Book Review: Achin Vanik, After the Bomb and Ali Ahmed, India’s Doctrine Puzzle—Limiting War in South Asia

Published date01 December 2017
AuthorRajiv Nayan
Date01 December 2017
Subject MatterBook Reviews
11INP727986_F.indd Book Reviews 297
delivery at the gram panchayat level. They will also ask as to why contemporary social mobilization in
Kerala has helped it achieve open defecation free status before Tamil Nadu. And why do similar levels
of solidarity lead to very different arrangements in other areas of economic development. The book will
generate a lot of interest and debate over the next few years, as there are no easy solutions to these
pressing problems of social welfare. For now, we need to acknowledge that an exciting scholar has
emerged in the field of comparative politics and social welfare. The book will engage and inspire a
number of young scholars and that is enough reason to celebrate.
Satyajit Singh
University of Delhi
New Delhi, India
Achin Vanik, After the Bomb. New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan. 2015. 213 pages. `575.
Ali Ahmed, India’s Doctrine Puzzle—Limiting War in South Asia. New Delhi: Routledge. 2014. 240 pages.
DOI: 10.1177/2321023017727993
These two books deal with India’s nuclear policy. Both appear sceptical of the security rationale of
Indian nuclear weapons. Although both the books look doubtful about the security role of India’s nuclear
arsenals, the two authors have adopted two different approaches to examine ‘Nuclear India’. Vanaik
discusses the issue in a broad nuclear disarmament framework while Ahmed wants to resolve the puzzle
of the evolving limited conventional war military doctrine. Vanaik has adopted the classical or orthodox
anti-nuclear perspective in which a nuclear weapon is an unnecessary evil. Ahmed narrates the issue
from a military perspective, and explores how the nuclear arsenal has added complexity to the making
of the limited war doctrine.
Vanaik has gone into some of the issues generating curiosity in the global security community in a
somewhat incoherent and disjointed way. For example, the existence of India’s nuclear weapon is a big
conundrum for the community. The author has...

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