Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It scares me...

... to know that the probability of a person supporting the Nuclear Disarmament movement in India is 1 out of 11!!

that was the result of a group discussion that we had in college the other day..i was obviously the unpopular one. so in all fairness..the probability could be much lower..in fact it is...

the reasons given for a nuclear india are the same old ones...credible detrrence theory and the no first use policy...which is supposed to make us look like saints in a world that is racing ahead in the arms race.

to begin with the credible deterrence theory is a hoax...nothing stopped Kargil despite going nuclear...the BJP didn't even win the election on the basis of the Kargil victory..which proves that people who send their kids to war are the ones who are most against it...so stop selling us your idea of jingoism.

secondly, the no first use policy contradicts itself...coz if you don't use it the first time..you won't even be alive the second time around to use it anyway...and if you really mean what you say and do believe in no first use..then why the hell are we spending so much in accumulating more of something that we are never going to use? what a farce!

where does all this lead us anyway..we go nuclear..Pakistan follows...then we follow them again...then they try to match up...so on and so forth...playing a game that only ends in a loss for both parties..wasting useful resources even as millions starve.

But thanks to the Great Indian Middle Class these theories will continue to do their rounds...just like someone in the discussion endorsed it.."We need to go nuclear so that we will be the most feared and the most respected in the world."

the parameters for any kind of debate on nuclearisation are so constricted right now in the country that each party irrespective of their ideology, left or right, actually stakes their claim to who got the idea of going nuclear first. media obviously hasn't been spared and unfortunately academicians too have decided to toe the party line...and the result is that the only group that actually cries out against the arms race is frightfully a minority.

so have people really never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or have people just decided to willingly erase their memories about it? or do we just enjoy living in an increasingly unsafe world where there is always this impending threat of being bombed away beyond recognition?

but then again i guess, there isn't much one can do when the President of the country himself subscribes to these theories.

32 Comments:

At 7:47 AM, Blogger shreya said...

Thats it for the Ray films?? Please tell me theres more!

Not even the complete Apu trilogy?

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger a big yawn said...

i cant forget the debutant sharmila tagaire in apur shankshar.. i had seen the movie 15 yr back if not more..and she lookin out of the window.. to see the plane still amuses me..
buy according to Ray... charulata was his best creation

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger sowmya said...

goota be honest..i was one of those..part of the majority..or atleast sitting on the fence and leaning towards the majority..until i read ur post and thought over yesterday's discussion we both had on the subject..so im gonna stop sitting on the fence on this issue and ive changed my opinion...im with u babe! part of the minority that supports the nuclear disarmament movement. thanks for waking me up. mwaaaah!

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger suparna said...

i was never for nuclearisation but also I never really got down to thinking very clearly about the whole debate as clearly as you have put it down.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the two names that made me take a stand against it. My hatred for voilence was the main reason in fact.

Now you have given me more reasons to stand up firmly against it.

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger Saumya said...

Okie Vibha... I agree with complete nuclear disarmament and the uselessness of war..but I also believe in survival... even if one country in the world has it becomes mandatory for a country like India which sits in a relatively volatile region to posses these powers...we don't live in an idealistic society ... people do wage mindless wars!

My country has faced three wars ,one from the China 2 from pak which is ably supporterd by China....Our freedom our right to our territory was threatened....don't you think it becomes imperative for my country to show to the world that we cannot be taken for granted and that you have to think twice before attacking us..

Millions starve...but they have a voice they can shout,they can complain they are free and can be confident that the defence prowess that their country possesses will deter others from unwarranted agression...today their country has a voice ...and yes it is because of its defence capabilities as much as it is about its booming economy...and a strong defence capability creates jobs...it gives stability to the economy.

Vibha have you lived in a village where there has been a powercut for 11 hours...even hospitals...do you know this nuclear reaserch that the "President" was a part of is going to provide cheap power to all these people...you know we can have a prosperous economy because of this...the poor farmers have access to better pumps,irrigation facilities,better living conditions...the president is not a proponent of war,he just aspires to see his country safe at all times and being a part of the missile program was his contribution..and all this he has done while making the country a defence and technological(space technology) power to reckon with!

Anyways to each his own...just my viewpoint!

 
At 12:33 AM, Blogger schazeb kohari said...

thanks saumya,
i wanted to say the same thing, but would have said it in a lousy way.
vibha, i support saumya. there are more things than those that meet the eye.

 
At 12:37 AM, Blogger schazeb kohari said...

