Faced with the charge that the Pokhran II nuclear test in 1998 was a failure, India's top scientists on Thursday came out strongly to defend the test, saying "rhetoric cannot be a substitute for good science."
They added that "unnecessary doubts had been created by ex-colleagues" referring to former defence scientist Dr K Santhanam, who continues to question whether the hydrogen bomb failed.
Dr Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, refuted Santhanam's claims saying after Pokhran II, India now had the capability to build a deterrent.
It had "given us capability to build deterrent ...India has shown transparency over Pokhran-II results...There should be no doubt over yield of bomb tests," said Dr Kakodkar.
Defending the test, Dr R Chidambaram said that it was a perfect success and the doubts raised over it were unjustified.
"Rhetoric is not a substitute for good science. No other nuclear state has published more test data," said Dr Chidambaram, adding that there was limit to information that could be revealed.
Dr Santhanam had created a storm a few weeks ago when he claimed that the 1998 tests were not a complete success. Now, a day after the National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan called his statements incorrect and horrific, Dr Sathanam stuck to his assertions.