“As long as the world is constituted as it is, every country will have to devise and use the latest devices for its protection. I have no doubt India will develop her scientific researches and I hope Indian scientists will use the atomic force for constructive purposes. But if India is threatened, she will inevitably try to defend herself by all means at her disposal.”

–Jawaharlal Nehru – January 26, 1946

Homi Bhaba – a bright Cambridge graduate and a physics professor at Bangalore, was the first person to obtain approval for the establishment of the Atomic Energy Research Committee at Mumbai. Two years later, Nehru said at an Indian parliamentary session that India must develop nuclear energy for useful purpose but if the nation is compelled to use it for any other purpose, no force could stop it. With no international objection at the time, India then went on to launch a programme to acquire an entire range of fuel cycle plants. USA started providing training to Indian scientists and engineers who extracted declassified literature for design and operation of nuclear facilities from the Argonne Laboratory School of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Thereof, India built the first nuclear reactor ASPARA in 1955 with the assistance of UK which provided it with heavy water. Although Bhaba’s successor, Vikram Sarabahi, opposed the building of nuclear weapons on moral grounds, Indian scientists continued to work and carried out the first explosion on May 18, 1974, with the codename “Buddha Smiles”. They called it a “peaceful explosion” but later, Sarabhai confirmed that it was a bomb test. International sanctions and export controls were not measures tough enough to prevent India from carrying out further three tests in 1998.What is more surprising is that India is the only country which is allowed to carry out nuclear trade with the world although it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Recently, after feeling threatened from Pakistan’s development of a tactical battlefield nuclear weapon, India is rethinking to abandon its “no first-use” nuclear policy which it adopted after its second nuclear test.