Monday, June 23, 2008

Comparing strong Vajpayee with weak Manmohan Singh

In the series of articles posted on a whole gamut of websites, news, print media and blogs about Manmohan Singh's weakness in leading the country is a testimony to the fact the existing UPA Govt is insensitive to international affairs and the nuclear deal.

In a striking comparison, the article here describes how Vajpayee was strong in dealing with the world on nuclear matters and Manmohan Singh has been so weak. A strong Vajpayee never came under anybody's pressure, yet was able to turn the entire attention to India. The author in the article explains how Vajpayee never buckled under anyone's pressure and kept India's image
very high. It is very true and I am proud of the fact that Vajpayee led the country. He never let India sign the controversial Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Although US senators put immense pressure, Vajpayee knew the art and sidelined the matter. Kudos to Vajpayee!!

Some of the excerpts which I liked are pasted here.

"Why is Manmohan Singh hell-bent on the nuclear deal? The PM is not really persuaded about the necessity of deterrence. He opposed the second nuclear test in May 1998 ordered by A.B.Vajpayee. As Narasimha Rao’s finance minister, he choked funding to the Department of Atomic Energy, resulting in slippages in nuclear power generation targets, shortfalls in natural uranium production, and virtual caps on advancements in plutonium and thorium economies. But more than all this, Manmohan Singh fundamentally does not believe in the greatness of India, and on its inherent potential to be a great power."

Strong, regularly elected leaders like Indira Gandhi or Vajpayee, not accidentally the only two Indian PMs to order nuclear tests, would not have genuflected to Bush like Manmohan Singh did.

Lacking self-respect, Manmohan Singh lacks self-confidence, sees India in his own image as a supplicant, and grabs at the illusion of the US making India a great power. With Manmohan Singh at the helm, India’s great power chase becomes hopeless.

But Vajpayee was a many-layered Prime Minister. Whilst being friendly with Clinton, he resisted US attempts to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). With Clinton’s “neo-con” successor George W.Bush, Vajpayee had doggedly to battle against deploying Indian troops in Iraq. Besides a section of the political establishment, the US had gotten the Indian general staff all gung ho about Iraq. Indian business clamoured to win lucrative Iraqi sub-contracts dangled by the US, and the financial papers openly favoured going in. Vajpayee, with foresight, said no. Much after Vajpayee had demitted office, the CPI General Secretary, A.B.Bardhan, let out a secret. Vajpayee had urged him and other Left leaders publicly to oppose any Indian military involvement in Iraq to get the US off his back.

While some of his cabinet ministers may have been over-enthusiastic about building relations with the US, Vajpayee rarely lost perspective. He had an intuitive understanding of foreign policy that Manmohan Singh, an economic bureaucrat with zilch political understanding, lacks. The nuclear deal ushers CTBT through the front door. Vajpayee said no when it was conditionally offered to him by the Clinton administration, but Manmohan Singh assents quickly. The deal, with the Henry Hyde Act locking in once the 123 Agreement is signed, bars further nuclear testing, consequently prevents sophisticating the deterrent weapons, and thereby stunts India’s great power ambitions.


Adarsh Bhat said...

Supporting or playing down nuclear ambitions does not make or break a leader. Could Singh not be genuinely against the use of nuclear technology? All your writing on this issue seems to promote the idea that going nuclear is the only way to glory.

RisingCitizen said...

I don't think or accept the view that nuclear is the only way. The real problem is the method and protocol of negotiation. Whether Singh wanted it or not is not making him a weak leader. The way he has managed the country has made people realize that he is weak. Any minister can come and leave, his excellent education related policies go into thrash and he has no voice to raise. He allowed diluting of the most historical law - Right to Information. He allowed China to dictate terms to India. He neglected Nepal and we now see a Maoist regime. Talks with Israel were stopped. His National Employment Guarantee Act is caught in corruption. He allowed reservations to happen despite openly objecting to it. Even Rajiv Gandhi objected to reservation.

The intention of this article was to only indicate that despite pulls and pressures, whatever was in the interest of the nation, Vajpayee went for it without listening to anyone. It is not just nuclear deal, but the whole conduct of foreign affairs that has made me think Manmohan is very weak.

Events like these has made him weak. Nuclear deal is a small demonstration of his weakness.