Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won accolades and appreciation for his lobbying efforts for India to enter the NSG and rightly so for his passionate efforts beginning from the visit to the United States. From Prime Minister’s visit to the United States to the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Seoul, Indian media reported with high optimism about the potential of India breaking NSG gridlock and securing a membership into the same. Looking at the history of NSG, the members of NSG and the political dynamics with the countries who are part of the NSG, India’s intense lobbying to enter the NSG was heading to an obvious conclusion.
The Nuclear Supplier Group is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by preventing the export of materials, equipment and technology which could potentially be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. NSG was found in the aftermath of India’s 1974 nuclear test, as countries felt the NPT (of which India is not a signatory of along with Pakistan, Israel, and North Sudan) had to be strengthened to ensure foolproof non-proliferation. By nature, NSG is a body which seeks to prevent proliferation and it was formed in response to India’s nuclear program.
Is NSG lobbying worth the effort?
Certainly not, given the foundations of NSG. Not only that, at a time when many countries are scaling down or abandoning Nuclear energy and looking towards solar, wind and other forms of renewable, India is merely regarded as a lucrative market for few countries with questionable technologies and designs. The question of nuclear liability is also weighed against India. India has its good share of nuclear reactors to complement other forms of energy and also has nuclear warheads as a deterrent. To get the consensus of other countries to enter NSG could put India in a situation of strategic compromise.
There are no second thoughts about the efforts of our Prime Minister to get India into the NSG. His intense lobbying did open a few windows for India despite the doors being shut. On the effort front, Prime Minister deserves all the credit. Could the efforts have been channelised for some other purpose of India in the international stage ? Share your thoughts.