ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Another Weapon for Mass Destruction

Agni-V is no cause for celebration; a caring society would instead be worried about where India is heading.

Now and then the strategic affairs establishment and a nationalistic media find an occasion to indulge in much chest-thumping and celebration over India’s nuclear might and the Indian state silently encourages such short-sighted expression of military jingoism. There was aggressive fl ag-waving nationalism in late 2009, when India’s fi rst (substantially) domestically designed nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant, was launched for sea trials. There has been a similar such unthinking applause with the successful test of the Agni-V, India’s first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

With the trials/tests of the Arihant and Agni-V, a process that began in the mid-1980s and received official blessings in 1999 with the formulation of the (Draft) Indian Nuclear Doctrine in 1999 is complete. The Indian state now has all legs of the nuclear triad it has yearned for – an air, sea and land-based nuclear weapon deterrent vis-à-vis China. Trials and tests do not mean India’s “triad” is operational; but, make no mistake, India has taken yet another step to the abyss of a nuclear catastrophe in Asia. This is something our commentators and cheerleaders have chosen to ignore.

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