24 September, 2020

Making Incidental Music

Santhanam’s comments can help India deflect US pressure on signing the CTBT

Jitender Gupta
Making Incidental Music

It’s that one question that has arisen in most people’s minds, which they’d like answered: why did former DRDO scientist K. Santhanam decide to go public with his doubts about the H-bomb test 11 years later? It can be argued, as those close to him say, that he has had these doubts for long, but limited himself to expressing these only in private. What he said at the IDSA meet wasn’t supposed to be in the public domain. But once his remarks were reported in the media, Santhanam decided to stick to his stand—the thermonuclear test was just a fizzle.

It’s also possible, as some have speculated, that he consciously articulated his views to create a mood opposed to foreclosing India’s option for future tests and signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Political players are known to adopt such strategies through indirect means. For instance, former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee encouraged his political opponents to oppose the US request that India deploy troops in Iraq. Citing...



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