Technology and nuclear theology


After the recent round of nuclear explosions, a top nuclear scientist reportedly said that until the tests Indians had to read their ancient classics to feel proud; now they would not have to do so. This scientist, who celebrated the event by popping a champagne bottle, forgot in that moment of glory that our ancient classics were our own; what he was celebrating was just a special case of import substitution; the devices/weapons the Indian scientists and engineers had produced had been invented   by   the West, then imitated by China and were already within the easy reach of many developed   countries.The idea of measuring the achievement of the Indian civilisation on the scale of megatons of destruction can, however, be considered a conceptual breakthrough of a particular kind of Indian!

The quest for the Indian "big bomb", to use the words of Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, has produced reams of West-bashing with streams of adjectives like "double-speak", "hypocrisy" , "Western nuclear theology" and so forth. Until the tests, the adjectives applied to India included "nuclear brahmacharya", "self-restraint" and such other terms usually applied to sexual abstinence. But now that the devices/weapons have made India enter nuclear ´grihasthashram´, an Indian nuclear 'varnashram' theology is taking shape.

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Himal Southasian