International -- Readers Report
ENOUGH CONDESCENSION ABOUT INDIA AND THE BOMB (int'l edition)
I was dismayed to read the tone of "And now for the fallout" (Asian Business, May 25). It reflects the patronizing attitudes that many Western countries have toward so-called Third World countries. India is not a child who "craves the respect" of the Western powers, the presumed grown-ups. It conducted the nuclear tests out of sheer necessity to protect itself [against] Pakistan, [which] has had a clandestine nuclear program for the past 10 years, actively supported by China.
These nuclear tests did not change the nuclear reality in the Indian subcontinent. All they did was bring the nuclear weapons out of the closet. Nobody can be thrilled about [their] presence. But they provide a credible defense against neighbors who are also nuclear. If India doesn't protect itself, nobody else will.