Bollywood you did it again!! Parmanu the story of Pokhran movie that I believe unfrizzed & softened each and everyone’s heart especially for Indians a very proud moment to cherish.IMDB 7.7 out of 10. Good box office collections, Indian crowds got what they worth it and deserved. But that’s movie, theatrics, picture framed for 2 and half hours displayed in playhouse. But practicality or rather in reality the journey was really uphill and full of obstacles. Today I would like to jabb a bit into the success stories behind how India had become optimum nuclear super power of the universe.
The whole planet is aware that India is one of the nuclear superpower house in the world today and a lethal force to tackle. But the ultimate history to gain supremacy was never easy. Though our readers are already aware of India’s swedge and fight to gain the eventual predominance but however I would love to illustrate so many things today which had cracked the deal in India’s favour finally.
Just to begin with a bit of background, India though tried and tested when Indira Gandhi became the PM @ year 1966.The program gained the vital vigour when famous physicist Raja Ramana joined the efforts. His selfish dedication towards the nuclear built and setup cannot be ignored by any Indians.
In between China tried series of testing which led India to take firm and strong decision to build a strategic nuclear weapon program.
India first conducted its nuclear test Smiling Buddha @ 1974 became the 6th country to get nuclear hegemony tag & also set off themselves as a donator for nuclear curriculum actvities. Described the tests as “Peaceful nuclear explosion “,but the test was partially successful as American Intelligence agency claimed that real capitulate of eruption should be within range of 4 to 6 kiloton’s.
But 1974 Pokhran test demonstrated capitulate of 12 kiloton which has resulted a failure outcome.
The bomb for the test was supplied by Indian army under the supervision of generals and high commanders’ orders. If we go back to earlier roots a bit, actually nuclear program started at the year 1944 itself where physicist Raj Ramana played a vital role for nuclear weaponry and technology research.
When India got freedom from British slavery & Jawaharlal Nehru became the PM, India started to be heavily involved in developing NNPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).
The treaty was to ” stop any unnecessary spread of nuclear weapons technology or practise ,and also to ensure that that peaceful promotion and cooperation of any sorts of nuclear technology”. No illegal usage or misuse of the appliences or artilleries which can result to any worldwide disaster.
Though Indias motive and intention was very clear and positive that not to prompt any war like situation indeed to ensure the use of atomic energies for peaceful purpose only. But in case if countries sovereignty and integrity got tested and harmed then to protect motherlands pride, weapon could be used.
From the period of 1954 to 1959 NEUC-Program though moved swiftly but steadily. Homi Jahangir Baba first established Trombay Atomic research Institute at Mumbai.
By 1962 Nuclear program was still developing @ very slow crawling pace. Nehru was seeking Soviet Union’s help (so called unseparated USSR), but they turned down his proposal as USSR was preoccupied with Cuban Missile crisis and also continued backing Chinese propagandas and recitals.
This makes India to think their own nuclear strategies and program hence decided to begin design work of their own @ year 1965 in BHABHA Atomic research Institute under watchful eyes of Raja Ramana who take over the assignments after Jahangir Babas death.
Weapon development program got of to pace from the time period of 1962-1974.Jahangir Bhabha though tried to give a big economic push during his tenure for weapon purchase when he came live in Indian radio channels and influenced that what weaponry is getting produced in atomic research centre is much cheaper which is almost equivalent to US nuclear testing program Project named-Piowshare. But the plan didn’t worked out as per prerequisites.
In 1965 nuclear program got partially slowed down when Lal Bahadur Shastri became the PM of India as Shastri needed to face Indo-Pak fierce combat battle state of affairs. Fortunately Vikram Sarabhai was also appointed as physicist that time who is heading Indias nuclear program & also because of his non-dictatorial, nonviolent Gandhian belief Sarabhai directed towards peaceful purposes rather military development and deployments .
In 1967 when Indira Gandhi became the PM Indias nuclear program renewed and resumed with new josh and robustness. Homi Sethna a very efficient and capable chemical engineer played significant role to prepare weapon graded with plutonium. Until 1967 the weapon program was directed towards uranium but slowly moved the production momentum towards plutonium.
