India which is on the verge of being self-reliant in every sector of technology was considered a country of ‘Snakes and Charmers’ for years after the independence. In this tech-driven world, what marked India’s great entrance into the race to being a superpower? Every year on May 11, India celebrates National Technology Day as on this day the infamous Pokhran nuclear tests were successfully conducted in the year 1998.
Why was this test significant?
11th May 1998 defined India’s stance on a global level as we successfully became nuclear power despite resistance from top world countries. During the reign of the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India secretly conducted nuclear tests in the Pokhran region of Rajasthan.
The mission was kept a top-secret as the objective was not to attract international attention. It was quite difficult as spies and satellites were keeping a keen eye on India’s every move. The mission was named ‘Operation Shakti’ as it was carried out by a dedicated team of researchers, engineers, and scientists under the guidance of the Missile Man of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
As the test was successful, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared India a nuclear state. Before India joined the nuclear club, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China were the only nuclear states. These five countries aka the ‘nuclear club’ opposed and criticized India at every point of trying to be a nuclear state.
This test was significant for India as back in 1998 as a country we weren’t fully equipped to carry out such a secretive mission. The circumstances in which the tests were carried out are truly commendable to date. Envisioning reaching even greater heights of success in this tech-driven age, India celebrates National Technology Day on 11th May every year. Watch ‘Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran’ to understand the significance in a Bollywood way.
Since 2014, India’s mission is to be self-reliant which is ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. The current Modi government has been encouraging startups and setting up incubators for technological advancement in the country. Today, India isn’t the one who needs to work in secret for what it wants to achieve, its geopolitical stance is one of the strongest in the world. The way to be a ‘superpower’ can only be achieved through technology.
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