India needs to revisit its nuclear doctrine

By Sunday Guardian Live

India had no option left but to go nuclear and conduct a number of nuclear tests including thermonuclear device on 11 and 13 May 1998—the so called Pokharan II. There is no denying the fact that it was a geopolitical necessity because of growing Sino-Pakistan nexus and the lack of genuine commitment shown by acknowledged nuclear weapons states towards achieving a nuclear weapons free world.

India understands it very well that its national security interests would be best served in a nuclear weapons free world. But there is a lack of consistency between the rhetoric and action on part of the acknowledged nuclear weapons states (US, Russia, UK, France and China) in adhering to the commitments made in Article VI of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Instead of getting the role of nuclear weapons de-emphasised, the salience of the nuclear weapons got increased especially when one does the assessment on the nuclear strategy of nuclear weapons states. On the one hand these nuclear weapons states, more particularly the United States and Russia, tell the world that they are moving on the path of reducing their nuclear warheads, but in reality these two countries have been showing signs of putting more reliance on nuclear weapons—hence, nuclear weapons are here to stay.

Even though the Cold War got over and the world witnessed the demise of the Soviet Union, the nuclear weapons which were deployed during the Cold War years are still on hair-trigger alert.

In practical sense, India had become frustrated because its voice was not heard at the United Nations whenever India proposed the means to achieve nuclear disarmament. India’s contributions in terms of ideas

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