Chandrayaan takes India over the Moon and into the Future


The greatest significance of the successful Chandrayaan mission to the Moon is that it has taken India towards the future, in sharp contrast to the politics that exists in the country, and which is seeking to keep the focus on the past. Of course, past is important but for the younger generation, the present and the future is paramount. Therefore, the narrative has to change, and in order to take the Nation to the next level, many more tasks have to be accomplished. The ISRO scientists need to be complimented, and even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves all the praise, for facilitating research and advancement in the field of science and technology. Indian scientists, have over the years, made a mark internationally, and the Chandrayaan feat has established that they were certainly amongst the best in the world. On a lighter vein, the joke doing the rounds was that “some countries have moon in their flags, but there are countries which have their flag on the moon’’. It needs to be clearly understood that the success of the Chandrayaan mission is because of collective and hard work put by our scientists over a period of time. Each failure on the way, taught us to be more careful and rectify all the mistakes that may have been inadvertently made. It is matter of pride that India has become only the fourth country in the world to have its Lander make a proper and well calibrated landing on the Moon, the first on the South Pole by anyone. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of politics that has come into play. Science is far above politics, and the achievements of our scientists, many of whom toiled day and night, and made immense sacrifices to ensure the success of the mission, have to fully appreciated. Political parties come and go but science has a its own way of evolving and achieving bigger objectives. In the 1970s, India had successfully tested a nuclear device and the feat was improved and repeated in the 1990s. The world had stood up and wondered how an under developed and poor nation had managed to join the elite Nuclear club. This was possible only because the foundation laid by many top scientists from Homi Jahangir Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai to the present lot, believed in themselves and the capacity of their colleagues to achieve the most difficult scientific feats. Chandrayaan’s success has also been an emotional moment for all Indians. The entire Nation watched with bated breath and anticipation, when the Chandrayaan’s landing vehicle touched the surface of the moon. The excitement of the success was amplified because TV channels, showed the run up to the landing live, capturing the final moments, where scientists hugged each other at Mission Control, many broke down, and appeared triumphant in achieving what had looked to be impossible at one point of time. The occasion reminded the country of 1984 when two Indian Astronauts, Rakesh Sharma and Ravish Malhotra, had made history by their space forays. The two young pilots, who had excelled during their stints with the Indian Airforce and were trained in the then Soviet Union, had done what not many had done. Although Doordarshan was the only TV channel at that time, but the clip of Indira Gandhi asking Rakesh Sharma, how the world looked from the top, went viral. His reply, “Sare Jahan se Acha, Hindustan Hamara’’ brought tears of joy in every Indians eyes. Similar sentiments were experienced even now. Chandrayaan was not only a spectacular scientific achievement but something which made the chest of every Indian swell with pride. The NASA, which has more space related accomplishments than any other organization, has also acknowledged the success of the Mission. Indian scientists have done what many could not do and have been trend setters. If CV Raman, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions, Jagdish Chandra Bose was the first to use a semiconductor junction to detect Radio waves and his discovery became the basis of Marconi’s research that led to the invention of the Radio. Bhabha, Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan, Abdul Kalam and the whole lot of eminent scientists associated with ISRO and other bodies, have been path breakers. The Chandrayaan success story can only go further from here but for that to happen, the Nation must acknowledge the importance of planning for the future, so that our younger generations can live a more comfortable and fulfilling life. Politicians have the habit of scoring brownie points over each other, but it is the people who matter the most. It is for the common man to understand the significance of science and its structured method of moving ahead. This is the only way one can compete with the best in the world. Yes, politics, is an essential part of life and particularly in a democracy, the will of the people prevails. Politics can throw up good leaders but it is science which can change the way we can improve on our everyday life. Technology is changing at a very rapid pace and our scientists, are accomplishing what were very stiff targets. In other words, faith in science is as important if not more important than any other kind of beliefs. It is a scientific temperament that needs to be inculcated in every Indian so that the way ahead is easier and clear.