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Ramanna deplores proar over Pokhran tests - The Observer

Press Trust of India ()
June 16, 1998

Title: Ramanna deplores proar over Pokhran tests
Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: The Observer
Date: June 16, 1998

Eminent nuclear scientist Raja Ramanna has deplored the oise
being made over recent nuclear tests at Pokhran by some political
parties and has urged them to rise above partisan considerations
in hailing the scientists' achievement.

"The country had no other option but to explode the nuclear
devices in the prevailing global environment and all must rise
over partisan considerations to hail the tests," Dr Ramanna,
former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman and a Rajya Sabha
member, said here on Sunday night.

After Mrs Indira Gandhi decided to go ahead and conduct the first
nuclear test in 1974, all other Prime ministers in later years
could not take a decision on conducting more tests, he said.

Referring to the 'nuclear option,' Dr Ramanna said. "How long can
you wait? You cannot keep the nuclear scientists in suspended
animation for ever."

The scientists, many of them young, have done a wonderful job and
should be congratulated, Dr Ramanna said after presenting the
prestigious Sarala Awards here.

Asserting that India's nuclear capability had so far been
demonstrated in the several atomic power plants which were
running at full capacity for years, he said there was a great
need for the country to go nuclear in view of the changed global

"Our scientists have shown we are capable of doing everything,"
he said, adding that detonation of the thermonuclear device was
particularly satisfying as. it was not easy to conduct the
experiment in a regulated manner.

Many nuclear scientists, waiting to see this day, had either died
or retired. But the step had greatly inspired the scientific
community and boosted the morale of the army, he sold.

Dr Ramanna also cast doubts over Pakistan's claim that it had
tested six nuclear devices saying only two tests were recorded
all over the world.

The scientist, however, stressed the need for improving relations
between India and said that it would benefit both the countries.

But there was no need for any third party mediation, he said.

Dr Ramanna also hit out against the super powers saying these
nuclear weapon countries had been adopting an intriguing stand on
the nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan.

Should the keeping quiet of these countries be construed as their
clandestine efforts to cover up matters, Dr Ramanna asked.

The Sarala Award for 1998, instituted by the Indian Metals Public
Charitable Trust, was to be given to eminent poet, writer, critic
and painter Jagannath Prasad Das.

Dr Das was, however, unable to be present personally to accept
the award due to prior engagements, the organisers said.

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