Inhaling the Mahatma
May 11, 1998. It was the Buddha’s birthday. “Truckloads of Indian Army personnel were deployed to villages in western Rajasthan with orders to evacuate all residents from their homes. At 3.45 pm, under a cloudless sky, a tremor suddenly jolted the ground beneath the feet of the evacuees, and large cracks appeared in their simple mud-brick homes,” writes Christopher Kremmer in Inhaling the Mahatma ( http://www.harpercollins.com/).
“The impact was felt 100 km away. Three nuclear devices including one hydrogen bomb, the world’s most devastating weapon, had been placed in bomb shafts deep beneath the desert near the town of Pokhran, 550 km southwest of New Delhi. Two days later, two miniaturised nuclear bombs designed to be dropped from aircraft or fired by artillery guns were detonated at the same site.”