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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nehru, Not A Dove After All

While paying homage to Sri Homi Bhaha's centennial birth anniversary, Sri K. Subrahmanyam writes about the apparent perceived wisdom - that Bhaha was nuclear hawk interested in weapons and Pandit Nehru was nuclear dove interested in global nuclear disarmament:

There is a view that Bhabha was the main driver behind India’s nuclear weapon ambitions and Jawaharlal Nehru was a dove totally committed to nuclear disarmament. The late historian, Sarvepalli Gopal, who had access to Bhabha’s papers, told me that in the wake of the First UN Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, over which he presided, Bhabha wrote to Nehru proposing that India should amend its constitution, renouncing nuclear weapons. Nehru replied, advising Bhabha to concentrate on development of the nuclear programme and to inform him when the stage was reached when India could make nuclear weapons. He asked Bhabha to leave political and strategic issues relating to nuclear energy in his hands. [Homi Bhabha - Scientist, visionary, dreamer; highlight by ed.]
Sri Subrahmanyam goes to say Bhabha turned to nuclear weaponization only after Chinese tested the weapon in 1964 and his death may not be the reason why India couldn't test weapon before the January 1st, 1967 deadline of NPT.