In his press declaration this afternoon to announce the decision arrived at earlier in the day by CPM’s central committee, Prakash Karat, the party’s general secretary, sounded reasonable. He said the phrase ‘withdrawal of support’ to the present government was never uttered since the controversy started.
Karat also said that let there be a mechanism to deal with the nuclear pact with the US, and till such time it is through, let the government not proceed with further negotiations with IAEA and NSG. The CPM general secretary was explicit in his view that his party did not want to destabilize the present government.
He said there was no reason why the government would not send its representative to the September meeting of the IAEA, which it does every year, except that there would be no discussions with respect to the nuclear deal in the present shape.
Now what is the mechanism that Prakash Karat may think is feasible? Since there is a hint that a mechanism has to be or can be worked out to counter the perceived flaw against India in the nuclear deal in the present form, it can perhaps be argued that the government will formulate a law similar to US’ Hyde Act to safeguard its interests. In fact this has been conjectured in some newspapers.
The absence of a rhetoric like ‘scrap the deal, come what may’ and the general secretary’s statement that his party did not want to destabilize the government are 2 silver linings in the looming dark cloud of political instability. All it now needs is some sort of tacit backtracking by the government on the issue while not budging from the main thrust of liaising with the US in the coming days.
It is significant that the Japanese PM in his address to the Parliament yesterday spoke about developing an ‘Arc of Freedom and Prosperity’ in the entirety of the Pacific Ocean and a broader Asia, but omitted mentioning China.
It is also significant that in a few days from now India will be participating in the largest naval war game in its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal in which apart from the US the other participants are Japan, Australia and Singapore, all very close allies of the US.
The left fears that allying with the US will make India subservient to US’ wishes in all the country’s sovereign decisions including foreign policy. This reflects a complete lack of faith in India’s ability and position of influence in the global arena.
On the other hand, as I’ve written in my last post, the threat perception to India from its giant neighbor in the north is too real to ignore. In varying degrees China’s growing muscle is a threat to Japan and the US as well. Which is why is this coming together of these countries.
My own feeling is that the left too are aware of India’s strategic needs. But then as of now it is impossible for them to jettison the anti-US plank they so dearly nurtured over so many decades. What is the way out?
In my opinion the answer is Bengal and Kerala’s prosperity. If the 2 states prosper supposedly because of the left’s ‘alternative’ growth model, which they can then tom-tom to others, there will be less reason for them to fall back on extraneous factors like opposing everything US to fight an identity crisis.