Read each of the following passages and answer the items that follow. Your answers to these items should be based on the passages only.
Few would have dreamt in their wildest dreams before the fateful May 11 and May 13, 1998 that the trundling elephant that India had all along been compared to in the western media would and could metamorphose overnight into a ferocious lion that could not only roar but charge and kill anyone daring to cast an evil eye. Few could have foretold that the five underground nuclear tests at the Pokhran range in Rajasthan in May 1998, catapulting this nation of 950 million people overnight into a superpower on its own, would send shock waves across Beijing, Islamabad, Washington, the
European capitals and even Tokyo.
The Buddha smiled once way back in 1974 and he smiled five times on May 11, 1998 on the Buddha Poornima Day and May 13 when India’s Prime Minister proudly announced to the nation and the rest of the world about India venturing into the exclusive club of nuclear weapon states as part of the national security shield even as he congratulated the top scientists of India over their great achievement.
India is a country wedded to peace and non-violence and her great son like Lord Buddha, Ashoka and Gandhiji had been living examples to prove this gospel. But India as a self-respecting nation would not propagate the peace of the graveyard or the non-violence of the weak. It is pity that our non-violence has been mistaken by many as our weakness and many assume that India is a nation of weak-willed people. Time and again, our leaders have reminded the world community that India has an inalienable right to defend its freedom, sovereignty and its ancient heritage and that it would take appropriate measures at the appropriate time to make its defence preparedness as strong as it could. No nation needs be apologetic, if it tries its best to defend its freedom. And a nation like India that has suffered centuries of foreign subjection has every right-more than any other nation to strengthen its defence. Moreover, India cannot take any chances when it lives in a hostile nuclear, environment, with Pakistan receiving all sorts of smuggled nuclear and missile material from North Korea, China and other sources, and China itself having conducted several nuclear tests and armed herself to teeth.
In times of crises, India has to fall back upon its resources to defend itself, its hard-won freedom, its economic gains and its own ancient cultural legacy. It has had three wars with Pakistan and another disastrous war with China and both the countries are still in illegal occupation of Indian territory. India hopes that the smiling Buddha on May 11, 1998 would have conveyed the right message to the right quarters that evil designs on this country would not be tolerated. It was this logic too, that prevented India from signing both NPT and CTBT-treaties that are discriminatory in nature. When present government came to power they had announced that India would go nuclear. The decision of the government to go nuclear does not emanate from any kind of jingoism or sabrerattling mentality. It arises from the supreme concern to preserve the integrity of nation described by many of the detractors as a functioning anarchy. Far from it, India has conveyed to the rest of the world that it has the best brains that can excel the best in the world.
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