Thursday, July 06, 2006

The (deliberately?) misleading cover of George Perkovich's Book

George Perkovich wrote a very detailed account of India's nuclear program. This account drew upon all sorts of sources - Indian and foreign to pull together what some feel is a comprehensive look at India's nuclear program.

Most Indians only read George's account with a sense of weariness. The Cohenesque (as in like Steve 'Pakistan' Cohen) "holier than thou" attitude that pervades the book makes most sensible Indians turn away from the book altogether. The few Indians that do manage to read it the book often dismiss it as a rehash of two older books written by Indians - who reads what Indians' write anyway :).

I love GP's book. I think it is a masterpiece in psyops and perception management- something like Steve Cohen's Pakistan Army book (now I hear Steve's gone off and published something called "The Idea of Pakistan"... you know.. in Urdu that translates as "Nazariya Pakistan" - sound familiar?).

Coming back to GPs book.. the psyops and perception management stuff starts right on the cover.

The image shows a cloud of dust rising at Pokharan and the figure credit on the back of the book says that these clouds were produced by the Indian nuclear tests.

Fantastic as that sounds - that is simple false.

The images are from a conventional airpower demonstration by the IAF at the Pokharan firing range - a good odd 100 Km west of the nuclear test site.

Yes yes I know .. American Express.. err I mean Indian Express screwed up.. they gave the wrong photo with the wrong caption etc... etc... etc.... I mean there is no way that GP simply made that up - right? .. ofcourse not.

Ofcourse since George hasn't bothered to correct the credit in subsequent rewritings of the book - I can only assume that he simply doesn't know that there was no atmospheric release from the site or perhaps he simply doesn't give a crap about what really happened in Pokharan anyway...

And surely enough the fiction that India conducted an overground testat Pokharan grows more credible with each reprint.


At 12:14 AM, Blogger Aryabhata said...


Frankly why are giving more importance to this book and its cover? This book is not worth this publicity.


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