Nukes are not military weapons, they are political.

 
At 12:59 AM, Blogger Saumya said...

Bingo...!!!

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Ashish said...

There's this book about economists in the British Council Library, Pune, titled Dr StrangeLove's Game. In the introduction to that book, there is an anecdote about Dr. StrangeLove. Who, apparently, was a focal character in one of Stanley Kubrick's movies. He was portrayed as being one of America's quinessential mad scientists, who realises that at the very brink of war, Russia has mistakenly deployed its most terrible nuclear weapon, one thatwill assuredly annihilate all of Ameria, and one that until that point was a complete secret. Dr. StrangeLove calls up his Russian counterparts, in blinding rage. "What on earth is the point of having a secret nuclear weapon if we Americans didn't know about it?"
Tangential perhaps, but pertinent nonetheless.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger shreya said...

its called game theory.

 
At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Sanyam said...

your view would be upheld in a most ideal world, but dear, not in this one. Remember, fear is the best motivating factor. Keep a society in the eternal fear of being under threat and nobody will question your excesses. This is what those in power understand, and something that the common man never will.

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Mirchii said...

I don't like anything nuclear.

Or violent.

Ahinsa - all the way.

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous arjun said...

long time since i have been in the blogworld....but i couldnt help comment.

heres a list of wars that deterence didnt stop

vietnam(america with more nukes than vietnam had farmers)

korea (again)

afghanistan(russia this time)

the kargil war( we only had five but still)

still think nukes deter?

and lets just think what would happen economically to anybody who uses a nuke...nobody trades with them. probably get lkicked off of the un world markets crash and so does the local market...half your population therefore loses everything and jumps off the highest building...the other half sit and wait for the food that will never come because other countries stopped selling you rice.

economics is the biggest detterent...nobody is going to use a nuke.,...maybe we should worry about farmer suicides before nukes or space missions!!! which btw

and to those who say , iuf nobody is going to use them let politicans make them....well the aconomic deterent only works till we get a drunk despot in some part of the world....and theyll probably only have nukes cause they were able to cite india and pakistan as examples of third world nuclear states!!! meaning our goiing nuclear is only increasing the chance that the economic deterent will fail

of course by all means we should build nuclear reactors and supply power....(though let me assure you nuclear power will never reach the potential level of solar power which no research goes into, coz nukes are more useful to politicans than solar cells.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger Vibha said...

thank you arjun!!
schazeb...nukes are political...of course they are...and that was precisly what this blog was about.and it's high time we change the course of political dialogue that this world is facing.
as for nuclear energy being harnessed for electricity...saumya...let's not forget that barring france none of the developed countries depend on it to a extent of about 16 per cent. we couldn't handle one bhopal gas tragedy...i can't imagine risking a chernobyl.
whatever happned to investing in non conventional sources of energy.
by the way is this what we really want fear? have we realy gained anything real by instilling the fear factor?
is anyone thinks that we have really gained by being able to hobnob with the US,who i see as nothing but a war mongerer..i guess in a couple of years we will realise the impact of the treaty with them.
as i see it, we have lost our independence and our moral stand.
i can't believe that we would invest so much in destruction rather than creation.

love you mirchii! makes me happy to see poeple like you...reminds me there is hope.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well space missions include Geosats which incidentally might be helpful for the farmers, Nuclear power too as they might get access to cheap power without the state bleeding giving them subsidies.

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger Saumya said...

As for the Chernobyl thing,the whole of Westren suburbs lives off Reliance power’s Dahanu plant.The plant is unsafe and lacks a desulphurisation plant . People have developed health problems and the entire Dahanu farming has taken a hit. So do we stop thermal power completely? Every technology comes with a price, its upto us to use it the right way. Solar energy is not feasible as of now and research has been going on for years.It is a very capital intensive process with no assured returns(assured power) and am sure millions of farmers would have commited suicide by the time we actually get it cheap.
As of developed countries they do not depend on Nuclear power.Who is asking you to depend on it.But even they have Nuclear power to satisfy as at least 15% of their total requirement rest from hydel power. While we facing a major power crunch have nuclear power as just 1% so why not make it 10 % along with tapping other avenues...

