India’s Nuclear Policy: The Year After

Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, AVSM, VrC, VM, IAF (Retd.) was Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • November 2013
    From the Archives

    On 11 May 1998, two events took place:

    (1)India carried out nuclear tests; and
    (2)India declared itself to be a state with nuclear weapons.1

    The first demonstrated continuity in the policy of building the technological and material capabilities for an independent credible nuclear deterrent. This was in keeping with the 1964 commitment (discussed later). India had successfully demonstrated its ability to explode a nuclear device in May 1974. To that extent, the five tests in 1998 only emphasized the continuity and growth of capability over the years. The tests were predictably strongly criticised by the international community, especially by the nuclear weapon states and their military allies protected by nuclear weapons even if not legally nuclear. But the essential point is that while people may detest India’s nuclear tests, they cannot be detested.