Subordinate Ally

The Nuclear Deal and India-US Strategic Relations

Prakash Karat


LeftWord Books, 2007

120 pages

Price INR 95.00

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India's nuclear deal with the United States has raised a political storm in New Delhi. The Left parties have argued that the deal involves a quid pro quo, and seriously undermines India's ability to pursue an independent foreign policy.

How does the deal fit in with a larger alliance between the two countries that covers economic, strategic, and military cooperation? Will the deal satisfactorily address India's energy needs, or will it lead to another Enron-type disaster? How does the Hyde Act passed by the US Congress run counter to the assurances given by the Prime Minister to the Indian Parliament in August 2006? What is the Defence Framework Agreement, and how has it led to steps like the Logistics Support Agreement and the Maritime Cooperation Pact? Why have joint military exercises with the United States gone up sharply since 2005, and why is the Left opposed to these? Should India partner the United States in its global 'democracy' enterprise? Does the National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government say anything about a strategic tie-up with the US? How did the BJP-led NDA government seek to reverse the course of India's foreign policy, and how has the Congress-led UPA government taken the process further?

Prakash Karat has tracked the shifts in India's foreign policy and changes in the military and strategic architecture meticulously and consistently for several years. The present Signpost brings together his most important articles over a seven-year period, starting with the most recent. Forceful yet sober, this book makes a convincing case for a return to an independent foreign policy.

Prakash Karat

Prakash Karat is a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He served as General Secretary of the party from 2005 to 2015. He is the author of Language and Nationality Politics in India (1972) and Subordinate Ally: The Nuclear Deal and India-US Strategic Relations (LeftWord 2008), and editor of A World to Win—Essays on the Communist Manifesto (LeftWord 1999) and Across Time and Continents: A Tribute to Victor Kiernan (LeftWord 2003). He is Managing Director of Naya Rasta Publishers Private Limited, of which LeftWord Books is an imprint.


Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, please note: Prakash Karat is publishing a political-policy book. . . . Politicians, especially key senior players, should take the trouble of publishing their experiences and arguments. There is no better way to enrich public debate in a democracy. . . . That is why Karat's book is so welcome.

Editorial, The Indian Express

Prakash Karat's clear, brief and accessible collection of articles raises some important questions about the context of the nuclear deal. . . . Karat amasses enough evidence to suggest that we are ingratiating ourselves with America at the expense of national interest. . . . The mystery is not why the Left Opposes American Power; the mystery is why so few others do so as well.


The collection includes a couple of articles, presenting precise critical observations on the proposed India-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement. . . . The level of media and public discourse on the nuclear deal and on foreign policy will be greatly enhanced if some of the print media contributor and electronic media anchors take trouble to read and understand Karat's book . . .

The Hindu

Spread over a period of no less than 7 years, these writings show the Left's consistency in warning the nation and its misguided leaders of the impending disaster if India became party to America's grand imperialist design.

The Telegraph