By K.N. Pandita
The nuclear deal between the strongest and the largest democracy in the world is essentially stems from 9/11. No doubt it has come belatedly, but certainly it reflects mature statesmanship of highest level.
If everything goes well, the deal is bound to change the history of contemporary world. In essence it is the strongest and the most effective step to protect and promote rich and colorful human civilization. Its significance lies not in military muscle it may forge or the formidable war machine it may manufacture but actually in terms of the path it will pave to lead mankind to the destination of freedom and human dignity.
Indian and American leadership deserves full appreciation for their understanding of ground realities of contemporary times. Coming together of two democracies is a clear signal to regressive forces that the assets of human civilization cannot be left to spoliation.
India desperately needs energy source to meet economic demands of a burgeoning population. The US needs a global structure to support and promote her commitment to human freedom and dignity. The two requirements are interdependent.
The future world must make a shift from military use of nuclear energy to its civilian use. That is perfectly in the interests of all nations. But this cannot happen overnight. The US, with its unique position, is understandably the right country to take the initiative.
India has responded to this initiative with wisdom and pragmatism. It has set an example for others who, unfortunately, assign limited and rather unrealistic use to nuclear energy source.
As economic and technological cooperation between the two democracies grows and impacts the life of broad masses of people in both the countries in a tangible way, the compulsion of military use of nuclear energy will diminish correspondingly. The US and India have caught that vision and taken a bold initiative, which in reality is the first step towards a world free of WMD.
George W Bush is the fifth President of the US to visit India since India’s independence. But he is the first President to reach the people of India: he is also the first President to understand that India a mosaic of different faiths, languages, cultures and ideologies is making the unique yet most stupendous experiment of carrying the one fourth of world’s population along the path of democracy, secularism and pluralism. The US President recognized it fully when he said that in some way Indian democracy was functioning better than that of his own country.
The deal has to be ratified by the US Congress and the Indian Parliament. That is what makes it significant and historic. The Indian Prime Minster has already essayed for majority support in the parliament by making a suvo moto speech delineating the basics of India’s approach to the deal. President Bush will be moving in the direction.