Media & Indo-US Nuclear Deal


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Media & Indo-US Nuclear Deal

  1. 1. Media & Indo-US Nuclear Deal
  2. 2. “Rarely in the history of independent India has any issue of foreign policy attracted as much attention, called for such investment of politicaland intellectual energies, and divided the polity as fractiously as the Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement did between 2005 and 2008.”
  3. 3. Whats the Big Deal?• The US Congress on October 1, 2008 gave final approval to an agreement facilitating nuclear cooperation between the United States and India• The deal is seen as a watershed in U.S.-India relations and introduces a new aspect to international nonproliferation efforts
  4. 4. • First introduced in the joint statement released by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18, 2005, the deal lifts a three-decade U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India• It provides US assistance to Indias civilian nuclear energy program, and expands U.S.- India cooperation in energy and satellite technology
  5. 5. Criticism in the US• But critics in the United States say the deal fundamentally reverses half a century of US nonproliferation efforts• It also undermines attempts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons• And furthermore, potentially contributes to a nuclear arms race in Asia
  6. 6. Otherwise …• There is unanimous support of the Indo-US nuclear deal by almost all sections of the media• It seems there is a campaign in Indian media that if the deal is not pushed, Indo-US relation going to suffer• US media spinning euphoric reports about the deal• These reports might be manipulated by US govt.
  7. 7. Chinese Opposition• On September 1, 2008, there was a commentary in the ruling Chinese Communist Partys official paper People’s Daily• It expressed its strong disapproval of the civilian agreement with India• This was a rare public response from Beijing on the controversial U.S. proposal to lift a ban on nuclear trade with India
  8. 8. Matter of Confidence• On July 22, 2008, India’s government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh narrowly survived a no-confidence vote, the first such vote in Indian politics in the last decade• India’s government came close to collapse because it had approved a deal with the United states
  9. 9. Give & Take• The US agreed to share nuclear technology and fuel with India (breaking a longtime international blockade against India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group [NSG])• It was in exchange for granting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) limited rights of inspection of India’s nuclear facilities
  10. 10. The “Unique” angle …• The US-India Nuclear deal crated a unique exception to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) for India• The US then aggressively lobbied its partner nations in the nuclear suppliers group to extend their own NPT exceptions to India
  11. 11. Beyond the Usual While the debate played out prominently in the US and (especially) Indian media, PrimeMinister Singh soon realized that the deal hadtaken on even broader dimensions than had originally been envisaged
  12. 12. Reported in ToI: 08-26-2010“Nuclear liability bill to bring in more investment: US media”
  13. 13. Favouritism?Certain media reports have alleged that key officials say that the reorganization was politically motivated and will weaken USefforts to address global weapons dangers
  14. 14. • Allegations of media presenting only half- truths• Media in West Bengal gave more coverage to the deal• Major sections of reading public interested in the communist parties’ take on the deal
  15. 15. • Nuclear energy is at the current time, a contributor to the extent of less than 5 percent to India’s total electricity needs• Must accept the probability that nuclear weapons are likely to remain forever• It seems to be a consensus within Indian media today that strategic engagement with the US holds the key to India’s emergence on the world stage as a major power
  16. 16. • Has the nuclear energy deal been made into a prestige issue by Indian media?• Does “nuclear energy” sound synonymous with “technological prowess”?• Has the nuclear deal became a symbol of a new relationship between India and the “sole superpower”?
  17. 17. On August 12, 2007, the Indian Express ran afront page story by its editor-in-chief, whichwas a virtual declaration of war against theLeft, with a headline that read: “Will the bully now do what bullies usually do when their bluff is called?”
  18. 18. Proposition says …Proponents of the agreement argue it willbring India closer to the United States ata time when the two countries areforging a strategic relationship to pursuecommon interests in fighting terrorism,spreading democracy, and preventing thedomination of Asia by a single power
  19. 19. Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Unclear …• In August 2008, representatives of 45 nations met in Vienna• Meeting was to decide whether to lift a ban on nuclear trade with India• They ended their talks inconclusively• It left the future of a deal between the United States and India uncertain
  20. 20. • Diplomats said the representatives, members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, planned to meet again on Sept. 4• The group must agree to allow nuclear fuel and technology exports to India to help seal the 2005 United States-India accord
  21. 21. • Media coverage of the deal has minimized since 2008• Given the technical issues involved, the many steps that the agreement had to go through, and the diverse interpretations it was subjected to, made a coherent coverage of the deal not an easy task• Information from official sources was also not easy to come by• This often led to speculation that might have done more harm than good in specific instances• Lessons must be drawn from this for the future since the media will remain an important player in national security and its strengths must be intelligently exploited in the interest of the nation
  22. 22. References• India_Civil_Nuclear_Agreement•• http://sukumar- coverage-of-india-us-nuclear.html• nation/story_9732602.jsp
  23. 23. References ... Cont.• 8_Joseph• deal/p96• 9901E5D61F30F930A1575BC0A96E9C8B63&scp= 4&sq=nuclear+deal+india+us+&st=nyt 63• CBRNRep-BookDiscussion.pdf
  24. 24. Thank YouSaurabh Deshpande
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