There are so many misconceptions here on this website (and elsewhere) about the Indo-US nuclear deal signed during the recent Bush visit to India , I dont know where to begin.
# Bush isn't helping India build nuclear bombs. America won't supply nuclear weapons to India. America will only supply nuclear fuel to the existing nuclear power plants in India and those that will eventually be built in the near future by US companies like GE and a host of French and British companies , in alliance with private Indian companies like the Tata Group and L&T. Each nuclear reactor costs $10 bn and India will need atleast 20 or 30 nuclear plants by 2020 to meet its rapidly increasing needs. - which makes it quite a deal for all concerned.
The existting coal based or fossil energy plants cannot meet our rising demands. Infact we already face severe power shortages. Fossil energy plants will always remain , but it is imperative that India moves on to the next level - nuclear power , if we are to maintain our existing GDP growth of 8% per year or more.
# India has had an indigenous decades old nuclear weapon program led by some very smart scientists , because of which we have atleast 200-300 nukes - this is absolutely essential to ensure the security of our people and as a deterance against our non-so-friendly neighbors , the officiallly recognised nuclear power China and little Pakistan , hotbed of Islamic terror and armed with Chinese made nukes.
The NPT is an unjust treaty because it allows our enemies the Chinese to possess nuclear weapons and blatantly supply them to our other enemy - Pakistan. All Pakistani nukes and missiles are made in China (and North-Korea).
There is no question of India ever giving up the nukes. We can only sign the NPT as a nuclear weapon state , like China. We deserve no less. Because , unlike China , there has never been a case of nuclear proliferation by India.
# What has President Bush done exactly ? The Clinton administration had imposed sanctions on India in the year 1998, after the famous Indian nuclear tests. Clinton was insensitive to India's threat perception from a hostile China and its vassal Pakistan and thought he could brow beat India into giving up its nuclear weapons program and singing the NPT. That could never happen because as I said , doing so would mean a compromise on the security of India's people.
#The sanctions meant a blanket ban on transfer of nuclear fuel (Uranium) to India from the NSG (Nuclear Support Group) countries like Russia , Australia , France etc. apart from US. Also , a ban on countries and MNCs from supplying materials and teachnology required to build nuclear power plants in India.
# Bush recognised India's imperatives and removed the sanctions imposed by Clinton. Thats all this nuclear treaty is all about. This means India can now gain access to nuclear fuel from the 40 odd NSG countries and buy reactors from GE. There is no question of US supplying India with nuclear weapons. All the fuel and technology will only be supplied to Indian nuclear installations classified as 'civilian' and open to international inspection from say the IAEA. India's civilian nuclear plants will be placed under permanent international safeguards as per this deal.
# While India's civilian nuclear plants will be under internation control , the nuclear weapons program will continue in the military installations. There will be no assistance from any country for this. India has always been a lone ranger and will continue to be so as far its nuclear weapons program is concerned.
#If a country like China can build nuclear weapons and at the same time get nuclear fuel for its power plants supplied from Australia , there is no reason why India cannot get the same. Anything less would mean undermining India in favor of China .
# Please dont let your feelings (or lack of it) for President Bush influence your position on this deal. A strong India is good for America , especially as a counter to China. After many decades of anti-American non-alignment and economic stagnation because of socialist policies , Indians have woken up and realised that USA is their best friend. George Bush is today the most popular man in India. We have common enemies - Islamic radicals and a common rival and potential future enemy - China.