This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Prakhar gupta. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why India Has No Choice But To Join The Nuclear Arms Race Against Pakistan And China

More from Prakhar gupta

By Prakhar Gupta:

Having acted as the cause of its formation at one point, India has been actively lobbying for a place in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite club of 48 member states that control the export of sensitive nuclear technology and material.

While the United States and other member countries expressed strong support for India’s membership bid, China remained defiant and opposed India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers’ Group in the plenary discussion held in Seoul. Reasons behind China’s resistance are not beyond its self-interests, but it is interesting to see that the country has sighted India’s non-signatory status to the NPT as the cause of its concern, despite having violated Article I of the NPT itself by providing magnets and other sensitive nuclear technology to Pakistan.

India, which is not a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), signed a Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2008 and gained limited access to international nuclear trade after waivers from the Nuclear Suppliers Group. As a part of this deal, India separated its civilian nuclear facilities from its military use infrastructure and placed them under IAEA safeguards. By agreeing to do so, India has allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to tag and track nuclear material imported from international partners, thereby ensuring that the imported nuclear material is not used for its weapons program.

Gaining access to international nuclear supplies has worked well for India, which now has diversified and reliable sources to fuel its civilian nuclear reactors placed under IAEA safeguards. It has not only helped India in boosting its civilian nuclear program, but by ensuring international nuclear supplies for civilian reactors, India can now effectively divert a great chunk of indigenous nuclear supply (if not the entire) for the production of fissile material for military use. Before receiving waivers from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008, India – which has just over 1% of proven global uranium deposits, utilised indigenous supplies for both civilian and military use. Membership to the nuclear trade group could have provided India with a much greater access to international nuclear supplies. With greater resources to fuel military use reactors, India’s nuclear weapons program is bound to grow faster than it ever has.

The balance of conventional power in South Asia rests in India’s favour, and this fact has driven Rawalpindi’s urge for a larger nuclear arsenal. It hasn’t stopped yet, and to cover its growing conventional insecurity, it has developed battlefield nuclear weapons in response to India’s ‘cold-start doctrine’. India’s membership to the nuclear suppliers group would have contributed to a sense of insecurity, and the arsenal that was positioned to cover Pakistan’s conventional venerability could have grown exponentially to maintain the strategic balance of nuclear power in the sub-continent. This, in turn, could have set into motion a nuclear arms race, one in which the two nuclear powers tried to bring the other into check and balance.

The United States officially endorsed India’s bid for membership for its own interests, but the view in Washington is wide and clear. The United States views India as a counterbalance to China’s growing might and influence in Asia, and for this, a renewed nuclear arms race in South Asia is a small price to pay. “What you are doing is creating an action-reaction that is leading to a never-ending escalation cycle that ultimately leads to the development of nuclear weapons including battlefield nuclear weapons,” Senator Markey warned US Assistant Secretary for South Asia Nisha Biswal.

Growth in India’s nuclear weapons program can be attributed to the fact that India has refused to place Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) under IAEA safeguards and has also kept certain civilian use power reactors out of the safeguarded list to feed into the PFBR. Creation of strategic reserves and access to sophisticated nuclear technology is bound to create insecurity in Pakistan, which will respond by expanding the size of its nuclear deterrent.


With two allied, hostile Nuclear powers at its doorstep, India has limited options. While India certainly has a conventional edge over Pakistan, it does not enjoy any such privilege over its northern neighbour. The threat bell rang in New Delhi after China’s nuclear explosions in 1964 and paved way for India’s nuclear gamble in the early 1970s. India’s full-fledged testing in 1998 led to explosions in Pakistan. For New Delhi, a nuclear China continues to be a threat to national security and with this in mind, the policymakers decided to define ‘credible minimum deterrence’ in line with perceived threats from China.

India, caught between two hostile powers, has no other option but to grow its nuclear deterrence in order to credibly deter China’s ever-growing nuclear and conventional power. But what can credibly deter China would be anything but minimal with respect to Pakistan. India now finds itself caught in an unavoidable nuclear arms race, where it’s bound to grow its arsenal in response to China’s modernization, and in turn provokes a response from Rawalpindi. In the global order, where Pakistan views India as a rival, India views China as a threat and China views the United State as a corrival, only collaborative international efforts to address individual security concerns can prevent a nuclear arms race.


You must be to comment.

More from Prakhar gupta

Similar Posts

By Devansh Mishra

By Uday Che

By Charkha Features

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below