Thursday, September 24, 2020
Home News Reports Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan: How former Prime Minister Vajpayee led India to...

Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan: How former Prime Minister Vajpayee led India to new dawn in science after Pokhran tests

In 1965, India’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” (Hail the soldier, hail the farmer) to encourage the soldiers and farmers when the nation was reeling under the effect of 1965 India-Pakistan war. A week after the Pokhran nuclear tests were carried out in May 1998, India’s former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee improvised on the same slogan and said, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan” (Hail the soldier, hail the farmer, hail science).

In May 1998, a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions were conducted in India at Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range, Operation Shakti. This was India’s second successful nuclear test after Smiling Buddha (also called Pokhran 1) was conducted on 18 May 1974, Buddha Purnima.

During the 1998 general elections when the BJP came to power with an exclusive mandate, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had publicly lobbied for nuclear test explosion. Preparations for the test were carried out under complete secrecy for fear of being detected by spy satellites of the US and other countries. A very small group of scientists, senior military officers and politicians were involved in the preparation to ensure it remains a secret. The chief scientific adviser and the Director of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Dr Abdul Kalam, and Dr R. Chidambaram, the Director of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), were the chief coordinators of this test planning. The scientists and engineers of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER), and the DRDO were involved in the nuclear weapon assembly, layout, detonation and obtaining test data.

Finally, 11 May 1998, which was also Buddha Purnima, India became a full-fledged nuclear-armed state. As per reports from archives,

The actual timing of the tests were dependent on the local weather conditions. It was hot in the Thar Desert in early May, it reached 43 C on the day of the test. But the critical factor was the wind. Although the tests were underground, they were shallow tests and the sealing of the shaft could not be guaranteed to be leakproof (a number of shaft seal failures had occurred in the U.S. despite much deeper burials). Winds blowing toward inhabited areas, as occurred on the morning on 11 May were not acceptable. But by early afternoon the winds had died down and the scientists decided to go ahead with the tests. Prime Minister Vaypayee and Brajesh Mishra, his Principal Secretary, had waited at the official residence since at least 9 a.m. to hear the test results. Kalam called at 3 p.m. to tell the Prime Minister that the winds were dying down and the tests could be conducted during the next hour.

K. Santhanam of the DRDO, who was in charge of the test site preparations, gave the two keys that activated the test countdown to Vasudev, the range safety officer, who was responsible for verifying that all test indicators were normal. After checking the indicators, Vasudev handed one key each to a representative of BARC and of the DRDO, who together unlocked the countdown system. At 3:45 p.m. the three devices detonated.

- Advertisement -

Addressing the nation after the tests, Vajpayee hailed the scientists and engineers who made Pokhran tests a success.

A week later, while addressing a Sainik Sammelan at the Pokhran test range, Vajpayee coined the above slogan. The Opposition, led by Congress criticised the tests and questioned the same. Senior Congress leader Salman Khursheed accused the BJP of conducting the bombs for the political gains and not national security. He even questioned why the tests were necessary. To that, Vajpayee gave a fitting response in the Parliament.

He asked whether one should be prepared for self-defence only in case of threat? This nuclear test was a way to prepare the country in case of threats to national security.

Other countries, however, weren’t too happy with the tests. The United States issued a strong statement condemning the same and in compliance with the 1994 anti-proliferation law, the United States imposed economic sanctions on India, including cutting off all assistance to India except humanitarian aid and banning the export of certain defence material and technologies. Japan, Pakistan and China too were condemned the nuclear tests.

Twenty years after the 1998 Pokhran tests, it is believed that India will make yet another bid for admission in the National Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite group of 48 countries which deals with fissile materials and nuclear technology. If India manages to become a member of NSG, it would mean access to cutting-edge technology from fields which vary from nuclear energy to medicine. In what might potentially be a major boost in staking a claim for an NSG membership, India became part of the “Australia Group” which strives to check the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons in January this year. With India now successfully being part of three prominent export control groups, the other two being the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Waseenaar Arrangement, and the US too claiming that it is working closely with its international partners to secure India’s entry into the NSG, it remains to be seen whether China can be finally forced to forsake its opposition.

Vajpayee was admitted to AIIMS, Delhi following a heart attack on 11th August and his health has been deteriorating since. Currently he is critical and on life support.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Monsoon session of Lok Sabha concludes, becomes the most productive session in the history with productivity rate of 167%

September 20 was the most productive day of the current session 17th Lok Sabha with 234 per cent of productivity.