 
At 1:11 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

saumya..i can totally understand your concerns...the same are mine..but just our ways of reaching the end are different. and you are pretty much proving my point by stating the need for safety measures in place before implementing a project that has the potential for such far reaching negative externalities.
as for farmers committing suicide..they are not committing suicide because of lack of free power. that is the greatest myth perpetuated by the political class. there are a host of reasons that are confronting farmers right from inappropriate trade policies to inappropriate technology. am not going to get into that right now.
anyway the technology that we have imported from the US is one involving a Plutonium Reactor, while Indian nuclear technology is still based on uranium. which means we are just helping the Us expand its market.
i am of the opinion that we do nt have the political will to invest in other safer areas, coz' being close to the US is right now seen the "right thing to do" especially since we are vying for a seat at the Security Council.
it's not as if we cannot produce power, but we have to put an end to power theft which again requires political will.
anyway..my post was about the military use of nuclear power (much as i am gainst the dependence on nuclear energy for power generation as well).
and i stand by my point. it's all very well for us to sit here and talk abotu nuclear might in the world...but do we even realise the extent of destruction that this involves. and anyway, i still haven't found a valid argument against my stand (as well as arjun's stand) that calls the bluff on the credible deterrent theory or the no first use theory. and by saying that nukes are political you guys are in a way validating my stand. which means that they impress the Great Indian Middle Class which rarely sends its offspring to the borders. if you are saying that it helps us gain in world stature, i woudl like to ask what is it that we are going to gain by merely having the world afraid of us but not having done enough for our own people? case in point being North Korea. of course they are big on war technology, and keep investing more and more in weapons, so much so that political dissidents are even used as guine pigs to test biological weaponry. is that the kind of world stature we are looking forward to?
so i am idealistic..i condemn a world order where some people are more equal than others only coz they have the military might. coz' i think we as a human race need to travel beyond the middle ages, when mindless conquests and control of territory determined one's power in the world.

 
At 1:14 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

hey ashish!
am defintely going to check on that book..you pretty much read the most random but soem of the most interesting things...don't ya?
:)

hey shreya!
yes..for now...it's going to be a break from Ray coz' they aren't screening any more films in my insti for now. but don't worry as soon as i watch one...there will be a post on it.

thanks sanyam...haven't heard from you in a long time. all the best for the exams!

 
At 2:57 AM, Blogger Saumya said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:01 AM, Blogger Saumya said...

respect what you condemn...I see your side...One thing ..Love 2 blogs ...yours and gaurav's ..one with the political idealogy I believe had lead to the deterioration of our economy and the other stands for all that I believe in(Gaurav's)...Both get me thinking nonetheless!!!

Read Suhas's latest blog!!:):)

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger imran ahmad said...

Dear all,
In all this discussion i feel that the boundaries between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy have become blurred. We are entitled to our opinions on weapons but we cant escape the fact that for a country like India with few reliable sources of alternative energy, nuclear energy is going to form the backbone of our energy requirements. Even as of today if we try translating those percentages for developed countries into numbers we will realize the contribution of nuclear energy. Also it is the safest cleanest and the cheapest source of energy known to man (though it comes with its own caveats). Above all one day we will discover a way of harnessing fusion based energy for constructive uses, which will have the potential of taking care of our energy requirements in a more comprehensive way.
As for the weapons are concerned I subscribe to the old school views that without a credible defense mechanism we may envision a country but not a nation. Today we may have outlived a world where military might and territorial conquests determined one’s power in the world but still the need for a strong defense stems from the fact that a nation is more than a landmass with some complicated molecular structures inhabiting it. A nation is defined by ideology, characterized by past and bonded by future. It faces at every point threats both external and internal which validates it having something to fall back upon in times of distress. May I mention here that defense forces form the best disaster management group?

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger schazeb kohari said...

dear Arjun,
John Foster Dulles elaborated that “The heart of the problem is how to deter attack. This... requires that a potential aggressor be left in no doubt that he [or she] would... suffer damage outweighing any possible gains from aggression.”
i dont think Korea, Afghanistan or Vietnam were in a positition to use "deterrence"... you got it wrong there.

Vibha, i'd expect you to clarify that logic, but you didn't.

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger schazeb kohari said...

People were dying before there were nukes, are still dying in countries that are nowhere close to a Nuclear deal with the US, so please, nukes have nothing to do with farmer suicides or the other ills that prevail in India!

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger schazeb kohari said...

FYI, Kargil does not amount to a war, like Iraq or WWII, simply because they refused to accept the soldiers as their men. hence it amounts to some cheapgiri, which the pakistani administration took recourse to, you know why? because something "deterred" them from coming out in the open and saying that we are doing it.
Wars will go on, even America was attacked. Not having nukes is not going to stop it.
hope you guys see the difference between high philosophy, political science and common sense. economics... now that i cant comment on!

