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Indo US Nuclear Agreement – A Techno-Political Evaluation

Indo US Nuclear Agreement – A Techno-Political Evaluation

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Published by: nao on Jan 18, 2008
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CPI(M) Convention 2007
Indo US Nuclear Agreement – A Techno-Political Evaluation.
 
Dr A D Damodaran, Former Director, NIST, CSIR, Trivandrum. (**)
 
Email IDadd@asianetindia.com
 
Websitewww.patentmatics.org 1. I present this paper for three reasons (a) I am basically an S&T product of theIndian Department of Atomic Energy with nearly 25 years experience in its BhabhaAtomic Research Centre at Trombay and Nuclear Fuel Complex at Hyderabad andI have also been continuously keeping in touch with my former colleagues on thisexciting though "unforgiving technology", to use the description of the well knownexpert Prof Weinberg. (b) This field has been developed in our country with greatpains and efforts through concrete application of the celebrated "Growing Science"model of its founder late Homi Bhabha and this has ever since been a model for alsoother strategic ones such as ISRO and DRDO to follow, obviously within their ownunique requirements, and (c) among all branches of S&T, nuclear energy with itsvast potential for "War and Peace" has posed innumerable challenges for policymakers all over the world, with the last word yet to be said anywhere. And believeme, India has forced herself in a
 political hurry
into a
 nuclear melting pot
, and nowadjudicating herself non-diligently for decisions such that her hard-won nuclearself-reliance and independence is not surrendered in the midst of expediency andcompulsion and she “rediscovers herself again”, to use the inspiring phraseology of late Jawaharlal Nehru himself!
2.A few months ago, I had occasion to preside over afunction when Dr P K Iyengar, (Rtd) Chairman, Indian AtomicEnergy Commission, was delivering a VK Krishna Menon Memorial Lecture at Trivandrum. There I said:“It is indeed a great occasion for me to preside overthis function …in which Dr P K Iyengar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission is delivering the V K Krishna Menon Memorial Lecture – 2007 on “March of Science andTechnology and its Influence on Contemporary Society”…. The Memorial Lecture on a distinguished son of Kerala and Indialate V K Krishna Menon who championed vociferously thecause of our freedom through his India League from Londonand who under the political-administrative leadership ofthe first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru campaigned ininternational platforms the cause of Non Alignment as theright foreign policy paradigm for newly independent and
 
developing countries such as India and who also had workedceaselessly for the cause of Nuclear Disarmament as theonly option of the world to save itself from the precipiceof nuclear holocausts engulfing the universe, the Lectureitself being delivered by another distinguished son ofKerala and India who has all through stood for self-reliance in S&T through his celebrated contributions innuclear science and technology and who continues hisstruggle equally vociferously for the same cause in spiteof his advancing age-dictated limits….
I mentioned about Non Alliance and Disarmament as the two crucial elements of theNehru – Menon foreign policy legacy. Both these terms havebeen as much misunderstood as misrepresented.
Hence I prefer to quote none other than Sarvepalli Gopal from hiswell-known 3-volumes long biography of Jawaharlal Nehru. Toquote,“Of Nehru’s many contributions to the internationalscene, the most lasting has been the insistence, in fairweather or foul, on India’s right, untrammeled by theviewpoints of the great powers, to frame her own policiesso as to guard her independence, defend and promote hernational interests and work for progressive causes such asanti-colonialism, anti-racism and disarmament”. In asimilar manner, Nehru was the first senior political leaderin the word who got a comprehensive monograph written on“Nuclear Explosions and Their Effects” through his DefenseScience Organization (headed by the stalwart Dr D SKothari) as early as 1955 to give “some idea of the worldwe live in and even more so of what the fate of the worldis likely to be if we start playing about with nuclearwarfare…. to face death on a colossal scale and, what isworse, the genetic effects of these explosions on the present and future generations…(making) the other problemsus in this world become relatively unimportant”. And the Nehru-Menon duo carried on systematically their campaignfor Disarmament from every platform available.
I will notdwell any further into the political aspects of the aboveany further here; I venture into their implications intothe fields of S&T on the one hand and very quickly on thedevelopment of self reliance in a very large measure inagriculture and core sector industry.
(a) DAE under the “Growing Science” Model of Homi Bhabhaextensively made use of ‘friendly’ India- West connections
 
to establish CIRUS, TAPP & RAPP on systems side andextensive joint S&T/R&D exchanges with ANL, ORNL, UKAEA,French AEC, WG Institutes and so on; later stages from USSR in zircaloy fabrication technology and now also VVVR Reactors at Koodamkulam.(b) Former Director/VSSC Dr S C Gupta describes in fairdetail how ISRO had benefited from the TERLS years, US insatellites, USSR/Russia in cryogenic, France in solid propellants and liquid engines, and so on in his famous book “Growing Rocket Systems and The Team”.(c) The Green Revolution is a product of Indo-UScollaboration under Rockefeller Foundation.(d) Steel, oil, BHEL based heavy electrical industry, drugsthrough IDPL, Defense through MIGs and now Brahmos, etc arethrough Socialist/Soviet/Russian support, whereasfertilizers are based on Western technologies, And so on.
In essence, India could undertake extensive scaledevelopment only based on aptly utilizing the Non Aligned  policy based on self-confidence and national pride. And having achieved so much, can’t we strive to develop further in future as well? I believe that it is the right thing todo. Many like me thus cherish to remember the Nehru-MenonDuo who laid the foundations of such a possibility.
3.It is interesting in this context to remind ourselvesalso of a warning given by late Com EMS Nambudiripad in his monumental “Economics and Politics of India’s SocialistPattern” even as early as the mid-1960’s. Admitting thatthe policy of ‘non-alignment’ was evolved in opposition tothe policy of the cold war, he said:
“The question is: which of these two tendencies willgrow in the coming years, the tendency to continue tofollow the policy of non-alignment and peace originally laid down by Nehru, or the tendency towards its all butformal abandonment in face of difficulties faced by thecountry as well as the pressures exerted by our imperialist‘benefactors’ On the answer to this question will depend answers to the most important national questions” 

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