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Indiaâ€™s emergence as a confident and responsible nuclear nation has required careful crafting of its nuclear policies. After Pokhran II and the Chagai Hills tests, the South Asian security architecture and with it, the whole matrix of nuclear diplomacy had undergone a paradigmatic shift. Indiaâ€™s nuclear diplomacy too acquired a new prominence after these events. It was important for India to improve its bilateral relations with major powers for strategic reasons. At the same time, it needed to address the challenge of its burgeoning energy needs at home. Therefore, quite distinctive from its earlier stance, Indiaâ€™s nuclear diplomacy after Pokhran II commenced in a fundamentally changed context and with a considerably new orientation, culminating in the much-discussed Indo-US nuclear deal.
This deal, the bellwether of Indiaâ€™s new-look nuclear diplomacy, and the special waiver (granted to India by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group) have won her a respectable place at the international diplomatic high table and have opened up Possibilities of a whole new gamut of International nuclear commerce. This would as envisaged allow India to boost her domestic nuclear programme and widen her energy prospects.
Indiaâ€™s Nuclear Diplomacy after Pokhran II presents an analytical, perspectival and narrative exposition of the facts and issues involved in international nuclear gamesmanship, taking every care to maintain objectivity and balance. Flowing from years of intensive research and reflection, this book breaks new ground by not dilating the issues of nuclear security and the making of the bomb, which have been subjected to scholarly treatment in a variety of works since 1998, but by focusing on Indiaâ€™s nuclear diplomacy with the major global and regional powers, and the rationale of its stand vis-Ã -vis the NPT and CTBT. To reach out to the general reader, in addition to scholars of the subject, this book unravels the intricacies and technicalities of the post-Pokhran II diplomacy in lucid and comprehensible phraseology.
This is a painstaking work on Indian nuclear diplomacy after the Sahkti series of tests in May 1998 that were followed quickly by Pakistan's tests at Chagai Hills. The author has analysed the conversion of the high dudgeon of not only the United States but also other major powers into 'engagement'.
About the Author
AJAI K. RAI has served as Visiting Professor at the Jamia Millia Ialamia. Earlier, he was Senior Fellow at the observer Research Foundation, with full sponsorship of the Policy Planning and Research Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, and at the Indian Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses. He was also awarded a short-term fellowship by the Regional Centre of Strategic Studies (RCSS), Colombo. Rai has had a thirteen-year stint in the media, and was awarded the Press Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He has authored more than a dozen research articles and three monographs, among which are â€œKargil War and the Indian Mediaâ€™ and â€˜US-led War on Talibanâ€™. He has delivered lectures at important research centres, institutions and universities in India and abroad, which include the University of Leicester, UK; the SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad; and National Defence College, Delhi. Currently, he teaches as quest faculty at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Foreign Service Institute and the Indian Institute of Public Administration.
(5 out of 5)
Great Read on Pokhran II and The Story Thereafter
This is a fascinating book on the chain of events following Pokhran II, which was a watershed event in the history of Independent India.
Reviewer: Eklavya from India, Haryana, Gurgaon
I am not a scholar of this subject, but I picked up this book in continuation of my quest to know more about the rise of Modern India, specially with respect to its standing in the world.
Having tested the bomb to address its security concerns, how did India then move to position itself as a responsible nuclear power? How did we protect our geopolitical interests without jeopardising the energy needs of the country? How does the world see us now and What does the future behold?
In this well-researched book, the author more than just answers this questions. He scrupulously analyzes how Pokhran II fundamentally altered India's relations with the major powers and its neighbour - Pakistan. In the process, he informs the readers about the evolution of India's bilateral relations with these countries, the details of various nuclear treaties and regimes and India's stand on these and various technical and commercial factors which come into play in the nuclear diplomacy.
Before picking this book, I had just finished reading Ramachandra Guha's delightful 'India after Gandhi' which helped fill the gaps in my understanding of India in 1940s and India of today. Ajay K Rai's book similarly helps connect the dots between the euphoria of 1998 Pokhran tests and the nuclear realities we face today. Like Guha's work, the lucid phraseology of this book makes it 'eminently' readable for general readers like me.