The outcome of the visit of President Obama of the United States is to 
 further strengthen the strategic alliance with the United States.

 Joint Statement issued after the visit indicates that the main agenda 
 was to prise open the Indian market for the business and commercial 
 interests of the United States and its efforts to draw India into a 
 closer security and military relationship.


Against the backdrop of the deep recession and high unemployment afflicting 
 its economy, the US is desperately trying to reduce imports and 
 increase its exports worldwide. The framework for economic cooperation 
 contained in the joint statement reflects this agenda.


In the name of promoting food security and raising agricultural 
 productivity, what is being pushed is the agenda of opening up Indian 
 agriculture and retail trade for the profiteering of American MNCs 
 like Wal-Mart and Monsanto.

This will be detrimental to the interests 
 of the crores of small and marginal farmers and unorganised retailers 
 in India. The passage of the Seed Bill, which promotes the interests 
 of the multinational seed companies and compromises the seed rights of 
 Indian farmers, is high on the Indian government’s agenda.

The way is 
 being paved for the opening up of India’s financial and higher 
 education sector for American companies. All this is being pursued at 
 the behest of the U.S.-India CEO Forum.


The approach of the UPA government is also evident. Instead of 
 emphasizing that India’s priority is for lifting the vast mass of 
 people out of poverty, hunger and disease and in that context framing 
 India’s relations with the United States, the Congress-led government 
 has catered to the US business and strategic interests, by accepting 
 the self-congratulatory approach that Obama recognizes India as a 
 world power.


What this means is spelt out in the joint statement — a close 
 defence and security relationship which will involve also buying US 
 weaponary on a large scale; falling in step with the United States’ 
 deceptive and self-serving talk of human rights, democracy and on 
 nuclear non-proliferation.

All these are a continuation and 
 reiteration of the Manmohan Singh-Bush joint statement of 2005 and 
 2006. India agrees to comply with the sanctions on Iran but will keep 
 silent on Israel and its nuclear arsenal. India is told to behave 
"responsibly" with regard to exporting democracy and human rights 
 interventions by the United States.

Given this one-sided 
 interpretation, there can be no mention of the human rights of the 
 Palestinians in Gaza, or the illegal embargo on Cuba, or the slaughter 
 of Iraqi civilians under the military occupation for the past seven 


 India can become a permanent member of the Security Council when the 
 United Nations structure is democratized on the basis of its 
 independent role and influence in world affairs. Endorsement by the 
 United States should not amount to toeing its strategic interests.

 joint statement implies that India’s two year term in the Council will 
 be a probationary period as far as the United States is concerned.


 The commitment to buy weapons from the United States comes after the 
 End Use Agreement was signed in 2009. India will not benefit from such 
 arms purchases. By the agreement we cannot modify the weapons systems 
 nor produce spare parts and will have to allow annual inspections.


The UPA government has to explain whether the lifting of restrictions 
 on access to dual use technology for certain Indian entities comes 
 alongwith new conditions such as the purchase of arms and steps for 
 tying closer the armed forces of the two countries through agreements 
 on the anvil.


The "Afpak" policy of the US which has been endorsed in the joint 
 statement will not resolve the problem in Afghanistan. That requires a 
 multilateral approach. While talk of cooperation in fighting terrorism 
 is there, the Indian side has obviously not insisted on bringing 
 Headley to book.


The reference to the WTO’s Doha round conceals the incompatible agenda 
 of the United States which wants to open up the markets of the 
 developing countries while continuing to massively subsidise its own 


 The Joint statement refers to India signing and ratifying the 
 Convention on Supplementary Compensation. This is with regard to the 
 issue of civil nuclear liability. The Indian parliament has enacted a 
 law in which foreign suppliers can be made liable for damages in the 
 case of a nuclear accident.

The UPA government’s decision to join the 
 Convention on Supplementary Compensation cannot circumvent the 
 national law.


 On the global climate negotiations, the US clearly has nothing to 
 offer and the joint statement is therefore unsurprisingly confined to 
 general remarks and platitudes. The reference to the Copenhagen Accord 
 is misleading, when the entire world is aware that President Obama is 
 no position to guarantee even the minimal voluntary commitment that 
 the US has made under the Accord.


It is unfortunate that the Mahmohan Singh government has not even 
 raised the issue of justice for the victims of the Bhopal Gas leak 
 which is an important matter in India-US relations.


 Notwithstanding the fulsome praise for the one-sided and unequal 
 relations with the United States in the corporate media, the real 
 interests of the people of India are not served by such a 

What is required is a Indo-US relationship which is 
 based on equality and mutual interest.



November 9, 2010