“The judgment and sense of proportion displayed in this desperate quest for NSG membership reveals the distortion and narrowing of the foreign policy vision of the Modi government by hitching India on to the US bandwagon,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.
“The Modi government acquired a false and illusory idea of India’s importance,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
“Apart from Modi himself, the pro-US elements in the foreign policy and national security establishment are also responsible for this debacle,” it added.
The editorial said the government’s miscalculation “stems from the fact that (it) thought that becoming a strategic ally of the US would ensure the overcoming of the reservations harboured by many countries.
“The Modi government has openly allied with the US’ strategic goal of containing China… It required a degree of arrogance and hubris to do all this and then expect China to fall in line with India’s desire to join the NSG club.”
It said the Modi government had wrongly singled out China as the only country which opposed India’s membership at the National Suppliers Group.
It pointed out that nine other countries, including New Zealand, Austria, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey, raised issues about the criteria for admission and other procedural problems.
The editorial said India’s failure at Seoul was “a humiliating setback” to the Modi government.
The diplomatic effort to enlist support for the NSG membership was led by Modi himself, it said.
Modi and his close advisors adopted a flawed strategy of trying to isolate China and then put pressure on it to accept India’s position, it added. “But all this ended in a fiasco.”
The editorial added that there was nothing much for India to gain by becoming a NSG member.
It said this group was set up by the US after the 1974 Pokhran nuclear test by New Delhi and was meant to check proliferation of nuclear technology and to impose sanctions on countries like India to prevent them from acquiring nuclear technology.
“Even if India becomes a member of the NSG, we would still be treated as a second class member for not being a NPT member,” it said.