Moving closer to the club of countries having advanced abilities to deliver a nuclear weapon at a distance of over 5000 kms, India took a major leap in it by test firing successfully Agni 5 on Dec 25 , last year thanks to the efforts of our defence scientists. This has taken India to achieve yet another feat in its intercontinental ballistic missile programme keeping its defence concerns and interests in mind. This device or the version had its unique special characteristics in that it was test fired from “Road – mobile -on-truck ” and it is the one which is a final delivery version for deployment by the Army. This is what we , the countrymen, have come to know from reports in an environ made scare by a few opposition Parties created to emerge relevant and attempt to spread a disinformation campaign on scrapping of high denomination of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes . It was interesting to note that hardly any opposition Party leader , especially from the select club of anti demonetization club, found time to congratulate our defence scientists on this proud moment , instead the rant of “Poor, Mazdoor, Kissan,Vanchit” being made “sacrificial goat” by Modi was blared from the Congress echelons by its Vice President who on this occasion, sang a quatrain from a well heard film song for his bête-noire Modi, “Aap ka to lagta hai, bus yahi sapna, Ram Ram Japna, paraya maal apna.”, a piece of entertainment- though of below the belt category. Communists engrossed in their obsolete utopian ideology were conspicuous with their silence, and not praising our scientists, instead their efforts were abuzz to keep berating note scrapping move. How could they afford to praise our scientists for this missile test firing as it has the potentiality of reaching the northern most parts of China ? Marxian ideology or so called communist movement, rest assured, would not come under the “range” of this missile as India is traditionally tolerant to ideas, political ideologies and political movements within the framework of the constitution of India.
However, this was the occasion, again to remember the vision of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee who gritted to see that the best way to fight and neutralize the looming threat perception to our security and sovereignty lay in India becoming militarily stronger by embarking upon the use of nuclear power, besides conventional peaceful purposes, for our military related requirements too. The solid reason d’être of using nuclear power for our defence requirements was to prove it as a deterrent rather than any threat. It was May 1998, when under Vajpayee Ji who had barely taken over the reins of the country, as many as five nuclear bomb explosions were conducted by India at Pokhran test range area. It was an antidote to status quoists of chanting “peaceful purposes and uses only” and those politicians swayed by this “peace” in a fetishistic manner in our country or else who would account for a total dormancy in nuclear area after the first detonation of “Smiling Budha” in May 1974 in Pokhran ? Did we not take note of our belligerent and hostile neighbor – Pakistan already tirelessly going ahead in its nefarious designs by treading the path of having nuclear capability and bomb making technique? Did we not take stock of how China was helping it towards that end imperiling our security scenario ?
Beyond expectations, just barely a few days after our tests, Pakistan under Nawaz Sharif regime conducted similar nuclear tests as a result of being under tremendous pressure both from “liberals” as well as from hard core fundamentalists in the country. If it was fallout of our tests, how could Pakistan manage aping India just within a few days opens up a Pandora box about which George Fernandes, the Defence Minister in NDA Government had hinted at. Nawaz Sharif was virtually under the threat of a coup by the most powerful seat of power in Pakistan, the military forces, unless Pakistan immediately matched India’s tests at the earliest.
Pakistan, accordingly on May 28, 1998 managed to carry as many as five nuclear tests and while doing so, Sharif told Pakistanis , ” Bharat kay saath hum nay yeh hissab bhi pura kiya” ( we have settled a score, yes, we have squared off this account too with Bharat). Sharif further told the media and the people, “these weapons are to deter aggression , whether nuclear or conventional”. The then Pakistan Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub told the media that Pakistan would be in “great difficulty” without a nuclear test as the policy of Pakistan had been for a “balance of power” with India. Our “peace” chanters were proved amiss on the issue and Vajpayee Ji along with the Missile man, the scientist saint of India Late Dr. Abdul Kalam wrote a new chapter of India in bidding adieu to inhibition of going militarily nuclear.
It is a thing to be believed that just like at present, Congress under its select faces like Mr. Rahul, Gulam Nabi, Khadke, Anand Sharma etc vehemently opposing demonetization, the opposition parties then led again by Congress had similarly opposed the nuclear tests. Salman Khursheed , speaking on behalf of his Party had charged Vajpayee Government of “using ” the tests for political ends and not for country’s national security. With the stage having entered the elite ICBM club by test firing Agni 5 having a range of over 5000 km with full payload and 8000 km with lighter warhead, Salman Khursheed as also the opposition led by Congress have been proved absolutely wrong. It would have not been possible at least so fast had Vajpayee Ji not taken that historical decision.
The nation, however, did a political sapping to him and penalized him through its elected representatives for this revolutionary, bold, timely, most urgently required step to make and look India stronger by making his Government face no confidence motion to taste defeat by a single vote from the ally National Conference preceded by withdrawing support by the AIADMK. He thus walked out on April 17, 1999. This could happen in India. The veteran Parliamentarian, the sober, smiling , friendly and true secular but very strong by conviction Vajpayee Ji was “charged” of being communal and divisive and in the Parliament , however, was equally humbled with the arrows of “charges” of being anti secular and anti diversity through speeches before the vote test as much as when he was forced out earlier after 13 days of his becoming the PM in May 1996.
The bold Prime Minister in Vajpayee did not get scared of any expected arm twisting by those nuclear powers who thought that having nuclear warheads was their oligopolistic right and some economic sanctions were imposed on us by many countries, chiefly by America, Germany and Japan but good governance, corruption and scams free Government, run by him even though with coalition partners, turned those sanctions into our strength. It is a unique face of most of the opposition parties that the one whom they make out to be unworthy in Government project a hero out of him when he is not in power. Curiously it could be seen that Vajpayee’s name and his “high principles” are currently referred to ridicule Modi . His slogan of treating Kashmir unrest created by Pakistan and a group of its paid agents and saboteurs within the framework of “Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiryat” are referred to by those leaders, now, who opposed and later defeated him in vote confidence motion. This time again the desperate opposition are citing the example of Advani of having resigned from Parliament to clear his name from the charges leveled against him to “invoke” Modi’s resignation as his exit either by forces indigenous or exogenous, through any means is the cause and the purpose of whole hullabaloo created in respect of any innovative move taken by his Government.
Modi ji, undoubtedly, has during short span of over two years done a tremendous job to put India among the front ranking countries. Various schemes and the historical demonetization decision like initiatives, even risk laden, could be taken by bold and dynamic leaders only. How the people are going to react , if not “reward” him and his Government in the long run, remains to be seen. Chances for change for the better come very rarely but people are the real deciders.