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A moment of pride for India: The ‘Smiling Buddha’ operation on May 18

May 18 is a significant day in India. It is tied to a development that has given the country great pride. So, do you want to know what it is? The ‘Smiling Buddha’ operation was carried out on May 18, 1974. It was actually India’s first successful nuclear bomb test, which took place in Pokhran, Rajasthan state. The operation was code-named ‘Smiling Buddha.’

Despite the fact that it was a benign test, India had joined a select group of countries that have conducted a nuclear test. It was the sixth country in the world to do so. The test was carried out under the supervision of Raja Ramanna, the then-director of India’s nuclear research agency Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The plot began on September 7, 1972, when then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi authorized BARC scientists to explode an indigenously manufactured nuclear bomb.

After the operation was successful, India became the first country outside of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to conduct the test. The surgery was dubbed ‘Smiling Buddha’┬ásince it took place on Buddha Purnima that year. Dr. Ramanna appears to have told then-prime minister Indira Gandhi after the test, ‘The Buddha has smiled’.


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