National debate must before implementing nuclear deal: Left intellectuals | delhi | Hindustan Times
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National debate must before implementing nuclear deal: Left intellectuals

A group of Left-leaning intellectuals have shot off a letter to the UPA Govt asking it not to operationalise the deal till a national debate decided its fate, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2007 02:35 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The Nandigram killings might have temporarily alienated them, a but a group of Left-leaning intellectuals and academicians are back to the fold extending some much-needed support to the Left parties’ stand on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

On Thursday, they shot off a letter to the UPA government asking it not to operationalise the deal till a national debate decided its fate. Fully supporting the Left stand on the apprehensions of entering into a strategic alliance with the United States, the group said the alliance could have far reaching impact on India’s sovereignty and independent foreign policy.

The group comprising more than 30 economists and academics included Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Jayati Ghosh, Prabhat Patnaik and C.P. Chandrashekhar.

They expressed apprehensions about the Hyde Act. “The US Congress has itself passed the extensive legislation, known as Hyde Act, which specifically circumvents the assurances Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave to our Parliament before the Act came into force in the US. The supreme legislatures of the two countries evidently hold positions that are irreconcilable,” they argued.

“Considering that a majority in the Indian Parliament is opposed to the ‘deal’ as it currently stands, it is outrageous and despicable to suggest that a section of this opposition is taking its cue from China or Iran or elsewhere, or that foreign policy is being communalised,” the letter said.

There’s a need to hold a national debate on the deal, they contended, adding that the Government should not be in a hurry to implement the 123 agreement.