Dual-Use Platform for Weaponization
Mujeeb Kanth
PLOUGHSHARES AND SWORDS: INDIA’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM IN THE GLOBAL COLD WAR by Jayita Sarkar Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2022, 300 pp., 2455.00
February 2023, volume 47, No 2

Jayita Sarkar’s book traces the origins and development of India’s nuclear weapons programme in the context of overlapping narratives of postcolonial modernity, developmentalism and geopolitics. Sarkar achieves this explanation by way of highlighting the technopolitics binding developmentalism and national security in the vision of its technopolitical elite which conceived and ran India’s nuclear programme. Sarkar argues that India’s nuclear programme was conceived and initiated because of its dual-use properties wherein it could act both as a developmental implement (Ploughshare) as well as catering to the needs of national security (Sword). Eschewing the conventional narrative of peaceful explosions in 1974 contrasted with strategic explosions of 1998, Sarkar shows that the technopolitical elite in India were aware since the very beginning of the dual-use property of nuclear technology.

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