ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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How We Loved the Bomb and Later Rued It

Later Rued It Partha Chatterjee BARELY two weeks after the test explosions in Pokhran. the euphoria in India has evaporated. When parliament debated the issue on May 28 and 29, the mood was critical, worried, sometimes introspective. Many members, not only from the opposition but also from parties in the ruling coalition, expressed doubts about the clarity of the government's nuclear policy and some strongly criticised the way in which the situation resulting from the tests had been handled. In general, though, there were repeated declarations from all sides of a 'national consensus' on the nuclear issue, one that had been supposedly established at least since the first nuclear test in Pokhran in 1974. The critics were alleging that the Vajpayee government had deviated from those agreed principles, while the government kept insisting that it had only acted according to the inherent logic of that consensus.

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