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N-deal discussions hit cyberspace

E T B Sivapriyan in New Delhi | July 09, 2008 11:29 IST

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Indo-US Nuclear Tango

The "war of words" over the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal has now hit cyberspace with supporters and opponents of the pact crossing swords over the topic on social networking sites and individual blogs.

Netizens are busy discussing the pros and cons of the deal with the US in sites such as Orkut, Mylot and Indiafriendfinder.com and other individual blogs.

The 'net war' comes at a time when the Left parties have withdrawn support to the United Progressive Alliance government saying the deal will affect the country's sovereignty.

Orkut has as many as 10 communities and over 1,200 forums and other individual blogs dedicated for discussions on the deal.

The discussions vary from topics such as "Should India sign the nuclear deal with US?" "Indo-US nuclear deal: beneficial or harmful"? "What do you think about the nuclear deal?" and "Say no to nuclear deal and the future of the controversial deal."

Netizens have not only given their views but have also criticised the government, the Left and opposition parties for not arriving at a "consensus" on the deal.

"The Left parties and Bharatiya Janata Party should have been taken into confidence," says a user on a networking site.

Over 10,000 netizens have posted their views on the cyberspace on the topic with several of them saying that the nuclear deal is "in the best interests of India", while some feel that the pact will do no good to India.

There are dedicated blogs where one can find articles about the deal carried by newspapers across the globe as well essays written about the atomic agreement and views and comments posted by the visitors to the site.

"I think India should go for the deal as we are a big consumer of energy and we don't have any good source for it. All we have is maximum imported from other countries," Seha says on Orkut in the forum 'support Indo-US nuclear deal'.

Contesting Seha's views, Kalpana wrote in the forum: "The issue is not about just signing a deal and obtaining nuclear power. Consider India signs the deal and what about the technology to tap and utilise the nuclear power?"

"Transfer of technology regarding this issue is also a constraint pointed out by many critics," she says.

Some blogs praise Manmohan Singh [Images] for clinching the deal with the US, while some say it was the just the result of India's growing economy.

Hemkant, who is a regular user of Mylot.com, says that India should go ahead with the deal as nuclear energy is "a cleaner energy resource" when compared to others.

Echoing Hemkant's views, Parmeh says India's relation with United States may come to a new low if "we refuse" to sign the deal as it may result in loss of trust between the two countries.

Interestingly, the Left parties who rigorously oppose any strategic partnership and the nuclear deal with America, have found support from the netizens, with one of them saying the deal "seems to be a way for US to impose its will on India."

The opponents have found support in Anisha Jacob who thinks that the Indian government "should be careful about the way the deal goes."

A post in Indiafriendfinder.com says, "US is aiming for Indian thorium," through the pact.

San, who also feels the deal should be scrapped, has took time to explain the drawbacks of the pact to his fellow netizens.

"India cannot do any nuclear test in future, reprocessing of spent fuel is not permitted, no guarantee of continuous fuel supply," he writes.




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