said Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 11th May, 1998. Two days later on 13th May, 1998 India conducted two more successful nuclear tests. The tests were named “Operation Shakti” after a Goddess.
With this development India became a nuclear power and joined the other seven nations who had publicly declared themselves as a nuclear state.
Smiling Buddha 1974 – A Successful failed attempt!
India had started developing its nuclear programme since W.W.2. but the first successful attempt to make India a nuclear state was achieved on 18 May 1974, after the device was detonated under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
But soon after the testing a nationwide emergency was imposed and Indira Gandhi lost power. Along with her the nuclear programme “Smiling Buddha” also came to a halt.
“India caught with her hand in the cookie jar”
Perhaps the most infamous headline among the community who follow India’s nuclear development programme, published by The NewYork Times along with the satellite pictures of the nuclear test site in 1997 when the U.S.A. had got wind of the plans for Indian nuclear tests.
The reason behind this was the Lacrosse or Onyx satellites operated by the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) which provides terrestrial radar imaging. The U.S.A. rejected its possession before 2008.
After this scandal the D.R.D.O. learnt from its mistakes and provided a window for the Indian Government to conduct their secret nuclear tests by calculating the timing of the “blind spot” when the satellite changed orbits. The men in disguise, sandstorms of the desert and dark blanket of the night helped in outwitting the satellites or more specifically the Central Intelligence Agency of the U.S.A.
Who were the men who made “Operation Shakti” a reality?
Reactions from Countries following the Success of Pokhran II
“23 years later, it is self-evident that the nuclear tests conducted in the Pokhran range on 11th May, 1998 and 13th May, 1998 were not meant to destabilise international peace but to protect territorial integrity of India and to discover peaceful use of the nuclear energy for the environment and mankind”.