Biologists in India for Nuclear Disarmament
In the wake of the nuclear weapon tests in South Asia in May 1998, it has become imperative to remind ourselves and each other of the unique evil that nuclear weapons represent. They are not simply another way of waging war, but weapons non-selective by their very nature, since every nuclear explosion releases radioactive fallout. This radioactive dust is spread by wind and rain, contaminates water and air, is taken up by plants and enters the food chain right at the bottom, and persists for thousands of years. It will leave effects transcending generations; - not only innocent people but their unborn children will be deeply damaged, as will be the world around them, by even a ‘small’ nuclear weapon. There will be horrific degradation of the environment, with devastating effects on human communities. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and the many nuclear test sites around the world, old and new, are ‘living’ evidence of this. Nuclear weapons are therefore quintessential terrorist instruments inappropriate for democratic societies anywhere.
It is a matter of common sense that making nuclear weapons and deploying them steadily increases the chance that they will be used, - by ‘mistake’, ‘inadvertently’, ‘just to be on the safe side’. In addition to the geographical realities of South Asia, the heightened tensions, confrontational attitudes and worsened neighborly relationships enhance these risks, negating any claims of enhanced national security. In fact, South Asia now has all the ingredients for a regional nuclear arms race that would exponentially increase these risks and prove socio-economically ruinous. It is essential to condemn the hypocrisy of the nuclear weapons states [NWS] in maintaining huge nuclear arsenals while making pious pronouncements and imposing sanctions under a discriminatory and unethical global nuclear regime. This can only be done by returning to ethical and consistent positions on global nuclear disarmament through renouncing nuclear weapons manufacture and deployment, not by joining the NWS in their insanity.
It is a sorry comment on the scientific establishments of South Asia that the copying of fifty year-old technology available in the public domain for decades needs to be propped up as a major claim to fame for subcontinental science. The point and purpose of innovative science is to comprehend our world and hopefully, our selves, - and that of innovative technology is to use the comprehension [and perhaps wisdom] gained to improve the quality of life of all human beings, everywhere. Nuclear weapons do not fit this bill.
Ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the bulk of the scientific community the world over has consistently argued that it is irrational to be steadily increasing the chances of use of weapons that simply cannot be used, and has been in sustained and vehement opposition to nuclear weaponry. There is every pressing reason for the scientists and technologists of India to join their voices to those of their global communities and urge their fellow-citizens to reject the acquisition of nuclear weapons; - not because somebody compels us, but because reason impels us.
National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
Satyajit Rath, Sandip K Basu, Vineeta Bal, Chandrima Shaha, RP Roy, Ayub Qadri, Pramod Upadhyay, RA Vishwakarma, Rahul Pal, Seyed E Hasnain, Anna George. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
K Srinath Reddy, Anoop Saraya, Sarman Singh, Anjan Dhar, Dinesh Kumar,
Yogesh Jain , MR Bhagat, KK Ray, S Bhan, AB Dey,
A Sood, D Prabhakar, P Chopra, M Vijayaraghavan, Ruma Ray,
Subrata Sinha, OP Kharbanda, Ritu Duggal, NK Arora, SK Acharya,
Arvind Kumar, S Guleria, TK Chatterji, M Ramam, JK Grover,
VP Choudhry, V Bhatnagar, CS Pandav, NG Desai, M Mehta,
RS Tyagi, Raka Jain, GP Bandhopadhyay, SS Chauhan, Rajeev Jain,
Kaushal K Verma, H Krishna Prasad. International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi
Shahid Jameel, Chetan Chitnis. Delhi University [South Campus]
Anil K Tyagi Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Alok Bhattacharya, Mohan Rao, Santosh K Kar, Sudha Bhattacharya, Ritu Priya.
Calcutta University, Calcutta
D Sengupta , AB Banerjee, H Bhattacharya, Chittaranjan Bhattacharya, DJ Chattopadhyay. Bose Institute, Calcutta
Gautam Basu, Anuradha Lohia.
Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta
Susanta Roychoudhury, Anjana Mazumder, Chitra Dutta, Salil C Datta, Rukhsana Chowdhury, Hemanta K Majumder, Santu Bandyopadhyay, Tushar Chakraborty, Tuli Biswas, Pratap K Das, Partha Chattopadhyay, B Aihari, PK Dutta, SB Mandal, Anup Bhattacharjya,
BC Pal, T Mukherjee, AN Bhaduri, CN Mandal, AK Ghosh,
S Sengupta, Sumantra Das, Madhusudan Das Keya Chaudhuri, Debashish Bhattacharya, Syamal Roy. Government Medical College, Dibrugarh
FU Ahmed. Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow
Amit Mishra, Satyavan Singh, AK Dwivedi, Prem Prakash, SK Bhatnagar,
S Bhattacharya, L Srivastava, Anuradha Dube, Vinod Bhakuni, Raja Roy,
Sudhir Sinha, RP Satpathy, W Haq, Uma Roy, Safia Nasim, Bamani Sur , Vinod Bihari, GK Jain, Srikanta K Rath, PSR Murthy,
MM Singh , DC Kaushal, R Raghubir, PY Guru, DS Upadhyay,
Ram Pratap, OP Asthana, Saman Habib, Mehrotra NN. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
Ashis K Das.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
V Rodrigues, KS Krishnan, Rohit Mittal, Zita Lobo, BJ Rao,
Shobhona Sharma, MM Johri, Gotam K Jarori , Krishanu Ray. Cancer Research Institute, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai
Rita Mulherkar, CN Shenoy, Archana Wagle, Rajiv Sarin.
Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar
B Ravindran. Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar
AP Dash. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
Dipankar Chatterji, Usha K Srinivas, Ravi Sirdeshmukh. National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore
Satyajit Mayor , Obaid Siddiqi, M Vijayraghavan, MM Panickar, Jayant Udagaonkar,
Manjari Mazumdar. Raman Research Institute, Bangalore
Madan Rao. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
[Though signatories are identified by their institutional affiliations, their signatures reflect their individual concern as global citizens rather than institutional views.]
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International Immunologists against Nuclear Weapons
We support the appeal of Indian biologists for India and Pakistan to reject the manufacture and deployment of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons solve no problems and create peculiarly horrendous new ones. We join our fellow-scientists in India in urging nuclear restraint in South Asia, and in asserting that the long-standing insanity of the huge nuclear arsenals of the nuclear-weapon states must be condemned and reversed, not emulated and perpetuated.[Though signatories are identified by their institutional affiliations, their signatures reflect their individual concern as global citizens rather than institutional views.]