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Nuclear flop-down

Given US assertions that the nuclear deal has brought India closer to the NPT,the lead editorial in the latest issue of CPM organ....


May 13, 2009 12:12:09 am

Given US assertions that the nuclear deal has brought India closer to the NPT,the lead editorial in the latest issue of CPM organ ‘People’s Democracy’ claims that the UPA surrendered to American imperialist pressures and committed India to the NPT.

It quotes US Assistant Secretary of State Gottemoeller as saying that “an important goal of US foreign policy” was to bring India into the non-proliferation treaty. “Now it is clear that while cementing the India-US nuclear deal,the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh,has virtually surrendered to US imperialist pressures and committed India to ratify the NPT.  This is tantamount to a complete negation of India’s traditional proclamations of seeking universal nuclear disarmament and not allowing a discriminatory monopoly of nuclear weapons by the P-5,” it says.

The NPT and the CTBT were discriminatory treaties that leave intact the monopoly of nuclear weapons with the P-5 (USA,UK,Russia,France and China) while debarring all other countries from possessing or developing them,the article argues. “The NDA compromised India’s position by agreeing to endorse the CTBT through a series of secret parleys between India’s foreign minister and the US assistant secretary of state. Mercifully,this could not happen because the US Congress itself refused to ratify the CTBT then,” it notes.

“It was,in fact,under Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership that India placed a timetable before the United Nations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons from this planet and announced that India shall not endorse both the NPT and the CTBT till this goal has been achieved. The Manmohan Singh-led UPA government has negated this position of India in its urge to develop a strategic alliance with US imperialism by reducing India as its subordinate ally,” it says.

Claiming that the Left’s reasoning for the withdrawal of support is now vindicated by thesepronouncements made by the US administration itself,it says and noted that the Congress is making overtures to the Left while it simultaneously justifies the nuclear deal as being in supreme national interest.

  

Look harder at Gujarat

An article by Prabhat Patnaik contests the BJP’s claims that Narendra Modi has worked wonders on the development front. “Given the fact that it was in per capita terms among the very richest even in the 1960s,and that it was among the faster-growing states even then,one would have thought that Narendra Modi’s ‘development drive’,coming on top of all this,would have made Gujarat banish poverty and hunger from within its borders. Such however is far from being the case. According to the WHO,a working person needs a minimum of 1800 calories per person per day for sustenance. (This incidentally is much less than the ‘poverty line’ which is 2100 calories in urban India and 2400 calories in rural India). In Gujarat in 2004-05,according to the data collected by the National Sample Survey,the proportion of rural population ingesting 1800 calories daily was as high as 41 per cent! It was way above the average for all-India which was 25 per cent,” he says.

“… The point is that in 1993-94 Gujarat’s figure for the proportion of rural population below 1800 calories was 36 per cent,while the all-India figure was 20 per cent. The all-India figure has gone up,despite high growth; but so has Gujarat’s despite Narendra Modi’s so-called ‘development drive’.

“A ‘development effort’ in the course of which the proportion of the rural population below the very minimum calorie norm required for a working person,actually increases,cannot by any stretch of imagination be called ‘successful’; on the contrary it represents the most awful retrogression for society.”

“Gujarat’s being a rich state with a high growth rate ensured that its government revenues were far from meager,but the expenditure of that revenue was in directions other than those that put purchasing power in the hands of the people,especially in rural areas.”

Quoting an estimate,he says the

Gujarat government has given to the Tatas a total amount of Rs 31,000 crore as subsidy for the Nano project. “But the fact that the government which offers a subsidy of Rs 31,000 crore to one business house has no money to spend in rural areas with which the rural population could have acquired enough purchasing power to access the bare minimum of 1800 calories per person per day,shows its ruthless class bias. The so-called Gujarat ‘model of development’ is nothing else but the manifestation of extreme class bias; those who laud it,whether they know it or not,are lauding this class bias,” he says.

Compiled by Manoj C.G

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