Indian nuclear weapons program-related video interview (in Hindi with lots of English thrown in — Hinglish (?)

This video interview was uploaded by ‘Offensive Defence’ on March 20, 2020. Belatedly posting here. It deals with all manner of issues related to the Indian nuclear arsenal, strategy, First Use, etc.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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26 Responses to Indian nuclear weapons program-related video interview (in Hindi with lots of English thrown in — Hinglish (?)

  1. Atul Bhusari says:

    Thanks Sir.
    Very thought provoking.
    I have 2 questions for you.
    Are you happy with billion dollars plus provision for quantum computing in this budget ?

    2)can you please try and get your capable friend back from China,after this investment mentioned in 1).


    • India is always late, never proactive, and so always a loser. $1 billion a good start but program under oversight of generalist bureaucrats, and scientists reduced over the years to bureaucrats (and just as bad) who don’t understand the implications of quantum computing. And my friend is now behind the China wall — can’t reach him.

  2. V.Ganesh says:

    Sir, with regard to your friend who teaches quantum computing in China, why don’t you approach Modi to bring him back to India because your CPR profile says that you’re frequently consulted by the PM?

    • My friend met with Doval before going off to China. Modi asked me in only once (and then with several others). In his first term.

      • V.Ganesh says:

        It’s surprising that Modi can give $10 million for the corona virus fund which at most in six to 10 months will be history, but, can’t give $4 million to your friend to come back to India. Modi seems to be driven by short-term gain, long-term pain.

      • My friend asked for Rs 3 crores/year to set up and run a Centre to train people in quantum computing and algorithm writing. What a loss.

  3. Manish says:

    Sir, You say that Modi is scared.
    So Modi was scared in doklam standoof ?

    • One shouldn’t overstate what happened at Dok La. It was not a test of strength but only a pushing and shoving match between soldiers instructed (by their govts for different reasons) not to escalate matters.

  4. RG says:

    You are at your best when you speak on China,matchless! Relentless ,very sharp and incisive.
    Mr. Karnad, I gather you teach? Are your classes open to general public? Is it possible to meet up with u?

    • My designation as professor at CPR, now Emeritus Professor, has required me to do research, not teach. In any case, I lack patience and aptitude to be a teacher. The talks I give to various military and other forums are usually at their invitation, including sometimes public talks..

  5. RG says:

    Mr. Karnad, not only in the gov. quantum computing does have an upcoming niche in the industry, might not sound very exciting to your friend but if hes into teaching and if hes as good as you mention then talking to the industry can be worthwhile. We talk to TCS et al, Anand Mahindra, whoever would listen. He needs 3 crores to set up his lab or 3 crores annually?

    • He’s been given a fully equipped lab to train quantum experts. Industry (NASSCOM) is whom I first approached, but no go there. In any case, it’s too late to get him back.

  6. devraj says:

    Sir, if china used such corona type virus against India in war would India have the guts to reply with similar biological weapons? Indian doctrine states that the response of any biological, nuclear or chemical attack would be nuclear. Please respond.

    • We have a BWs lab. Not sure what its capability is though. BWs may be used in peacetime as well. And because it is hard definitively to trace the source country in any situation response of any kind would be difficult; nuclear even more so. This is the major weakness of the massive retaliation strategy espoused by the official doctrine (but not, as I say in the video, in the draft doctrine).

      • PRATIK KUMAR says:

        Bharat sir what do you think about covid-19? Is it a natural virus or biological weapon???
        When most of Chinese competitors (US and West) are struggling badly, Chinese allies like Russia and North Korea are not much affected. Also during december and january, China never alerted the world and let its people travel globally with virus….and such like..

        So don’t you think that its a biological weapon made by China to disrupt the economy of its western competitors???

        Also when whole world is fighting covid, China is undertaking underwater surveillance in IOR and N.korea in increasing nukes. So I think India should also increase its profile in WMDs and follow disruptive behaviour (though nothing can be expected from senseless Indian leadership), because if India doesn’t stands against China now, our future will see doomsday. Am I right sir???

      • As I said in one of my responses to an earlier post that you may not have read, C-virus could be a Chinese BW.

  7. PRATIK KUMAR says:

    Sir could you plz type the name of that post??


    Another wonderful thought carrier, Mr. Karnad. Sir, do you think India is doing enough to help countries around the World and create more goodwill for ourselves in the trying times of Coronavirus? Since we have shut down our factories for the crucial 1 month time now and we also have stopped exporting our cheap generic drugs to needy countries I believe now we have missed out a historic opportunity to replace China in global supply chains. I would love to know your views on the same.

    Thanks and regards with best wishes

  9. vivek says:

    What about a person from Bihar, who doesn’t want to go out of India? Can govt help him to setup research center? Also regarding BW, why do you think it is china, why can’t it be the US?

    • The Patna-based Quantum expert is apparently a stay-at-home type, secure in his own knowledge! One hopes, at a minimum, that GOI is at least aware of this person. China seems the possible carona BW source because that’s where the virus originated in 2019 but was passed off by Beijing as Influenza.

  10. Bhaskar says:

    Dear Sir,

    You talk of taking on China in every possible way every now & then. However, India does have a huge trade deficit with China. To add to that there are certain items which are imported from China and presently India doesn’t have an alternate source for that. Pharmaceutical products which include the basic salt fall into that category. Recently, China declared that it would be limiting the exports of those salts to India to make up for its own demands and here there was general panic in pharmacy industry.

    Do you think India can afford to irk China in such a scenario considering the clout & economic, military might it enjoys? We don’t have, yet, the investment to make things on our own; be it pharma, weapons, consumer goods, and so on. We haven’t invested in R&D the way we should have done all these years.

    • All true. But consider the impact on the Chinese economy if India — 2nd largest consumer base in the world, shutdown its market to all Chinese manufactures, it’d be earthshaking for Xi and Co. The pity is that GOI has, as I have long maintained, underestimated the leverage afforded India by access to its vast market to use against countries with whom we have massive negative balance of trade.

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