Life after the delay

It is premature to write off the India-US nuclear deal as dead

K Subrahmanyam

Issue 8 - Nov 2007

The discussions between UPA and the Left are only a device to buy time for both sides before they reach the inevitable conclusion that they must part company and face the electorate.

Some people worry that if the Bush administration is succeeded by a Democratic one in Washington the deal may run into problems. The Hyde Act was passed with more than 80 percent of both Houses voting in favour, indicating bipartisan support. In bringing about a global renaissance in nuclear industry India is expected to have a major role and the US industry knows it. The Democrats, taking into account their own interests will not treat today’s India the way they did during the Bill Clinton years. What has been achieved in the Bush Administration will be a baseline for the future.

Since the most significant outcome of the deal not going through is the national and international humiliation of the UPA, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh, it is not likely to happen. There may be delays but not an abrogation of the deal.