An article by Teresita C. Schaffer on the halted nuclear deal between the United States and India.
Closer relations with the United States have been a fact of life for a decade and are a centerpiece of India’s post–Cold War foreign policy, supported by virtually all major political parties. The bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement (“123 Agreement”) that India and the United States announced on July 27, 2007, was a move toward implementing their civilian nuclear deal and was greeted with jubilation inside both governments. Surveys suggested that it was also popular with ordinary Indians. Political opposition, however, soon arose in India.
The killer objections came from the leftist parties, part of the parliamentary majority but not formally part of the Indian government. The ideological leadership of the Communist Party of India–Marxist (CPM), the largest party within the left, has not been part of this consensus, sounding the alarm bells about the danger of India’s foreign policy becoming subservient to that of the United States. “Strategic autonomy,” perhaps the most emotive foreign policy issue in India, has wide political resonance.