The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal (via The Council on Foreign Relations)

 This article explains and summarizes the nuclear treaty between the two countries.

This treaty is the flashpoint for the controversy and public outcry over corruption in the Indian government. More than two years after the agreement was ratified by both nations, diplomatic cables from the American State Department detailed vote buying in the Indian legislature to get the treaty passed. Wikileaks published the cables and their impact in India has been major. It has been so important that it has pushed much of the coverage of the nuclear meltdown in Japan off the front pages.

Please read the summary.

James Pilant

The U.S. 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. 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 U.S. assistance to India’s civilian nuclear energy program, and expands U.S.-India cooperation in energy and satellite technology. But critics in the United States say the deal fundamentally reverses half a century of U.S. nonproliferation efforts, undermines attempts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, and potentially contributes to a nuclear arms race in Asia. “It’s an unprecedented deal for India,” says Charles D. Ferguson, science and technology fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “If you look at the three countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)-Israel, India, and Pakistan-this stands to be a unique deal.”

Civil society do-gooders versus ‘dirty tricks’ department (Comment) (via pennsperry)

Do-gooders is a title of derision and a major criticism in the United States. It implies giving help where none is requested and idealism in a situation where everyone is comfortable.

Here it is used in another sense, political newcomer, neophyte, starry eyed idealist, etc. That is only to be expected. Generally speaking to be effective, a wide ranging movement eventually becomes organized to maintain pressure over long periods of time. In the United States, organizations like C.O.R.E., the Congress of Racial Equality and the N.A.A.C.P., National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, carried on the struggle for civil rights for minorities in the United States. It was recognized that even though the public favored the cause, it required continuous pressure to make change possible.

A large unorganized movement can easily be broken by attacks because it has no mechanism for defense, no central leadership to react to these kinds of assaults. Hazare’s organization is not really organized. It is almost helpless against attacks in the media. Because of its diffuse membership, there can be a dozen different responses to crisis coming from different parties in different places.

I admire Anna Hazare but the next stage of the battle is about to begin. It will take continuous pressure over decades to change the endemic culture of corruption. I’m going to watch. India is no longer a backwater in the field of social change, it is the front line in a worldwide  battle for ethics and morality in public life.

This is a good article, a little more cynical than me, which is saying a lot. My heart and prayers are with the reformers. It is time for a change.

James Pilant

By Amulya Ganguli When Anna Hazare and his warriors launched their anti-corruption crusade in early April, they were acting like starry-eyed idealists ready to take on the world. Their ardour had something of the assurance, full of zest, which every generation felt when they embarked on a mission to usher in a new dawn. Although a few of those in the frontline are young – Hazare himself is a septuagenarian – their youthful fervour of those days w … Read More

via pennsperry

Hidden Agenda to derail Anti-Corruption Drive? (via Deshpandevm’s Blog)

I found this an interesting commentary on the anti-corruption movement in India.

I find the level of suspicion to be right about the same level as mine. Which maybe healthy or not. Nevertheless, any successful movement must take account of its enemies and I like the article’s predictions as the moves likely to be made. I would have suggested many of the same ones. The one that I focused on immediately was putting loopholes in the legislation to make enforcement impossible. In America, the use of loopholes (known as jokers in American law) is endemic. I strongly agree they are a major danger.

Anyway, read the article. This movement may change the world. It deserves attention.

James Pilant

Hidden Agenda to derail Anti-Corruption Drive? Hidden Agenda to derail Anti-Corruption Drive? Anna Hazare’s fast unto death to press for demands on Jan Lokpal Bill in April 2011 took the UPA government at the centre by surprise in spite of intelligence inputs. The massive public response it evoked shook the crisis managers of the government. 24 x 7 media coverage had multiplier effect to spread the message and participation to the remote corners of India. As the response of the government unf … Read More

via Deshpandevm’s Blog

POWERS & PURPOSE (via Movid’s Weblog)

I really enjoyed the view of some of the “difficulties” in the life of a citizen of India during elections and, in particular, his assertiveness in defending his rights.

Good article – good story!

James Pilant

Any statute empowers an officer or a body of persons with a PURPOSE. But when the officer or the body of persons APPLY or USE the powers vested in them, to ascertain  whether  they are relevant  to the purpose or not is TYRANNY. I’d like to give an example, for greater clarity to the aforesaid statement. On the HIGHWAYS in Thamizhnadu, prior to the elections there were Election squads, Income Tax squads and even maverick state police squads which … Read More

via Movid’s Weblog

MANI SHANKAR AIYER’S BASELESS IRE AGAINST TEAM ANNA HAZARE (via Cosmos In My Eyes)

I thank God for angry, indignant bloggers. We have to have strong emotion. We have to be vital, intent, focused and unrelenting if there is to be change.

I like what I read here. There is anger in India against corruption. In American the more subtle corruption of campaign contributions and lobbyists have no real opposition, just the occasional gripe. I wish we had someone like Anna Hazare.

I am watching. The world is trying to look away from the controversy in India. Don’t let them. Don’t let your anger cool. Keep it hot and keep it on target. Don’t be diverted by side issues. Never let the pressure off and never be deterred by frivolous charges and threats. The way to moral success is not always straight and beset with difficulties.

