K Santhanam, a retired DRDO scientist, on Monday accused former AEC chief Anil Kakodkar of “ignoring facts” about the yield of the nuclear tests done at Pokhran in May 1998, calling him “a liar” motivated by institutional loyalties.
“Figures don’t lie, but liars will figure. He chose to ignore facts for his own reasons,” Mr. Santhanam told PTI when his comments were sought on remarks made by Mr. Kakodkar in a TV interview.
Mr. Kakodkar had said yesterday that DRDO scientists had provided only “logistic support” to the nuclear test and that it would not be correct to assume Mr. Santhanam knew everything, as information was given only on a need-to-know basis.
“There are several inaccuracies in his (Kakodkar’s) statement. The DRDO was a major partner in the 1998 tests and not what Kakodkar has claimed...that we only provided logistical support. That is very far away from truth,” Mr. Santhanam said.
“He (Kakodkar) is motivated by institutional loyalties,” he said when asked about the former AEC chief’s assertion that the nuclear tests were a success and had yielded more than 45 kilo tons.
“We (DRDO scientists) were there as those responsible for the explosive trigger and measuring chain reaction in the core. We were responsible for full-fledged high-end explosive development and production without which the atom bomb is naked,” Mr. Santhanam, a key scientist involved in the 1998 nuclear tests, said.
Mr. Santhanam said the Centre had entrusted DRDO with the responsibility of “site instrumentation” to measure the yield of the (nuclear) devise tested.
“These instruments were of international class and standards. There can be no two opinions on the quality of the instruments,” he said, on Mr. Kakodkar’s remarks that these had not worked during the nuclear tests.
“Obviously the work done by DRDO is way beyond just logistics support,” Mr. Santhanam added.
On Kakodkar’s assurances to the armed forces on the quality of the arsenal, the former DRDO scientist said assurances were alright, but “at a deeper scientific level, one should not toy with scientific data.”
Accusing Kakodkar of a personal attack on him, Mr. Santhanam said the former’s comments were in very poor taste.
“Go after the player and not the ball, seems the policy -- attack the individual and not his arguments,” he said.
Mr. Santhanam said 11 years ago, in 1998, soon after the yield of the tests were collated, he had raised the issue. “I think much more work needs to be done by the Trombay boys,” he added.
Demanding an examination of the tests data by an independent panel of experts, who could later recommend future course to the government, the former DRDO scientists said most scientific nations would have done it, adding only in religion, no questions or doubts could be raised against preachings.
“In science, you question all the time till truth prevails,” he said