India's quest for nuclear legitimacy
India first tested a nuclear device in 1974. It waited until May 1998, when it conducted a series of underground nuclear tests and declared itself a nuclear weapons state. The global response to both was widespread and hostile. Since then, successive Indian governments have worked hard to obtain a measure of nuclear legitimacy for the country's possession of nuclear weapons. Against heavy odds and opposition from many states, India is on the threshold of attaining a substantial measure of de facto legitimacy, even if a formal recognition of its status as a nuclear weapons state is unlikely to come about in the foreseeable future. This article examines the manner in which the search for nuclear legitimacy has been brought forward by India.
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