26 April 2006
The Ind-US Nuclear Pact: Who wins?
Nuclear energy in India today
“India, a civilisation built on renewable energy and biodiversity economies is currently at a cross
roads - will she continue on its renewable energy path based on biodiversity, and energy equity,
or will she follow the non-sustainable energy path of the west, based on fossil fuels, nuclear
power and energy slaves?
India is not among the historical carbon dioxide polluters of the world because through culture
and economic policy, preference was given to localised, decentralised labour intensive
economies, not centralised, industrial economies which displace people by depending on non-
renewable energy inputs.
However, with globalisation and neo liberal economic reform, the renewable is being replaced by
the non-renewable, people are being displaced by fossil fuels, decentralised and diverse systems
are being replaced by centralised monocultures of transport, manufacture, and agriculture.
Not only does this add to the threats of climate change, it also usurps the ecological space for
tribals, small scale farmers, and women since the land use for an energy intensive economy
based on energy slaves must shift from peoples' sustenance needs to producing and processing
industrial, commercial energy and dumping waste, or building superhighways, or growing
monoculture plantations for "biofuels" to maintain the infrastructure of the fossil fuel economy in a
period which will witness the end of cheap oil.
On July 14, 1957, Nehru had said in the Lok Sabha, the Indian House of Representatives, "We
have declared quite clearly that we are not interested in making atom bombs, even if we have the
capacity to do so, and that in no event will we use nuclear energy for destructive purposes….
hope that will be the policy of all future governments."
Following the tests, Japan, the United States, and many other countries imposed sanctions and
cut off aid, loans, and credit to both India and Pakistan. In June of 1998, the UN Security Council
passed a resolution, confirmed by the UN General Assembly in November that year that
condemned the nuclear tests and called for restraint.
The U.S - India nuclear agreement is in effect a reversal of India's policies and an expansion of
nuclear power in India and nuclear fuel sales to India. The agreement was signed on July 18th,
2005 and finalised during President Bush's India visit in March 2006. It is being offered as a
"clean energy" - an alternative to fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. It is aimed at addressed the
two challenges of energy security and safeguarding the environment.” (1)
In the future
On July 18, 2005, President Bush announced a global partnership with India to
promote stability, democracy, prosperity and peace. The desire to transform relations
with India, according to Administration officials, is “founded upon a strategic vision
that transcends even today’s most pressing security concerns.” President Bush said