Wednesday, October 1, 2008

9/30, Another Day to Remember

Dr Manmohan Singh, turned 76 years 4 days back. He must have had a bad birthday, having missed out on what could have been the most memorable gift he could have handed over to the one and a half billion Indians back home. They had expected him to break the (arguably) the most significant bottleneck that stood in their way of industrial and economic stardom- Energy crisis.
4 days later ,Dr Manmohan Singh created history, as he persuaded France to be the first ever nation to sign a civil nuclear deal with India. He had broken the chains that had prevented India to develop nuclear energy solutions for 34 long years. The Energy Crisis could soon be a thing of the past.
It is also interesting that Mr Singh had also broken the chains of license raj 17 years back during his stint as the Finance Minister when he started the economic liberalisation process in 1991. That time though it was another crisis- the Balance of Payments crisis (the currency crisis).
If one were to actually reason out, the day 9/30/2008 could be just as important in Indian History as is 8/15/1947 or even 7/01/1991. These three days are all days of Indian Independence in one form or the other. While on August 15th 1947 we won freedom against colonization, on July 1st 1991 we won freedom against License Raj. And now, on the 30th of September 2008 we have won freedom against nuclear isolation.
This new independence will mean that India can tackle its existing energy supply demand imbalance and propel growth more seamlessly than before. This is the biggest thing thus far having happened to India's infrastrucutre. India currently meets only 3% of its energy demands through nuclear energy. All reactors in India have run at about 50% capacity due to non availability of nuclear fuel and efficient technology. After the deal was signed today a lot of industries including Larsen and Tubro having jumped into the bee-line to install more nuclear reactors in India.
The Prime Minister, will have the final laugh. Nothing -not even politics (read-Left opposition)
and corruption (read : MP buyout) - can prevent him from doing what it takes for India to grow.