It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister’s Office is still trying to convince the nation that the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal will not affect our strategic autonomy or interfere with the foreign policy. The Hyde Act and its implications on the deal have been widely debated and no amount of assertion by the government can change the reality. The 123 Agreement is strongly wedded to the Act.

The U.S. proved its intolerance earlier through its unilateral action when India conducted its nuclear tests. Its action under the Hyde Act, in the event of our conducting a test some time in future, will surely affect our strategic sovereignty.

Capt. T. Raju (retd.),

Secunderabad

* * *

Going ahead with the controversial nuclear deal will spell disaster. India signed the WTO agreement in 1994, the result of which is evident today. Only a few sections have benefited from the government’s neo-liberal policies. The agriculture sector continues to be in distress and there is a real threat to food security. The present situation is the result of globalisation and liberalisation.

Under the circumstances, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s desperate hurry to conclude the nuclear deal is unwarranted and condemnable. It appears that the government is even prepared to mortgage our sovereignty to the U.S. This deal, if allowed to fructify, will place the nation at the mercy of America for decades.

V.V.K. Suresh,

Guntur

* * *

No issue has evoked as much controversy in the past as the nuclear deal. The unfortunate part is the lack of transparency at all levels. Tempers are running high and politicians have another tool to whip up passions.

I am neither an advocate nor an opponent of the nuclear deal. But I have a right to know the deal in all its finer elements. Will the government enlighten the common man? He is a better judge.

T.N.R. Nair,

Thrissur

* * *

The elaborate discussions on and dissection of the nuclear issue in the media notwithstanding, it is not clear to the common man whether the deal is good for India or not. This being the case, Dr. Singh is obliged to explain to the electorate the basis of his conviction that the deal is beneficial. It would also be worthwhile to know what the U.S. will gain from the deal and whether the gains will deprive India of its legitimate rights.

N.S. Sankararaman,

Ontario

* * *

The Congress should face election rather than take the Samajwadi Party’s support on the nuclear deal. Without having a majority of its own in Parliament, how can it take the nuclear deal forward?

D. Kishan Prasad Rao,

Karimnagar

* * *

Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows. It is bargaining power that keeps one going in the political race.

And it is the people who get fooled and cheated. Their votes become a mockery in the hands of vicious politicians.

V. Vijayendra Rao,

Neyveli

* * *

While one can appreciate the consistent and principled stand of the Left parties on the nuclear deal, it is also true that they have been giving a long rope to the UPA government, to move inch by inch towards finalising the deal. Even now, they are dithering on withdrawing support to the government, allowing it time to work out new political alignments.

The government is bent on concluding the deal and will soon present a fait accompli to the nation. Of what use will be the withdrawal of support at that stage? It will be like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

P. Jothilingam,

Puducherry

* * *

Leadership is all about taking tough and timely decisions. The moment you dither, the people lose faith in you.

The Prime Minister, whatever his constraints, failed to strike the iron when it was hot.

But a good leader can always convert adversity into opportunity. Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Singh should do everything possible to return the Congress to power. The nuclear deal can follow.

Madhu R.D. Singh,

Ambala