1972-74 where all the secrecy and major test preparations has been undergone. On 7 September 1972, when Indira Gandhi was in the peak after her post-war popularity, Gandhi authorised the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to manufacture a nuclear device and prepare it for a go. Although the Indian Army was not fully involved in the nuclear testing, the army’s highest leading officer was kept fully informed of the test related preparations The preparations were carried out under the watchful eyes of the Indian political leadership, with civilian scientists assisting the Indian Army.
On 18 May 1974, Buddha Jayanti (a festival day in India marking the birth of Gautama Buddha). Indira Gandhi maintained tight control of all aspects of the preparations of the Smiling Buddha test, which was conducted in extreme confidentiality, besides Misses Gandhi, only important advisers were kept informed about the investigations.
Post Smiling Buddha effects various nuclear supplier group seriously affected India’s nuclear program. The world’s major superpowers imposed technological barriers on both India and Pakistan, who was always racing to meet India in terms of achievements match to match. The nuclear program grappled for years to gain credibility and program was crippled due to lack indigenous resources as there was heavy dependence on imported technology and assistance.
Post 1975 aftermath state of emergency when Indira Gandhi government collapsed, the nuclear program was left with a vacuity because of political leadership and even inadequacy in basic management. In the midst of all when India is going through a struggling period ,Pakistani atomic bomb program was well funded and organised by then, India realised very quick that Pakistan was likely to succeed in its project in matter of two years.
1998-98 is the year which has been year closely monitored by every Indian when Indias nuclear mission get the real political momentum and .1989 when VP Singh from Janata dal united became the PM of India, the relation between India-Pak got more worsened when India accused Pakistan for creating unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
But, under the leadership of Narasimha Rao India started conducting further experiments and tests in 1995.Unfortunately plans were halted after US spy cameras picked up signs of preparations for nuclear testing at Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan.
Pakistan though took the advantage and criticised India heavily in global forum by colouring it as empty-headed test rather resulted India-Pak relation more worsen & bitter than ever before.
In 1998 BJP came to power in India with an good amount of majority and useful chunks of votes from people republic of India, lead by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who became the PM of democratic republic of India and took instant charge and progress of Indias nuclear plan of actions. Missile Man APJ Abdul kalam was heading ISRO and taking care of all relevant ballistic missile related projects then with significant of experience backed up by tremendous understanding and sense on technologies ,he was the go to man for Vajpayee to take the immediate leadership of the atomic project.
APJ though not disappointed PM. A long stretched consultation began between Prime Minister Vajpayee, Dr. Abdul Kalam, R. Chidambaram and officials of the Indian DAE(Department of Atomic Energy) on nuclear options in closed tight doors. Chidambaram briefed Prime Minister Vajpayee about extensively on the nuclear program, Abdul Kalam presented the status of the missile program. On 28 March 1998, Prime Minister Vajpayee short-lived the scientists lead by IAS Civil servant Ashwat, technical stuffs paramilitary teams to make preparations in the shortest time possible, and things were hurriedly made.
Final stages of preparation and how Ashwat, team India did series of tests under the nose of PAK and US counterspies & crack a massive deal in their favour:
Unlike Pakistan’s secret weapon–testing laboratories under the watchful eyes of ISI, there was very little that India could do to hide its activity at Pokhran. Reasons are very clear & crisp as all previous nuclear tests happened in Pokhran and world was completely aware of Indias plan of action or movements. Unlike the high-altitude granite mountains in Pakistan, the bushes are sparse and the hillocks in the Rajasthan desert don’t provide much cushion or cover from exploring satellites. The Indian Intelligence Agency had been fully aware of United States spy satellites and the American CIA had been detecting Indian test preparations since 1995.
Therefore, the tests required complete secrecy in India and also needed to evade from the detection by other competitive countries who are also in a race to come on top in terms of nuclear try outs by crushing others.
The 58th Engineer Regiment platoon of the Indian Army & IAS administrator Ashwat along with his efficient squads of Engineers,scientists was commissioned to prepare the test sites so as to avoid detection by the United States satellites, readers not an easy task to perform for sure because the earlier attempts was a failure one due to US interruptions and obstructions and Ashwath Raina was fully aware of that. An acid test was in hand which was needed to carry out very cautiously and carefully.
