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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

Scientists against the Nuclear Bomb

By Dhirendra Sharma

The recent visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Yukio Hatoyama offered an opportunity for India to lead the United Nations towards a Nuclear weapons free world order. Japan and India can respond to challenges of the 21st century. It is an historical irony that the Japanese premier, asked New Delhi to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to accept the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Now, the next review Conference of the Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty is due in May 2010, in New York. Today, liberal leadership is at the helm of world affairs including Japan, Australia, Germany, Britain, and the United States. Germany and most European Union states had urged the United States to remove all the nuclear warheads from Europe. The Italian parliament called for a European Union to be Nuclear Free Zone.
At this historical juncture, the Japanese premier's personal appeal to India particularly as the Obama presidency is actively working towards strengthening the NPT is significant. In 2006, the UN General Assembly had called for negotiations leading to an early conclusion of a Nuclear Weapon Convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.
The campaign against nuclear weapons, in fact, was initiated by our young Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. In January 1986, he met Michail Gorbachev with a Five Continent Peace Initiative "to stop the development, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons, to freeze nuclear arsenals and embark on their reduction, to prevent the arms race from spreading to space, and to conclude a treaty banning all nuclear tests." In November that year, Gorbachev came to India and with the Russian leader and Rajiv they jointly issued the Delhi Peace Declaration, declaring that In the nuclear age, mankind must develop a new political thinking
which provides sound guarantees for the survival of mankind. The Delhi Declaration emphasized urgency to give priority to universal human values, and to replace the balance of fear with a global system of international security free from the weapons of mutual assured destruction.

In the next NPT Review Conference in New York (March 2010) India can reaffirm the Delhi Peace Declaration for making the nuclear free world.
The problem is not so much technical rather than political and psychological. If the New Delhi government allowed public debate and the people know the eco-logical consequences of nuclear wars they would force the leaders to move to peaceful co - existence policy.
The War - science systems are now so advanced to the levels of unprecedented destructive force that a nuclear war would be the final tragedy for entire human race. No more nuclear weapons are considered 'the currency of power' and it is misleading to believe that the N-weapons helped keep the world peace. The political leaders should rise above the narrow sectarian divides and find ways for coexistence in the conflicting world order. In the present level of nuclear capability between India and Pakistan, there is absolutely no necessity for us to continue with the stockpiled nuclear arsenals. Any single nuclear radiation release either by accident or intention would be sufficient to make the (Indian sub-continent unfit for human civilisation.
Particularly now during the Obama Effect, the world's concerned scientists are demanding total and comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material. India cannot ignore the historic call against the nuclear weapons. India must accept the hand of Japan in leading the Peace Initiative at the forthcoming NPT Review Conference in New York.

Dhirendra Sharma
Centre for Science Policy/Concerned
Scientists & Philosophers,
"Nirmal-Nilay", Dehradun 248009 (India).
+(0135) 2735 627.Mob. 989788 3741
Mo. 989788 3741