WHILE on the one hand more and more countries are seeking nuclear weapon capability, US and Russia have ended their military confrontation by withdrawing their nuclear weapons and missiles targeted at each other.
The globalisation process has shifted international emphasis from military security to developmental priorities, environment and issues of human security. This in turn has brought into prominence the current and future energy needs of both developed and developing countries. The search for alternate sources of energy has caused a rapid increase in the desire to harness nuclear energy. Many countries have embarked on plans to build nuclear energy capabilities.
The connection between nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and as a weapon capability has raised fears of nuclear proliferation in an era of irrational notions and new State actors after the various terrorist attacks. The consequent need for a new security environment with more countries coming into possession of nuclear weapons has created a new perspective on nuclear weapons, leading to strident calls for global nuclear disarmament. The author is sorry that India, despite not being in possession of nuclear weapons, has been at the forefront of the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said at an international conference in New Delhi in June 2008, “India is fully committed to nuclear disarmament that is global and non-discriminatory in nature. The pursuit of this goal will enhance not only our security, but the security of all other countries.”
This book under review brings together a set of papers which present the current Indian position on nuclear disarmament and perspectives on the debate on the subject.
Prof. Rajaraman, who has extensively worked on the subject to his credit, looks at the complex strands of interest which make the fissile material treaty both an opportunity and challenge for India. He expresses the hope that by the time a fissile material treaty is ready to be signed, India will hopefully be ready to do the same.
All the papers emphasise the need for global nuclear disarmament while voicing India’s expectations of an equitable, just and non-discriminatory profession towards nuclear disarmament.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002.)