The NUCLEAR Program in India is regarded as one of the most mysterious and unsolved issue since decades. This issue can be called a death trap since it had taken many lives including the two great nuclear scientists of India Homi J Baba and Virkaram Sarabhai for supporting it.
The nuclear program was first debated in 1960’s. Our Scientists and experts were confident of making India powerful nuclear country and dreamt of building the best nuclear weapons and protocols which will give India the respect it deserves in the global platform.
But as always, there was one man who was literally a hazard for every development of India, none other than our first Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the man who had out-rightly rejected every proposal brought by our scientists on Nuclear programs. In fact he was the man who refused Kennedy’s offer to sign National Security Council Member and NSG member giving an illogical reason that “India was a peace loving country and has no enemies and promised that we will never conduct any tests on Nuclear warfare to the UN”. And China utilized the opportunity and signed the National Security Council Member deal.
This was regarded as the most unscientific decision ever made which cost India an unbearable loss in terms of scientific development and defence power. This decision by Nehru was opposed by every right thinking Indian and especially scientist and defence experts who were utterly disappointed with the stupid decision. The two scientists who stood firm and pressurized Nehru to roll back his decision on NPT was Vikram Sarabhai and Dr Homi J Baba who both saw mysterious deaths.
Ever since then, we were struggling that we did not have planned future which can assure the country the security it requires. In 1964, China which realized the importance of nuclear weapons immediately conducted a nuclear test which posed a severe threat to India as India had lost the War with China just two years back in 1962 due to misdeeds of Nehru. Defence experts were alarmed at China’s unstoppable development on nuclear weapons and felt that India was in grave danger with no proper strategy to safe guard our borders. It was the first time that panic button was pressed and India felt completely helpless with least bothered Prime Minister.
It was then the young and dynamic leader of the opposition party Jan Sangh Atal Bihari Vajpayeee who represented the Jan Sangh in Parliament gave a powerful speech to wake the sleeping Prime Minister Nehru. He had stated that “that an answer to the atom bomb is the atom bomb and nothing else” these words of his, received unending applause from the entire Parliament and his views reverberated across the country and gave moral support to all those people in defence who were crushed after the defeat in 1962 Indo-China war.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not stop his fight on prioritizing the nuclear weapons and started pressurizing the government to frame a strategic plan of our nuclear programs. But Nehru was least bothered and even after many years, he did not form any committee to strategize a plan for nuclear development.
But in the year 1969, it was none other than Dr Subramanian Swamy who did a comprehensive analysis on Indian nuclear strategy and published the paper in the most reputed Economic and Political Weekly Journal. His work was so well appreciated by experts and was finally adapted as the reference book for the Government’s economic and defence analysis on nuclear program.
A young Swamy had given a detailed review of the financial aspects and economic details for development of a nuclear program. Swamy, a financial expert had estimated a cost of 500 crores for 100 nuclear tipped ballistic missile and at 21st century the figure will increase atleast 10-20 times more to provide a mere 10 missiles at land and at sea.
These figures were so accurate and today the expense is 20 times more as predicted by Swamy 40 years back.
Swamy in 1969, had convinced the stubborn political class and explained the feasibility and affordability of nuclear weapons in the country. India then had received immense pressure from the United States and many other countries to stop the nuclear development in the country and the international media was indulged in spreading propaganda against the Nationalist move. But Swamy alone had tackled the international media and convinced the world saying India would conduct nuclear tests only on the basis of self-protection and National interest. He also strongly opposed Indira Gandhi who wanted to sign the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) in UN.
The same issue which China is forcing us to do even today and blocking our entry into the NSG!
Finally after 10 years of constant struggle, India conducted the first nuclear test in 1974 “Smiling Buddha”. Although the tests were conducted by Indira Gandhi, the entire Jan Sangh members including Subramanian Swamy had congratulated her. The members of the Jan Sangh had given statement that the Nation is the first priority and whoever takes decision that helps Nation, we stand by them.
We definitely have to appreciate the efforts of Dr Subramanian Swamy who laid out the analysis and successfully stopped the United States from putting a break to Indian nuclear story.
WATCH a Rare Subramanian Swamy Interview, where he tells the story of the Indian Nuclear Test Program.
Aishwarya S **