IF NUCLEAR TEST WAS NECESSARY..MORARJI DESAI TO US.
New Delhi:(odiannews):The then prime minister Morarji Desai, after three years of nuclear test in 1974, told the US he wasn’t sure it had been necessary and that his predecessor, Indira Gandhi, had been “basically wrong” to carry out the test.
This has been revealed in a record of a conversation between Desai and American ambassador, Robert Goheen, on May 27, 1977, that was recently declassified in a volume of the US state department’s historical series Foreign Relations of the United States 1977-1980.
The volume takes a close look at the Jimmy Carter administration’s approach to South Asia, especially tensions over nuclear proliferation and India-Pakistan rivalry. Shortly before Goheen was sent to India in April 1977, he was tasked by Carter to take up several nuclear issues, including no-proliferation, with Desai.
When Goheen raised the matter at his first meeting with Desai, the prime minister said “he was not sure an explosion had been necessary” in 1974, according to the US record of the conversation.“Mrs Gandhi had been basically wrong but Desai did not want to pass public criticism on her. The Prime Minister said there was no question of having another explosion. Even if it were proposed he would not do it — he would carefully consult people — he would consult the US,” the record states.
Desai “explained that he had not expressed doubt in public regarding whether the explosion was necessary as that was a reflection on Mrs Gandhi”, adding she “had no intention to develop nuclear weapons but was more politically minded”.