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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Haves and Have-Nots; Interview with C. S. (Chandra Shekhar) Jha, 1987

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Chandra Shekhar Jha was India's foreign secretary from 1965 to 1967. Jha's interview conducted for War and Peace in the Nuclear Age begins with his recollections of his devastating post-war tour of Japan with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and their shared ideals of disarmament and economic development by harnessing "Atoms for Peace." Jha's interview also examines the dilemma of staying the non-nuclear course given regional security concerns: the 1962 Chinese attack on India, followed two years later by China's detonation of its first nuclear bomb, and ongoing tensions with its neighbor Pakistan. While prioritizing the country's economic development over diverting resources to acquire nuclear weapons, Jha rejects the Non-Proliferation Treaty as embodying "nuclear colonialism" and objects to the preferential treatment granted other threshold states. Jha explains why India cannot exclude the future possibility of owning nuclear weapons. The key to disarmament, he insists, rests with the nuclear nations that are "adding to their stockpiles" and "preparing for war."

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Haves and Have-Nots
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Interview with C. S. (Chandra Shekhar) Jha, 1987

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

A case study of the dynamics of nuclear proliferation: China triggers India and India triggers Pakistan in the competition to have their own nuclear weapons.

In 1953 President Eisenhower announced the Atoms for Peace program. This marked a total reversal of American foreign policy. Americans would give material to allow countries to build reactors. “So overnight we passed from nuclear middle age to nuclear renaissance,” recalls French atomic scientist Bertrand Goldschmidt. The Soviet Union started its own program and helped China learn to build a bomb. The first Chinese nuclear blast was in 1964. Indian defense expert K. Subrahmanyam recalls that a nuclear China prompted India to set off a “peaceful” nuclear explosion in 1974. “There is no such thing as a peaceful nuclear explosion,” responds General A. I. Akram of the Armed Forces of Pakistan. “’74 was a watershed. It brought the shadow of the bomb to South Asia, and that shadow is still there.”



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Nuclear disarmament
Nuclear weapons -- Testing
United States
Sandys, Duncan, 1908-1987
Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984
Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986
Nuclear nonproliferation
Nuclear weapons
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Deterrence (Strategy)
Desai, Morarji, 1896-1995
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945
Nuclear arms control
Nagasaki-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945
Atoms for Peace (U.S.)
Gandhi, Rajiv, 1944-1991
Nehru, Jawaharlal, 1889-1964
Deng, Xiaoping, 1904-1997
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
United Nations
Global Affairs
War and Conflict
Jha, C. S. (Chandra Shekhar), 1909- (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Haves and Have-Nots; Interview with C. S. (Chandra Shekhar) Jha, 1987,” 02/18/1987, GBH Archives, accessed December 11, 2023,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Haves and Have-Nots; Interview with C. S. (Chandra Shekhar) Jha, 1987.” 02/18/1987. GBH Archives. Web. December 11, 2023. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Haves and Have-Nots; Interview with C. S. (Chandra Shekhar) Jha, 1987. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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