BJP and its nuclear flirtations

It was the year 1998 , and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party was in power with A. B. Vajpayee as the prime minister. Three years ago, Narashima Rao had decided to carry on nuclear tests in a veiled cloud of secrecy. The plans were however halted when American satellites detected preparations at the test site at Pokhran. Now, the leadership of BJP decided to carry on the tests once more. No mistakes were made this time – elaborate arrangements were made to fool intelligence agencies across the world. When the news of 1998 Pokhran tests were finally made public,the news was welcomed with large scale approval across the country.  The printed press was mostly filled with editorials expressing kudos to the BJP.  Television channels praised the bold decision of the leadership.  Many scientists were thankful to the establishment for having provided them the great opportunity to prove their capabilities.

Abroad, however, the mood could not have been more different.  The UN expressed strong disappointment. China pressurized India to sign the Non-proliferation treaty. But the greatest anger was displayed – for good reason – by Pakistan.  Just fifteen days after India’s last nuclear test, Pakistan too tested five nuclear warheads. Reactions were now desperate – Bill Clinton accused Pakistan for its reactionary measures and quoted, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

The nuclear tests are now a matter of the past,  forgotten since it is perhaps easier not to remember shameful events in history.  I had a certain hope that the BJP had learned its lesson, but no. After seeing a recent campaign ad, the party seemed all the more ready to re-wake the atomic Kumbhakaran:

The video clearly shows an atomic test, not to mention several deadly looking missiles.  But what made me really gasp was the banner bearing the words: “We are proud on our nuclear test.” Really, who is this ‘we’ ? Who would be proud of creating weapons that could kill a lakh people in the blink of an eye? I am not against the BJP – I don’t know about you,  but I just don’t want another Hiroshima.

It seems that authorities have no trouble fooling citizens. All they had to was to go for nuclear armament under the label of technological development or security concerns. One thing is clear, though: when I am of age, I would know whom I should not vote for.


7 thoughts on “BJP and its nuclear flirtations

    1. Good day, sir. I thank you deeply for visiting. Could you be more elaborate about your last comment – as to why you think I am ignorant?

      Yours sincerely,

  1. I agree with lost paradise.
    Nuclear tests are necessary to maintain a minimum level of nuclear deterrent against the enemies i.e. the enemy country, in our case Pakistan, should know that if they hit our country even we would and this theory is called Mutually Assured Destruction (u can wiki it). In fact it is this theory that is the major factor for keeping the balance of peace between 2 nuclear armed countries. Had India not performed these tests, Pakistan would have been hostile and in case of nuclear war, we would have only suffered. Don’t go into war is not a solution. With so much instability in Pak, and high chances of nuclear weapons comin under the control of rogue elements, we should breathe a sigh of relief!!

    1. Hi Ankit, and thanks for visiting. I was well aware of the MAD strategy and I wish to present a counter argument. The strategy of MAD sometimes leads to an uncontrollable “arms race” (when the amount of weapons increases exponentially on both sides, see nuclear arms race in wiki) as is evident from the Cold War when tensions were so escalated and misunderstandings rife that there were many periods when the weapons were actually closed to being used. Moreover, you must agree that nuclear testing is provocative rather than peace-ensuring.

  2. Ya.. but at the same time u cant sit idle and let the enemies pile on a stock of weapons and hence gain an undue advantage on you, can you?? Its not just about the BJP. India under the leadership of Congress had conducted its first nuclear tests. You getting my point? No matter what political party is at the centre, this is something that cant be avoided be it BJP or Congress.

    1. You know…? we can keep arguing forever and never find a compromise 🙂 …..anyway, thanx for coming and giving us a different viewpoint

  3. One has to learn from history. Nehru formulated Panchsheel, did not defend our borders properly. Whenever anyone (including Patel) suggested to him to ramp up the defense systems, his opinion was no different from yours.
    The battle lost of marketed as Chinese betrayal while it was in fact Nehru’s incompetence and ignorance.

    There is no such thing as minimal use of force etc etc, International opinion is never pragmatic in fact foreign policies must based on premise that the world is all planning to hurt us. See how international opinion is that Pakistan is main aid in fighting terrorism.

    It is very important that economic might must get converted into military might. A strong muscle is something to be proud of. Talking about peace without power is symbol of weakness. The weakness that Nehru showed and we citizens paid a price for.

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