Jul 4, 2008

Columnist - V.R.Krishna Iyer

Submitting to this nuclear deal is unbecoming and unfortunate — especially when it comes from a Prime Minister who is clean, fine and humane.
Indian humanity has been divided communally and trivialised ideologically. Economically it is dollar-dominated. It is pathologically politicised. It has been priced out mega-litigatively from judicial justice. It has devalued swaraj and tended to oblige lame-duck President George Bush to serve the interests of America Inc. In the process, it has lost self-respect and self-reliance, going so far as to sign an obviable and obnoxious nuclear treaty.
The masses plead with the pro-tem, but inflexibly firm, Prime Minister: do defend ‘US,’ not the U.S. Do compassionately consider the Panch Sheel commandments of swaraj since the masses are sinking under asphyxiant inflation. Do break and banish the Iron Curtain between the political parties and the people, do feel for the have-nots and win them back. Do this for the sake of Bharat, swadeshi and swaraj.
The fatal crisis suffocating Indian humanity right now is higher-than-ever inflation. Never has people’s survival been in such peril, and so poignantly, as it is today. Why should the Prime Minister of a great country be so utterly committed to the U.S.? Let us recall the country’s first Prime Minister telling an earlier U.S. President that India was no international mendicant. This nuclear deal submission is unbecoming and unfortunate: it is a bizarre secret. And to think that it comes from Dr. Manmohan Singh — an otherwise clean, fine, humane statesman. My patriotic plea is straight: do jettison this surrender to the Yankee.
Solar, hydel, tidal, wind farm-oriented and geothermal energy sources are abundant. Then there are other sources that, if fully explored and exploited, can gain for India energy swaraj. Beware of radiation and other thanatological-technological possibilities. The U.S. and Russia know at their own cost the horrendous hazards of nuclear power plants. But U.S. nuclear big business seeks to dump them on India, assuming it to be a meek, weak nation. But India is a non-aligned power.
There should be a 10-year moratorium on any new foreign investment and any import of luxury items. No more should we have the bankrupting impact of foreign business. We must restrict the profit-grabbing car factories and the insatiably frantic buyers so as to sustain our economic self-reliance and solvency as a critically democratic mandate. Our neo-colonial financial globalism is a source of grave danger, great disaster and grim despair. Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi used India-made Ambassador cars and did not ever allow insane levels of import.
We need the immediate and harsh enforcement of a law that prohibits hoarding and profiteering, black market pricing and racketeering, as was done during the period of the Second World War. These social justice commands ought to be imposed under a comprehensive Defence of India Code with powers of summary search, seizure, confiscation and severe sentence. Lawless cornering and anti-social privatisation should no more be allowed. Defend the people’s right now by rationing all essential commodities and services, petrol and electricity. Social and economic waste disguised as festivals, political, religious and other practices, should be banished through resort to deterrent penalties. We are at war for the sake of economic survival.
India should abolish or minimise all avoidable expenditure, including the expensive perquisites of heads of state, Ministers, judges and legislators. Alcoholism during festivals, celebrations and flashy functions should be banned. All five-star establishments, public and private, should be abolished. Fair but moderate prices for boarding and lodging should be fixed. Limits should be placed on feasts, rents and travel fares. Consumer extravagance and showy expenditure should be banned on a war footing. The justification is the present scarcities, poverty pressures and necessitous regard for the right to life of the larger Indian community.
As an Emergency measure and as part of a pro-tem economy drive, an overall Defence of Bharat Code should be enacted. A free nation’s lot is not “blood, sweat, toil and tears” but dignity with austerity, without loot and violence. Survival of Indians, not of the U.S. nuclear deal and bourgeois consumerist profligacy, is democratic patriotism. All else is anti-national terrorism.
To wipe every tear from every eye is our tryst with the destiny of the current generation — cricket scores, beauty contests and reality shows are not the priorities. The rule of law shall sustain the rule of life. A wall of separation, an iron curtain between politicians in power and people in privation, is the cruel social malignancy. Political parties sign away India’s freedom through nuclear deals, Smart City sellouts and big-business stratagems. They try to run away from elections and the people, seeking opportunist coalitions. They make it seem that fatal inflation is a global phenomenon.
Dear Prime Minister: you are clean, green, simple and straight. Do save, and not drown, the billion-plus lives whose trustee you, Parliament and the Judiciary are. We must, and we can, win our long march to victory, given the will. Therefore, every party and every social, religious and regional organisation, shall struggle patriotically to tear to pieces the political-communal-economic Iron Curtain that is divisive.

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