In the hallowed tradition of shooting ourselves in our own foot (or running around like headless chicken), the Indian Left has decided that they will consider withdrawing their support to the UPA if (and this is as of today) the Indian government goes ahead with negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They aren’t opposed to representatives of the government meeting the IAEA mind you – just having substantive discussions with them.

Now as to why the government would meet with the IAEA if not to discuss the 123 deal is an open question.

But such juvenile tomfoolery based on ill-informed, outdated and a rigidly indoctrinated geo-political world view is only to be expected from the Left. The Communists after all, have an endemic dislike and distrust of anything American. Or industry. Or capital. Or enterprise. And from time to time, while they are spewing their anti- American, anti- Capitalist, anti-big industry venom – they have been known to indulge in monumentally foolhardy enterprises like banning English as the first language of instruction in schools of West Bengal (causing a generation of Bengalis in West Bengal, not fortunate enough to go to private catholic schools, to grow up being linguistically impaired in the universal language of commerce). Atleast in my home state of West Bengal, what they gave back in their rule since 1977 isn’t very visible – atleast not until the current CM decided to do a volte-face against the tenets of pure communism and went around the country asking for the Wipros/TCS/Infosys to invest there. This after computer education ( and any government office automation) was effectively banned in West Bengal because according to the Left, it was a “capitalist conspiracy”.

Anyways, I am digressing.

The point I am trying to make is that the Left has a depressingly bad governance record in the states they have ruled.

And for them to become the torch-bearers of national interest and patriotism makes me sick to the core. Especially, given the importance of the deal to India’s long term strategic interests.

I am the last person to fall for the line doing circles in the English language Indian media – about how the Left is more pro-China than pro-India – almost like they are Beijing’s proxy trouble creators intent on derailing the deal to suit China’s interests – but in acting like they have have planted themselves in a corner.

Way out? As with everything else in Indian politics – this has now ceased to be a rational informed discussion. Like for e.g. – the Left is opposed to an apparent non-binding clause in the Hyde Act about how the treaty would cease to exist incase India were to conduct nuclear tests. What they have failed to mention is that no nuclear power conducts nuclear tests anymore. Nuclear Tests are not required to maintain nuclear weapons – The data can now be computer simulated anyways. The only countries interested in a physical nuclear tests would be the likes of North Korea (which, I am sure, Karat and company, really admire). Nuclear Tests serve no tangible scientific purpose other than sabre rattling. Which India, being the country that we are, does not need to do.

So again, way out? In the absence of rudimentary knowledge, geo-political vision and the ability to look beyond short term popular political gains – this will eventually be a battle of egos. The only way out seems to be some kind of face saving political gesture by both the UPA and the Left. In the bargain, as always, the only thing to suffer would be India’s interests, the image of its democracy and the perception of the maturity of the leaders we elect in front of the electorate.

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