A Curse in Disguise
Better Photography|January 2022
Chinky Shukla paints a searing picture of the adversities faced by the residents of the villages affected by the 1998 nuclear test in Pokhran.
Chinky Shukla
Tucked away in the scorching side of Pokhran is an ugly story of a nation’s atomic might. In the summer of 1998, India blasted its way into the world’s consciousness by testing a nuclear device. It was heard, but in that loud rumble of earth, triggered by a series of nuclear explosions, a generation lost its voice.

The desert dwellers of Khetolai, Loharki and Chacha are still paying the price of India’s nuclear story that unfolded in the sand dunes nearby. It was nothing new for the residents of the three villages. They had witnessed it in 1974, when India tested its nuclear might. However, 1998 was different and the scars it was about to leave, deeper.

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