Win this one. Change history.

James Pilant

Mani Shankar Aiyer, Congress MP to Rajya Sabha, yesterday in his characteristic outspoken way took on Team Anna Hazare for leading a movement against corruption which has reached gargantuan proportions in India. Mr.Aiyer’s anger, please note, is not against rampant corruption in India due to the rotten political system being followed by political parties since decades. Though Indian citizens were/are angered over the way, the politicians drag the … Read More

via Cosmos In My Eyes

I did not nominate Bhushans: Anna Hazare

This is the next round. It’s going to be exciting. My general impression is that to discredit someone with a strong reputation you attack his colleagues. And those colleagues in this kind of struggle are likely to be politicians. Unfortunately, if you have been in politics any length of time, you have usually left some questionable decisions not wholly dealt with. What’s more, India seems to have some very creative ways for a politician to make money. In the United States, corruption is more institutionalized, so to see who owns a politician we just go online and look at the campaign contributions or we look to see what Political Action Committees their wives or relatives use to suck up money from the gullible.

My admiration for the Indian press is growing rapidly. I found the reporting informative and challenging. I got the impression that being a press favorite was not as common there as it is here.

The struggle goes on, from my distant perch in the center of the North American continent, I watch.

James Pilant

Again, Digvijaya targets civil society activists (via NDTV)

This video certainly gives one a postive view of the Indian press. That was a tough interview, the type we rarely see here in the United States. It appears that many players are in motion. I am sadly deficient in my knowledge of who the players are, but I’m catching up.

James Pilant

I noticed watching the interview that the English was easy for me to understand. I’m doubtful that Indians could understand much of my English.

Can Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Bill root out the menace of corruption? (via Cinesign’s Blog)

Generally, I try to write a few paragraphs and explain what I think about the situations. This one, this post, is difficult to write about.

First, it’s long and quite detailed. I like that. In fact, that the author was able to describe and explain so much without losing me was strong reason to reblog the post.

Second, it’s about India, not just about the country but about the nation’s future, hopes and dreams. That’s a dangerous area to comment on. I have noticed that even mild criticism of India can generate strong responses. That’s okay. I’m getting used to it. When the United States was becoming a great power back in the early 20th century, there was a lot of thin skin there too.

India is a great nation with a difficult future, and it’s not just a little complex. From the middle of the United States, it’s hard to get a good, solid view, but I’m going to try. I need to write about this. In my country, on one of the major news networks, Hazare merited a short single article. We don’t think about India. We don’t read about India. We probably get more information about India from Rajesh Koothrappali than we do from the news.

So, I’m passing on to you a long, detailed and, in my mind, well written and informative post. Please read it!

James Pilant

Can Anna Hazares Jan Lokpal Bill root out the menace of corruption? Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar The real battle for the future began the moment Anna Hazare sipped lemon water at Delhis Jantar Mantar to break his fast on April 9. The four-day fast started on a low-key note, but exploded into a nationwide exhibition of anger, as a diminutive, unknown Gandhian from Maharashtra turned into a giant icon, a heroic symbol of the hidden despair that had been swelling in the consciousness of an … Read More

via Cinesigns Blog

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare’s Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare’s Lokpal Bill Fight (via Pratyush K. Pattnaik)

By all means, let’s join the struggle. Hazare’s battle is our battle, wherever we live, whatever we do, our lives are diminished by corruption – but also enriched by the efforts of the wise and heroic.

Go to Facebook – Join up.

James Pilant

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazares Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazares Lokpal Bill Fight Over 1,00,000 followers on Facebook; over 7 lakh people express their solidarity through phone lines Satyagraha finds its way onto new media, after Facebook, Twitter and SMS added teeth to social activist Anna Hazares crusade against corruption. Hazares protest involves him fasting until death till the government agrees to table the Lokpal Bill, which puts corrupt politicians to accountability and scrutiny by an independent body. In practically … Read More

via Pratyush K. Pattnaik

Why Hazare’s movement might fail? (via Slate)

Corruption in India is fairly endemic. It is present in everything from traffic tickets to giant government contracts. Hazare is struggling with a mountain of inertia, a community acceptance of corruption and an appreciation of its benefits. He is trying to work with and develop a contrarian philosophy. I suspect this may be based on the Indian development of greater economic and political power in international relations.

The Indians are a proud people to put it very mildly. But a reasonable person can easily conclude that corruption on the current scale will make it very difficult for India to become as signiificant as its large population and geography would make it. Corruption on the current scale threatens national growth and impairs the nation’s standing in the world just as investment banking speculation and greed endanger growth in the United States.

I have a lot to learn about this situation but I’m going to try.

Indians may speak English but the implications and history behind the words are different than in American English. This is not to imply superiority to ether form of the language merely to acknowledge the need for caution.

James Pilant

Before I start, I want to be clear that I want this movement to be a success…. Corruption in India is an integral part of everybodys everyday life. We are on one of the sides, either at the receiving end or the giving. Corruption does not begin in the office, it begins on the streets. It does not care for age, status, class, or position, just the effect varies. The traffic police always gives us two options; First, that is legal, time consumin … Read More

via Slate