The USA is going to witness one of the most bitter presidential elections, probably in their entire history. Both US President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden are in the final lap of their campaigning for November’s election. Both are reaching out to different ethnic groups for their respective campaigns.
Due to obvious reasons, greater attention has been given to the Indian-American community, where Trump’s campaign team has released an India centric video, where Trump-Modi bonhomie is on display, on the other hand, Joe Biden is also trying his best to lure Indo-Americans and he is getting active support from Indian origin’s Kamala Harris, who is running for the Vice President’s office.
It has been observed that their entire outreach to the Indian-American community has been focussed on their current policies past record with India. Joe Biden has already faced some sort of criticism over his controversial statements on the Jammu & Kashmir issue and the Citizenship Amendment Bill. However, in this article, we would like to present a shocking fact, which will force the Indian-Americans to give a second thought while voting for Joe Biden, as he was someone who gave a major setback to India’s Space and Missile program a couple of decades back.
We are pretty much sure that most of the people will not be aware of the fact that it was Joe Biden, who blocked the sale of Russian cryogenic engine technology to India in 1992. This single step gave a massive setback to India’s space and missile technology program, where India was pushed back by at least 2 decades, India’s security was jeopardized, all because of Joe Biden.
How Joe Biden gave massive setback to India?
India was among the very few nations who had their space programs, however, India’s ability was hindered due to the lack of a Cryogenic engine. In a cryogenic engine, both the fuel and oxidizer are in liquid form and stored at very low temperatures. They are much more efficient and provide more thrust for every kilogram of propellant they burn compared with the Solid and earth-storable liquid propellant rocket stages. This makes them a default choice to power rockets carrying heavy payloads, such as satellites weighing in excess of two tonnes.
However, this cryogenic stage is an extremely complex system due to its use of propellants at extremely low temperatures and the associated thermal and structural problems. There was a lack of technical know-how of Cryogenic engine in India, that is why in January 1991, India signed a contract worth Rs. 235 crore with Glavkosmos, the Soviet Union’s space agency, to buy seven cryogenic engines, along with technology transfer for these systems, for the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) project.
At the same time, the Soviet Union was going through a massive disintegration and its economy was in shambles. The situation was such bad that USSR (later Russia) turned to its arch-rival USA for financial help. Sensing the opportunity, the USA decided to take control of Russia and proposed a $24 billion aid package, as Russia was in dire straits and needed financial support by any means.
At the same time, India also approached Russia to acquire Cryogenic Engines, and a deal was signed which was worth $250 million. These engines were crucial for the Indian Space program, especially to graduate from the PSLVs to GSLVs.
There was no objection raised by the then USA Government and President Bush, however, there was a Senator from the Democratic party, who proposed an amendment which stated that if Russia sold the cryogenic engine to India, this aid package would be canceled. Russia, which was desperately needed these funds, had no choice left but to back down from the deal, it already sealed with India.
This amendment was moved by Joe Biden, who was then a senator from Delaware. This single step banned US aid to any former Soviet republic that transferred missile, nuclear or chemical weapons technology abroad.
Here, it is also important to note that, in the same period, China was also negotiating with Russia to take the cryogenic technology. The US, indeed this Senator, for obvious reasons preferred to look the other way round and ignore that deal.
It was a massive setback to India’s space program, ISRO decided to develop its own cryogenic engine, which took almost 2 decades. This entire saga was covered in an article of LA times in its 14th May 1992’s edition.
LA Times Article – https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1992-05-14-mn-3004-story.html
Today, Joe Biden is portraying as if he is the biggest well-wisher of India, he has fielded Kamala Harris to lure Indo-Americans, however, his deeds tell us something else. We are in no way trying to influence the Indo American voters, however, we would like them to see the injustice done by Joe Biden to their nation, maybe due to his hatred against India. As a patriotic Indian, at least I can’t forgive or forget such an act against my country.