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Gaurav said...

I always believe that “A little knowledge is dangerous”. I am sorry to say but I feel I have an example on Vibha’s blog. Here people are talking about Economics, Politics and technology in one breath, mingling all the things together. I am enlightened to see so many intellects sharing their views. Looking at only one side of the deal is not enough, for short term we have got 60 tonnes of Uranium as soon as the deal was signed which we needed badly (If some of you know that India’s two Nuclear Reactors were critically short of Uranium supply). Amongst all I’ll appreciate Imran’s view as he talks about technical points also. Everybody is selfish so why can’t we, what are our priorities. Being a developing country we need energy: cheap, clean (The volume of U-235 used in the first atomic bombs could be held in your hands. The result was an explosion equivalent to 40,000 conventional bombs.)and continious. One thing I know that conventional sources are not going to help so we have following options 1) Solar energy (costly) 2) Wind energy (Needs space) 3) Nuclear energy.
Now look at developed countries, all of them have nukes but how they are using it. If I am right for Energy, Nuclear ships and Submarines. And I can predict that in near future they will be using them for space ships and transportation. That’s what India needs for the short term. Why to bring US into the picture, more than US we need fuel from Russia and Australia. I think it will be great if we can use US to serve our purpose.
For long term It will take me to give 3 hrs lecture on my favourite “Nuclear Theory”. But I’ll put a few things on my Blog if somebody interested in technicalities.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger Vibha said...

schazeb.
if we are fighting wars without nukes despite having them, then why the hell are we having them in the first place? your argument is to prevent a full fledged one like WWII. so is that what we are looking forward to? are we then trying to say that if Iraq did really have nukes, then US wouldn't have invaded Iraq and it would have reduced the extent of violence? What next? let's invest in biological weapons so that we can debilitate an entire race? can we see where this is leading? instead of getting together as a world and condemning the war on Iraq and tryin the US for war crimes, we are actually trying to build a case for increasing warfare. if this is so then i am afraid we haven't really travelled far from WWII.

of course people were dying even before nukes came in...but the point is that now when we have civilized as a race and accept that dying can be prevented why can't we just do so? and if that means cutting down on wasteful expenditure then so be it.

as far as the energy deal wih the US is concerned..why are we turning towards the US..we have other countries to sign the deal with..Russia for example or France.

i am not talking about disbanding the Indian army here..nor am i talking about not securing our borders. in fact securing your borders and using nukes as an excuse will only build a country...not a nation. when we talk about a nation, there is a particular philosophy and an ideology that governs it. and i am questioning the current philosophy of adding to the arms race in the world, instead of progresing towards disarmament.

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Saumya said...

Okie slightly tangential.. Gaurav,I believe that technology and economics in fact should be talked about in the same breath...and the problem is we isolate the issues!

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger schazeb kohari said...

gaurav,
thanks, that was very helpful.
saumya,
i think what gaurav means is mixing half- half and thinking you have "one" argument. Ofcourse you are right about the 'same breath' theory

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Saumya said...

Hey Schazeb
Kinda got what Gaurav was saying...infact agree with his technical points as I myself am an engineer who has worked closely with BARC for a year on a nuclear reactor project ,I feel nuclear power is probably an issue which has political,economical and technological implications.
Gaurav,
would love to listen to your nuclear theory.

 
At 3:24 AM, Blogger Gaurav said...

Saumya welcome anytime. I would love to tell you the story. It is great to know a person who knows anything abt BARC and you are an Engineer :).
I feel now I am a scientist's soul trapped in a economist body. Even that is not enough as I don't know economics also.

 
At 3:32 AM, Blogger Gaurav said...

One more thing tangents always gives direction not the confusion. You are probably talking about a cusp. If you have noticed I discussed alternatives with their properties, here comes a blend of economics and technology. In other words problem with cheap solution(mind it not free).

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger Mayank said...

It scares me to think that almost 10% of indians, under the influence of marxist propoganda, dont support Indian nuclearisation. Lets not be naive. We have 2 mnuclear powers sitting right on our heads, neither of whom can be trusted.
Read my side of the argument. Nuclear naysayers often repeat the horrible aftermath of the twin bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,. After that, the number of nuclear weapons, and the countries possessing them have increased.So have the hostilities between them. and yet we havent seen another Hiroshima. Why? D-e-t-t-e-r-e-n-c-e. Nuclear power deters countries from going to war.

 

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