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'Our problem is with US policy'

March 08, 2006 14:05 IST

CPI-M Member of Parliament and the party's central committee member Nilotpal Basu says that while his party has no problem with the American people, 'our problem is with the policies with the American government and Mr Bush who according to the US constitution enjoys disporportionate powers to shape those policies.'

In a exclusive with rediff.com readers, the veteran Communist leader said that ' unfortunately our government is siding and capitulating before the US and going along with the disinformation which the US is embarking upon.'

Asked why the left did not withdraw support to the government over the issue, he said: 'It is not a question of courage. We are convinced that BJP would be even worse.'

The transcript:


myheartisbeating asked, Did we have other more viable options than purchasing Nuclear technology and fuel?
NILOTPAL BASU answers, This is a very good question. Our main problem with the present deal is that we have not had a national discussion or debate or try and find answer to your question. I feel that nuclear technology and nuclear energy can only be a small bit of the over all energy mix. It is not commensurate with the noise that is being generated around the deal.


maddy asked, Is it necessary for Left to oppose govt moves which is in right direction? dont you think you are acting as agents old USSR & present china govt?
NILOTPAL BASU answers, The left is opposing the present foreign policy thrust of the government primarily because it is not in keeping with the provisions of the national common minimum programme over which we had an agreement, not because we are protecting China. It is in our national interest to have an end to unilateralism and not reinforcing it. 
vignesh asked, First you tell us whether we should have any diplomatic relation with United States or not. If you are OK with diplomatic ties then you must know that Prime Minister will go to united States and vice versa. You have no problem going Mr Singh going to united states. But when the Mr Bush comes here you join hands with jihadis to shout "go back" against him. What kind of stinky double standard is this?
NILOTPAL BASU answers, We must definitely have diplomatic relationship with the United States. We must share a good relationship with that country but not a strategic one so that we become a part of their global ambitions and our soil is used to give a call for regime changes in countries which they consider 'evil empires' against all canons of international law.
betterdeadthanred asked, So what precisely do you think you have 'salvaged?'
NILOTPAL BASU answers, In the case of Iran prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh has admitted yesterday in the house that the government is not for confrontation. This is a step which is different from Mr Bush who actively advocates regime change in Iran. The only problem with the PM is that as facts reveal in the IAEA process is that confrontation is engineered by the US and its Europeam allies. And in any case that they lied in case of Iraq is crystal clear. Similarly in the case of nuclear agreement the decisive nature in which now the government has come out in stating that India's nuclear programme is sovereign is in the background of the intervention of the left parties as well as that of the entire nuclear science establishment in the country.
amit asked, Mr. Basu It is important to understand that whether CPM are obsessed to oppose or they have still not understand 'Time call for change' in attitude, thinking... Also I believe CPM does not have much experience in diplomacy. For Indo-US nuclear deal it is win-win situation for both, let us not always wish to win everytime and want the other to be the loser.
NILOTPAL BASU answers, I do not understand whether you are aware of what is at stake. The whole relationship with the US is prompted almost by this single point emphasis on our need for accessing nuclear fuel and technology. Has there been any explicit discussion in the country firming up our precise requirements of nuclear energy as part of our energy mix? Do you understand that many of the countries are quitting the production of nuclear energy as part of their energy requirements? Do we first concentrate on maximizing the use of all energy sources available with us or not? A proper comprehension of all these can only decide the question whether this is a win win. If we end up by being dumped with outdated nuclear technology and reactors at far greater per mega watt price, would you still consider this as win win?
abhijeet asked, Mr Basu, I can not understand the policy of CPM. If we remember the situation at the time of VP singh govt ,people were dying bcas of no jobs ..And you people were in govt .NOW when people are getting jobs ,because those are coming from US , So what you want people should be without job..THIS IS RIDICULOUS which CPM is doing by going against to BUSH.
NILOTPAL BASU answers, Have you cared to find out what is the employment situation in the country today? Mr Chidambaram's latest economic survey would be interesting reading material. We want people to be employed so we keep on demanding that the government must spend more for agriculture which provides livlihood to 75 per cent of our people. I am not aware how much employment is provided by Mr Bush and the United States. In the last 15 years of our liberalized economy the FDI from US which is supposed to have generated employment is miniscule.
ramananda asked, Mr Basu, if you have serious objections to the government's position on Iran and the US, why don't you have the courage to withdraw support? scared that you too will go down with it?
NILOTPAL BASU answers, It is not a question of courage. We are convinced that BJP would be even worse. However, whatever has been salvaged in terms of both the government's policy on Iran or nuclear deal is because of our intervention.
ramananda asked, So what precisely is your problem with the Americans?
NILOTPAL BASU answers, Our problem with the Americans is nothing. We have great respect for the American people. Our problem is with the policies with the American government and Mr Bush who according to the US constitution enjoys disporportionate powers to shape those policies. Those policies are essentially imperialist in nature. They are based on principles of hegemony and subjugation. The situation in Iraq is classic demonstration of such a situation.
commonman3 asked, why is west bengal one of the poorest places in india?
NILOTPAL BASU answers, I think you are swayed by the general disinformation which goes on about West Bengal. Now data, both national as well as international show that West Bengal is one of the advanced states; of the country so far as the state GDP growth is concerned it is the second fastest.
anuj asked, Mr. Nilotpal Das i just wanted to ask you why is it required that you keep on fighting for some other countrys interested instead of you own... like the iran case where you are objecting to government point regarding the vote.. is it so that you welcome another nuclear power in your region
NILOTPAL BASU answers, My name has been misspelt. I am Nilotpal Basu and not Das. I don't know where from you picked up this information that Iran has secured nuclear weapons. Is it that you are guided by the way Bush and Blair were guided in Iraq. Or is it the same source of disinformation which has led to hundreds and thousands of dead in Iraq. We are not for Iran acquiring nuclear arms. We are for allowing Iran to enjoy the right of developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes which they are entitled to as a NPT signatory. Unfortunately our government is siding and capitulating before the US and going along with the disinformation which the US is embarking upon.