Rana Ayyub lies again, this time while writing an ode to the old lady protestor at Shaheen Bagh for Time’s 100 most influential people...

Rana has written that Shaheen Bagh protestor 'Bilkis' was sitting to protest against the CAA that could "block Muslims from citizenship".

Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, three others summoned by NCB in Bollywood drug probe

Deepika’s name had emerged in the drug abuse probe earlier this week after her WhatsApp conversations went viral.

BJP govt must be careful about ecosystem trying to engineer price rises

BJP government needs to watch out about what comes next. The so called “age of controls” may be over, but the mentality of that era might not be.

No coercive step against Facebook exec for ‘role’ in Delhi riots, says Delhi Assembly panel after SC sends notice

Dehi Assembly panel had sent summons to Facebook India head Atul Mohan alleging ‘deliberate inaction’ by the social media giant against alleged hate speech that ‘culminated in the Delhi riots’

Complaint filed against William Dalrymple for flouting visa norms, trying to interfere in India’s internal affairs

Supreme Court advocate and author Monika Arora has stated that William Dalrymple has violated visa norms by trying to interfere in India's democratic process and trample on her freedom of expression.

Recently Popular

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

‘Are your breasts real? Can I touch?’ Actress Sherlyn Chopra accuses KWAN talent agency co-founder of sexual misconduct

Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra on Tuesday took to Twitter to call out sexual misconduct of KWAN talent agency co-founder Anirban Blah.

Nikhil Dwivedi, filmmaker and director of talent agency owned by Salman Khan, claims latter did not buy stakes in KWAN. Read details

Uniworld Big Talent (UBT) owned by Salman Khan, holds major stakes in Big Bang Media Venture, the holding company which owns KWAN.

Casting director of Rhea Chakraborty’s debut film ‘Jalebi’ among 10 Bollywood personalities to have died in the past few months. Read the details here

A post containing the list of recent deaths of Bollywood celebs and the alleged reasons behind their deaths is being widely shared.

Goa Police arrests actress Poonam Pandey’s husband Sam Ahmed Bombay for assaulting and molesting her

Born and brought up in United Arab Emirates, Sam is an ad-filmmaker and a producer. He had done projects with celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone amongst others.

Mumbai Police made actress Payal Ghosh wait till 2 AM, did not file sexual assault complaint against Anurag Kashyap: Reports

The BMC declared her society a containment zone to prevent the actress from filing a complaint.

Monsoon session of Lok Sabha concludes, becomes the most productive session in the history with productivity rate of 167%

September 20 was the most productive day of the current session 17th Lok Sabha with 234 per cent of productivity.

Former Amnesty India head Aakar Patel arrested for tweets on PM Narendra Modi, BJP-RSS and Ghanchi caste; released on bail

Aakar Patel was arrested by Surat Police on a complaint filed by BJP MLA from Surat West constituency Purnesh Modi

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi succumbs to Coronavirus

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passed away at the AIIMS in New Delhi, he had tested positive for Coronavirys on 11 Septemter

Properties made available for sale or rent only to Muslims appear on several real estate portals

Even in a cosmopolitan city such as Mumbai, bigoted homeowners actively discriminate between tenants.

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

CBI carries out multiple raids along India-Bangladesh border; BSF officer and 3 others booked in illegal cattle trade case

A BSF officer along with 3 others booked by the CBI in connection with the illegal cattle trade along India-Bangladesh border

Pakistan plans to turn illegally occupied Gilgit-Baltistan into a province; the decision to benefit China and CPEC

Pakistan government have received support from all parties to convert Gilgit Baltistan into a full province of the country

Rana Ayyub lies again, this time while writing an ode to the old lady protestor at Shaheen Bagh for Time’s 100 most influential people...

Rana has written that Shaheen Bagh protestor 'Bilkis' was sitting to protest against the CAA that could "block Muslims from citizenship".

Nepali Youths protest outside the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu against Chinese construction on Nepali territory in Humla

China has reportedly constructed multiple buildings in the Humla region of Nepal and the Chinese troops are staying in them.

Kerala govt to take action against media houses alleging defamatory reports on state secretariat fire incident

Apart from filing case under CrPC, Kerala govt will also complain against media with the Press Council alleging defaming reports

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
454,729FollowersFollow
16,700SubscribersSubscribe