Before 1998, the world believed that India was not a powerful country as it does not have any nuclear weapons unlike the USA, China, the USSR. But, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted to make this statement baseless by proving the world that India is not less than any other nuclear power in the world. And, the day has come on May 11th, 1998. I personally wish every Indian should and must know about the Pokhran Test.
WHEN, WHERE W& WHY WAS POKHRAN TEST CONDUCTED?
From May 11th to 13th May the second Pokhran test was conducted in Rajasthan’s Pokhran. It is believed that Nuclear weapon was the first weapon used for mass destruction of the enemy. A country that does not have these weapons are considered as underdogs. A nuclear device is no larger than traditional bombs, but it can devastate an entire city by blast, fire, and radiation.
OTHER COUNTRIES WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS :
USA – Project Manhattan, which developed a Nuclear bomb and dropped it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan which completely devasted the region. USSR, UK & FRANCE are the other countries with Nuclear Bombs. In 1964 China also made its nuclear weapon and then India realized that there is a threat with all these countries and India too should have a Nuclear Bomb. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, founder of Bhabha Atomic Research Center was the first person who said about Nuclear power and asked our leader like Nehru to develop a Nuclear weapon.
WHY DID WE CHOOSE POKHRAN?
To test the nuclear weapon there is a need for the vast area where even after the blast should not create any disturbance to civilians. One such area in India is the Thar desert of Rajasthan. So, our leader found it as the best place to conduct nuclear exercises.
The first nuclear weapon test was done on Budha Purnima day. It was in May 1974 and the scientists named it SMILING BUDHA. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi revealed it to the world as it was a “Peaceful Nuclear Explosive”. After this test, India’s name was placed after the USA, USSR, UK, FRANCE. It was not a powerful test as the explosion was about 12k tons.
POKHRAN TEST 2:
The first test was done only to show the world that we have nuclear technology. But, the second test under the leadership of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee India developed its first explosive bomb. The test preparation started in 1995 but, the USA’s CIA spy has detected the testing and so, we were unable to perform the test. When we tried to test India directly got calls from the America president saying that they will put restrictions on India if we perform the test. In 1995, PV Narasimha Rao got a call from Bill Clinton threatening him to rely restrictions on India. But, in 1998 when Vajpayee was Prime Minister came forward to test the nuclear bomb. The test was organized under the leadership of scientists Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Rajagopala Chidambaram, Anil Kakodkar.
HOW INDIA MANAGED TO DO THE TEST :
The main objective of the team was to do the test at any cost but should not fall in the eyes of world countries especially, the CIA which have always put satellite surveillance in the Pokhran area. The team of scientists was dressed in Army uniform so as not to get any doubt for other countries. Most of the work was done during the nights. The bomb shafts were dug deep into the sand during the nights. Cables for sensors were covered with sand and concealed using native vegetation. When any country doubted them our government covered it saying that they were constructing a cricket stadium in that place.
ON THE FINAL DAY:
On May 11th, 1998 finally the day has come.
- Shakti 1 – A thermonuclear device yielding 45kt
- Shakti 2 – A plutonium fission device yielding 15kt
- Shakti 3 – An experimental linear impulsion 0.3kt
The test created a huge blast and a deep hole in the earth at Pokhran. People near to 100kms of Pokhran thought that there was an earthquake. But, finally, in the evening PM Vajpayee declared that India successfully completed the Nuclear Bomb and we are not underdogs anymore.