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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

14 December 2006

Two historic things

Two historic things are happening in the last few days, which will have great impact in the future of India - depending on which way they turn out. Chances are that both issues might fizzle out for various reasons and may end up as non - events in a country where "Status - Quo" is an accepted norm.

However, I want to record these events for posterity - in case, they indeed turn out to make history.

1. The Nuclear Deal with the US

2. Pakisthan's "U" turn - or at least as it appears from this side of the border - in its position on Kashmir.

Of the two, like any ordinary citizen of India, I had my confusion over the former, as arguments for and against the deal were discussed in the media. I wanted to believe Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reassurance in Parliament that he has his country's interest in his heart in handling the deal. I wanted to believe him when he said that just as he inducted the economic reform process and propelled the country's economic growth in the last decade, his decisions are based absolutely on the country's interests. I wanted to believe him that the country needed the resources from the US and would definitely benefit from the US offer of the deal.

At the same time, critics have been constantly warning against the fine prints of the deal. Now, that the Bill is through the American Congress making it a law, the final version of what we are going to get and what we are going to lose are finally in black and white.

The details, as I read from the media, are making me sit up and take notice of the fine prints. And yes, I seem to agree with the critics. Yes, Prime Minister. The deal definitely would benefit us - as long as things are moving in a normal honky dory world. But what if, and given our history, that IF is not an improbable IF - we are pushed to a situation beyond our control and end up with huge investments in nuclear projects left in lurch for want of resources?

I just hope that, as explained his leader page article in The Hindu, M.R. Srinivasan, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, is blowing the whistle at the right time.

Mr. Prime Minister, Please give the critics your ears, and see what amendments you can make at this juncture.

History number 2.

" We'll give up claim on Kashmir" with these words ten days ago to NDTV's Prannoy Roy, Pakisthan President General Parvez Mushaaraf has sent pleasant shock waves across India - among the public as well as on the administrative corridors.

Nirupama Subramanyan, in another leader page article in The Hindu, analyzes the statement.

Again, Mr. Prime Minster, you have another quandary in front of you. Do we take the General's statement on the face value or are we missing something here?

In the meantime, a reader in Letters to the Editor in The Hindu poses a pertinent question to Mushaaraf. "A week ago, Gen. Musharraf said Pakistan was willing to give up its claim to Kashmir if India accepted his "four-point solution." Why should he offer to give up the claim over something his country never claimed in the first place, using a non-existent thing to negotiate? "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott, Marmion) "

well..well... General Mushaaraf, we are waiting for a counter statement from you now....!!