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Re: Nuclear Policy

On Tue, 19 May 1998, Kush Khatri wrote:

  I disagree that the recent
> testing of nuclear devices is going to move the world closer to
> nuclear disarmament. It is not.

Then what is?

> Should India pursuade the world to disarm?  It is a question of
> priorities and resources.  Our priority should be economic development,
> improving quality of life for ALL our citizens and reaching a zero
> population growth.  In the meanwhile, India could continue to do what it
> was doing.  it did the right thing in not signing the CTBT and keeping
> the option of developing nuclear weapons open.  Thereby, it was putting
> pressure on the world.  In any case reducing nuclear weapons danger is
> not just India's burden, NOR SHOULD IT BE INDIA'S PRIORITY. 

Unfortunately, the fact that big powers were able to pressurize almost all
other nations in the world to sign the CTBT means that no one was willing
to stand up for the common man of the world. India never catapulted. That
did not help much, either. Finally, things seem to be moving faster toward
total disarmament. 

In other words, world peace (which is there somewhere in the agenda -
should go the manifesto level) cannot be promoted by letting others do
what they want. We have not only to take a stand, but to do something if
the world does not listen.

>  India should, therefore, keep its priorities straight.

I don't see why global disarmament should not be India's priority. Not its
top priority, for sure, but a major priority, nevertheless. 

> If Pakistan develops the bomb does it not become
> the moral responsibility of the government to protect its citizen from a
> nuclear attack?  Which means India will be forced to invest in thousands
> of bomb shelters and missile defense systems. Will not that be a
> needless distraction and waste of resources? 

I believe firmly that the nuclear weapons being developed should not be
used to threaten anyone. I think the current government is trying to do
that and that is clearly wrong. I think none of is bound to justify any of
the current strategies. We are developing an ideal manifesto, etc., and
so we should add, perhaps, to make our own point clear:

"India should resolve never to use these weapons and not threaten anyone
with these dangerous toys. The sole purpose of creating a nuclear weapon
must be to help the world understand the futility of trying to hold on to
existing power structures in perpetuity, and to insist that everyone in
the world will be better off with complete disarmament."

  If Japan and Germany the
> two largest economies of the world could live with the reality of
> nuclear weapons then why couldn't India?  

I think it does not matter whether all except us decide to live with the
"reality" of inequality. We should never let that happen. Never. 

We did not try expand our frontiers like these two nations did, not long
ago. These nations were actually forced to disarm and compelled strictly
not to nuclearize because these were "bad boys" once, for a short time. 
These nations are not "living" with the reality of nuclear weapons. They
are being forced into this reality. 

I think nobody needs to live with the reality of nuclear weapons being in
the custody of people who blew up a bomb before 1968. If this has to be
"reality in perpetuity," and if the nuclear haves make it clear to us,
then let us vow to build as many weapons as it takes to gain the number
ONE position in nuclear weapons in the world, as we will in our population
[I would not like either of these "positions" but this is the clear
argument]. We can be physically and economically weak for a while, but we
can never be pushed into a position of perpetual inequality: we can never
be mentally weak.

  nuclear weapons development
> should be opposed at this point of time.  Regards, Kush Khatri

I strongly agree with you. I hope the additional line to the Manifesto (in
purple, now), will suffice to take care of this very valid concern. If you
would like, you can propose a completely new wording. Charu, I removed a
line which you had proposed, since that has now become redundant. Do you
wish to re-integrate the wording?