Living on the edge of Pokhran blast fame - pride but bitterness too(Ten years after Pokhran-II)

May 8th, 2008 - 12:50 pm ICT by admin  

By Devirupa Mitra
Khetolai (Rajasthan), May 8 (IANS) It should have been known as the Khetolai blast, is the oft heard complaint here. Ten years after the desert town of Pokhran became a global landmark with India conducting its nuclear second test, there is pride here but also discontent at being denied the fame due to it as the village closest to the test site. About 25 km from Pokhran town - known the world over as the place where India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974 and then exploded as nuclear power with multiple tests on May 11 and 13, 1998 - Khetolai lives on a dirt road forking to the right from the excellent National Highway 15.

A short distance away, the single storey houses begin on a drive through a featureless landscape dwarfed by four cell phone towers.

Yellow, in all its hues, dominates in the village, over 500 km from Rajasthan capital Jaipur. From the sandy soil to the fa

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