Friday, 15 June 2018

India's nuclear test in 1974 at pokhran

India's nuclear test in 1974 at pokhran

India's nuclear test in 1974 at pokhran

In 1974, when Mrs. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, India tested the first nuclear device at Pokhran in Rajasthan. Since then a debate has started on this hot issue of whether India has a nuclear bomb. No government has said that India was a nuclear Power. But unexpectedly India conducted a series of five nuclear tests again at Pokhran. There were three tests on May 11, 1998. After that two more tests were conducted on May 13. Prime Ministers Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee hurriedly called a press conference and announced that India has become a nuclear power and our Scientists, Rajgopalan Chidam Bram and Abdul Kalam made it possible. Now India has a unique distinction of being a member at the nuclear club. Only USA, England, France, Russia and China have nuclear weapons. Pakistan too tested nuclear devices soon after India had done.

Test at Pokhran gave the people of India a sense of national pride. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has underlined the necessity of acquiring nuclear capability. He said it had been done to ensure our security. Now the people of world and India know that we have a nuclear deterrent. Though some of his critics said that it was done due to same political reasons. They said there was no sudden threat to India’s security from her neighbours like China and Pakistan. There were larger issues like poverty that needed to be solved first.

Many countries of the world also criticized this exercise. USA immediately imposed sanctions. This meant USA stopped aid to India. Some other countries like Canada, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Australia and Germany also took similar steps. But the Prime Minister was not worried. He said that stopping aid would not have much impact on India’s economy. The government was prepared for it.

USA had been insisting that India should sign CTBT, but India had some objections. Some countries which have signed the CTBT already have piles of nuclear weapons. India wanted them to destroy their stock pile. But they were not ready to do it. India called it double standards.

No doubt India is proud to be nuclear power but we had to pay a heavy price for it. Moreover the danger of nuclear war is always there. If there is a war the world is sure to be destroyed. But no country sincerely trying to stop this nuclear arms race in the world. 

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