Redirecting attention towards Kashmir Isssue:
Ashwath Raina was throughly aware that it is next to impossible to divert attention of CIA unless India did some drastical or significant tacticla changes.A private conversation in closed doors among administrative body and Ashwath has been begun.Indian governing body has claverly decided to chalk out a plan to create an atmosphere by spooking out Kashmir unrest and detract entire world media focused towards Kasmir.Major portion of Indian peramilitary forces,Army deployment was moved towards Kashmir.Master plan which has been stroked and superbly advantgaed later,by Ashwath Raina and team . I believe one of the key point for Pokhran II mission to come out as triumphant.Surprisingly Plan was successfull as CIA all of sudden altered its spy cameara positions from Pokhran test ranges towards Kashmir .Mission all set to go and waiting to be done and dustice.
Work was mostly done during night shifts, and equipment was returned to the original places as usual to give the impression that it was never moved or nothing happened. Technical staff at the test ranges wore military uniforms, to prevent US detection or any satellite images, snapshots captchas etc.
I would like to salute the team of Lethal force, unrestrained team whose effortless dedication made Pokhran-Part-II a successful mission and make Indias dream come true to finally become a NEUC dominion:
VICTORIOUS SQUADS AT A GLANCE BELOW:
- Project Chief Coordinators:
- Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (later, President of India), Scientific Adviser to the prime minister and Head of the DRDO.
- Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Atomic energy.
- Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO):
- Dr. K. Santhanam; Director, Test Site Preparations.
- Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research :
- Dr. G. R. Dikshitulu; Senior Research Scientist B.S.O.I Group, Nuclear Materials Acquisition.
- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for their superficial support and dedications:
- Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Director of BARC.
- Dr. Satinder Kumar Sikka, Director; Thermonuclear Weapon Development.
- Dr. M. S. Ramakumar, Director of Nuclear Fuel and Automation Manufacturing Group; Director, Nuclear Component Manufacture.
- Dr. D.D. Sood, Director of Radiochemistry and Isotope Group; Director, Nuclear Materials Acquisition.
- Dr. S.K. Gupta, Solid State Physics and Spectroscopy Group; Director, Device Design & Assessment.
- Dr. G. Govindraj, Associate Director of Electronic and Instrumentation Group; Director, Field Instrumentation.
- IAS officer Ashwat is tasked lead operation role, hails to him.(Research & analysis wings)
Thanks team stubborn, the real worthy child of motherland!!
Points to be kept in mind that there are different shafts or stems has been created with pseudo names during mission PokhranII assignments:
- Thermonuclear device was placed in a shaft code named ‘White House’
- The fission bomb shaft code named ‘Taj Mahal’
- The first weapon to be placed was the sub-kiloton shaft, device name is ‘Kumbh Karan’ ,
On 13th May 1998 @ 3.43 PM IST three nuclear bombs (Shakti I, II,III) were exploded simultaneously, as measured by international seismic(earth vibration) monitors. @12.21 PM IST two sub-kiloton devices (Shakti IV and V) were boomed!! India though did series of frequent tests after this.
Aftermath PAK Reactions and hostility:
Post POKHRAN II after-effects Pakistan was fuming in anger and frustration ,completely blaming India for instigating anuclear arms race in the subcontinent region.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif louded that his country would give a suitable reply to India. Pakistan is match or no match we don’t know but post successful mission POKHRAN II India can match the world eye to eye and say hey!! together as united millions of dreams can be fulfilled and achieved with guts,determination and willpower. If there is a will there is definitely a way.
Following the Pokhran-II tests, India became the sixth country to join the nuclear elite club. One more successful achievement in history of Indian democracy.
Every Indians have then already started to dance and sing in style & flair with their head sky high- “Mohe rang deh basanti chola, mohe rang de”(A Indian patriotic song)
A red-letter day for Indian autonomy which will be written in golden words in history books. Long lived memory bank that will make upcoming next generations to be felt proud off.
I will though like to conclude by signing off in a happier note that:-Finally White House has really been collapsed !!