At the crossroads

In the Golden temple inner sanctorum, there are engravings in gold showing Guru Nanak along with Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala, all three wearing caps and sitting under a tree and probably doing kirtan. If this had not been in the inner sanctorum, such paintings and engravings would have disappeared long ago as in many historical gurdwaras.

If the first Guru could sing along with these individuals, where is the harm if their descendents also do so now in the Golden temple? Our gurus had originated a simple religion, which was down to earth, practical, shorn of all rituals and taboos etc.

However, today, we find Sikhism at the crossroads, where new rituals are being added with impunity. It is being interpreted as the priests like.

Col KARAMINDER SINGH (retd), Patiala

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