Even if the US congress does not ratify the Indo-US nuclear deal promised by George Bush during his first India visit, it has a lot of symbolic significance. The Indo-US relations are important for the following reasons :
- India's largest opposition party [N]ational [D]emocratic [A]lliance led by the Hindu nationalist BJP was known to be the key architect in working towards the Indo-US relations. The ruling Indian National Congress didn't deviate from this path. NDA in the past had not changed the decision of the then congress government in opening up the economy. What it means to US is that the relationship is not bound to one person or one party, Its with the nation and where its headed.
- Its a reward to the democracy.
- Even though India has not signed the NPT it has a very strong safeguards against it and very good track record.
- India is a country of religions. It has a Muslim president, a Sikh Prime minister, the chair of the ruling congress party is a Christian and her two kids are Hindus. Its easy said but the fabric is hard to acheive. When we find in other regions with two communities of the same religion having highted tensions, India lives with 150 million Muslim population, 80% hindus and 5% Sikhs.
- Its a well known statement by some US official : "150 million muslims and no Al-Qaeda".
- Peaceful left party and muslim demonstrations greeted Bush to India. It demonstrates the freedom of speech in the country. These demonstrations were louder than the sound of two suicide bombings at the US consulate in Karachi in the neighboring Pakistan.
- Clinton's visit to India were as historic as Bush's. India doesn't look upto one political party in US but as a nation.
- India does not want to rely on the unstable regions of the world for its' energy needs.
- We need more energy dammit!