Scientists and technocrats who worked for the successful test-firing of Agni V, propelling India into an elite club of nations with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile technology, deserve to be congratulated on the spectacular achievement. The success story has reinforced the fact that India is second to none.
That said, the government should make concerted efforts to manufacture indigenous military equipment in, say, 10 years. Continued dependence on foreign suppliers is risky because the working of the equipment in times of crisis will depend on many political and diplomatic equations.
Let us pay handsome tributes to our scientists for successfully test-firing Agni V. The nuclear-capable missile has enhanced not only our defence capability but also placed us on a par with China, the U.S., France and Russia. May our technological success help in creating global fraternity.
There are many, even among intellectuals, who believe that deterrence is one way of avoiding war and ushering in peace. I believe that nuclear deterrence is based on a false premise. Nations make bombs and missiles on the assumption that their rivals may move to a defensive position. This has been proved wrong by the war-like situations that have developed across the world. North Korea and Iran are examples. Today, wars are fought not to win but to create mutual annihilation.
Needless to say, nuclear bombs and missiles are going to play a major role in future battles. But it is worth bearing in mind that diplomacy is the only way in which modern nations can resolve contentious issues.
The response in the Chinese media — that Agni V is a political missile — is needless. We are a peace-loving nation and adhere to the ‘no first use' doctrine. Compared with China's infrastructure development along our borders and its increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, our test fire is just a pie in the sky. In the fast changing security scenario, we need to upgrade our defence system.
Sgt. Sachdev Sharma (retd.),
The successful launch of Agni V has made India proud and jubilant. Let not our neighbours perceive it as a security threat. While celebrating the success, diplomacy merits a dialogue with China and Pakistan to clear all doubts about the use of Agni V. The country can ill-afford an arms race with the neighbours.
Keywords: Agni-V, Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, DRDO, ballistic missile, Multiple Independently Targeted Re-entry Vehicles, MIRV, nuclear-capable missiles, Indian defence, India's nuclear capabilities