Unjust hue and cry over N-deal

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday about the immense benefits of the Indo-US nuclear agreement should be viewed in the right spirit. Indeed, it has turned out to be more than we had bargained for. The hue and cry by the Left and the Opposition is sad and based on imaginary flaws which need to be ignored. The focus should now shift to lobbying at the 45-nation Nuclear Supplier Group for the final seal. It will give us direct access to US nuclear fuel and equipment and thus overturn a three-decade-old US ban.

While the US sees it as a counterbalance to tame China, we should enjoy the fallout. However, we should not forget the 1962 hostility and the unresolved border issues with China and their diplomatic intimacy with Pakistan.

The signoff also leaves Pakistan bleeding because a comprehensive package to both countries would have put Pakistan in an advantageous position. Now Pakistan has to go elsewhere for similar gains which would further widen up their gap with the US. Alternatively, they can choose to be a second class nuclear power to India, post the signoff.




A cursory glance at the 22-page 123 Agreement suggests how India’s concerns with the draft have been accommodated. The most difficult part for the US officials to digest was that India wanted to retain the spent fuel from the civilian reactors for its own use and the fear that we could yield the much needed uranium back into our strategic programme.

What is important is not what the US stands to gain but how India will be benefited by the agreement. The new age reality is that the rules of the game have changed. India is now part of an international accountability regime.

Therefore, the 123 text notwithstanding, our reactors under international purview will now be open for scrutiny on safety standards. For once, though, for a complicated bilateral agreement, the larger picture and the responsibilities that come with it are the bigger deal.



Your optimistic editorial “A step forward” (July 30) and K. Subrahamanyam’s article “N-deal reflects new world reality” (July 30) duly lauds the 123 Agreement. The prophets of doom are silenced by the editorial’s reasonable justification of the pact. As equals, both sides stand to gain by this strategic partnership.

The US is no longer the sole super power. The cold war was over after the collapse of the Soviet Union under its own regimentation weight. China has grown strong and assertive under the reformed communist regime. Japan has made leaps despite American heals. The European Union challenges American intrusion.

India no longer lags behind. It is a nuclear power. Its economic growth is constant. All the major powers have to move together in step under the new factor of balance of power. The American dollar has ceased to be the Almighty. Its military power is no longer invincible. There is no question about the third atomic war for capturing markets and for colonial or neo-imperialist designs. Every country has to tread cautiously.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jhat (Jhajjar)


The 123 Agreement will give impetus to our economy. With scarce fossil fuels, India’s burgeoning energy needs could be met only through nuclear energy which is a much cleaner form of energy.

No doubt, India had developed the technology to generate nuclear energy, but unless it has uranium in high quantity, the advanced nuclear technology would prove futile. Since India is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), it could not get nuclear fuel from the Nuclear Supplier Group. Thus, the agreement will bring to an end the apartheid treatment it had been receiving from the US since India’s first nuclear test in 1974.  The attack on the deal by the Left and the BJP is unwarranted. The agreement has given India an opportunity to have access to the foreign nuclear fuel. We should not let it go and make the best out of it. Moreover, when the agreement takes care of India’s sovereign rights, there is no harm going ahead with it.


Men of strong moral fibre

It was touching to read about Mukesh Kumar Sharma (July 20). Such writings require wide publicity. I recall the exemplary character of my colleague, Gorakh Prasad Srivastava, at Banaras Hindu University in the fifties. A perfectionist to the core, he was an embodiment of simple living and high thinking. He reacted very strongly to unethical and irresponsible acts. He was a man of high integrity.

A stickler for punctuality, his students learnt a great deal from him about time management. As a teacher, he went to the class fully prepared. For me, Srivastava was a role model, friend, philosopher and guide.

As an illustration of his moral strength, Srivastava once narrated his own story. In the 1920s, when he was in his teens, his father was Nazir, District Court, Gorakhpur, UP. When he saw his father accepting bribes, he went on a hunger strike to force him give to up the practice. Srivastava succeeded and their family adjusted to live with his father’s modest salary. If there are more people like Srivastava and Mukesh Kumar in every walk of life, the face of the nation will change.

HARKISHAN SINGH, Professor Emeritus, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Jagraon bridge

Ever since the work on the railway bridge over the main crossing of the Jagraon city started eight months ago, the people of Jagraon have been put to untold hardship.

There are a good number of schools near the bridge. As a result, students find it difficult to negotiate the narrow route. Rikshawpullers and other vehicle owners demand hefty amount to ferry people to the local bus stand via Molak Road. The authorities concerned should arrange a safe passage for those using the lane expeditiously.

Prof. P. K. SHARMA, Jagraon

Provide beds too

By creating the ECHS, the Centre has made a sincere effort to look after the welfare of the ex-servicemen. However, in addition to the facilities made available in each polyclinic, each clinic should be provided with a 50-bed unit to take care of the patients with fever and other ailments of non-speciality nature.

Presently, in most cases, the patients are forced to return to their villages with whatever medicines issued by the clinic. Till their next visit, they don’t get any treatment.

Col M. S. BEHL (retd), Gurdaspur

Kalam’s quotes

Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam completed his term as the President of India on July 24. Lakhs of people, especially children, have been influenced by his noble thoughts. I am one of them.

I will always remember two of his quotes. One, Dreaming leads to thinking, thinking leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to hard work which, in turn, makes you great. And two, If you have integrity, nothing else matters and if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.

Dr BALDEV SINGH, Faridabad



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