As a reporter wrote ‘Singur is proving to be more difficult than the nuclear issue, since a breakthrough was possible in Vienna but not in Calcutta.’
With the heroes and villains in Vienna as well as in Singur, the outcome from both the negotiations remained full with drama and its anxious moments.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group, the 45 countries govern global nuclear trade. India got punished and isolated for its 1974 atomic tests. Last Saturday saw NSG accept the reality of a rising India and sign off on an unprecedented waiver for India. It makes India the only country outside the NPT to have a nuclear weapons programme and be able to conduct full civil nuclear cooperation with the international community. But who made it happen even after the objections from countries like Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, and even indirectly China. China never liked the unprecedented waiver for India, as it brought India nearer to US and made it special. It wouldn’t have happened without Bush determined push. The success in Vienna proved that US remains the superpower and Bush the boss. It must be a glorious moment for Man Mohan Singh but without US support and Bush’s pressure, it was not possible. Man Mohan Singh must feel obliged that Bush’s single-minded pursuit of the deal made it happen. I am not as skeptic as some in BJP or left. The waiver means a new bright morning for India and unlocks the closed doors of scientific institutions of the developed nations on equal term. It’s also a recognition of the rising India.
While Indian diplomats with their brilliant manipulative approaches and help of US and support of France and Russia won victory at Vienna, a siege by the Bengal Tigress Mamata at Singur kept Buddha and the Indian industry at large at tenterhook. Tata Motors stopped work at its ambitious Nano’s manufacturing plant. Even the pressures from intellectuals, local employees, IT workers from Kolkata, and a total support from the India Inc for Tata Motors couldn’t make Mamata budge. A Gandhi worked to break the stalemate and got a solution that has brought a hope for West Bengal. I don’t know if it will work.
Mamata has “suspended” the siege but with a roar, “I am suspending my agitation, not withdrawing it. If things do not happen as promised, I shall return to Singur to reliance the protest.” CPM exuded confidence that “there should not be any problem now for the Nano to roll out from Singur”.
Tata Motors is to take a weighted decision on resuming work at the Singur plant for Nano. 85 per cent of the work has been done. The remaining work concerns the vendor park and that is the cause of conflict and Mamata’s concern.
Ratan Tata is not willing to resume the work at Singur unless he is clear about the deal and its effect on the project viability. Will Tata go by the prophecies of some intellectuals such as Meghnad Desai? “I hope he (Tata) is not tempted to go back to Singur. If he does and Mamata, by any chance, comes to power, he will be hounded again by her and the CPI-M, who will demonstrate outside his gates.”
Mamata remains immature. She can’t make the industrialists like Tata to yield to her childish demand even at this stage in project implementation through threats. And very rightly perhaps one of the best remarks on Mamata claims, “(But) whichever way her Singur agitation ends, in some footnote of a yet-unwritten Indian history book where she may be mentioned, Mamata will be remembered as a near-unhinged destructive force that kept on either failing, or, more importantly, failing the people she was supposed to work for.”
Tata Motors Ltd issued a press statement on Monday stating the outcome of the discussions lacked clarity and would, hence, keep the Singur plant shut. It’s really worrying for the wellwishers of West Bengal.
But one can’t but praise the role of Gandhi who was almost hated by the leftists. At least Buddha and Mamata met and discussed after decades.
Read these views too:
Howdy pardner by Sagarika Ghosh
Now, Get On With It by SWAPAN DASGUPTA
Tatagiri by Meghnad Desai
Delusions of a Bengal Tigress by Sandipan Deb