In This Review

India and the Bomb: Public Opinion and Nuclear Options
India and the Bomb: Public Opinion and Nuclear Options
Edited by David Cortright and Amitabh Mattoo
160 pp, University of Notre Dame Press, 1996

An intriguing study of what the Indian elite thinks about nuclear weapons. The data are taken from a specially commissioned survey by one of India’s leading market research companies and analyzed by several American and Indian defense specialists. The survey divides respondents into supporters of renunciation, acquisition, or the Indian government policy of ambiguity, neither renouncing nuclear weapons nor acquiring them. The survey found substantial support for current government policy. Some 57 percent of those polled favored New Delhi’s policy of neither confirming nor denying a de facto nuclear capability. Some 33 percent favored outright acquisition and only 8 percent supported renunciation. There are also informative chapters on the pros and cons of India’s four major nuclear policy options -- the above three, along with a freeze on current production.