Indian Mars Mission and its cheerleaders

Lalit Shukla

Photo0466Lalit is working as a research scholar in the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. He can be reached at [email protected]

As an Indian citizen and science student, I feel proud for India’s debut success in Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). With all due respects to the work force behind the mission, I could not restrain myself to think about the ordinary citizens of the country, who work hard and live without basic needs of a human life and cheering for success of this elite (in Indian context) mission. In my opinion, science must carry the motivation to make life better on the planet apart from self-satisfaction of human curiosity. For developing countries like India, it becomes extremely necessary to carry this motivation since most of its population is living in the lack of its basic needs, suffering from the economic and social inequalities although an accountable distribution system is first requirement to fulfil the basic needs of society.

Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi congratulated scientists and Indian citizens in a public lecture after success of the mission in his way ‘mere deshwashiyon, kal se navratri ka prarambh ho raha hai, shubh shuruwat ho rahi hai. Mangal, mangal, mangal hona tay hai.’ with a wish to make India ‘Jagat Guru’. I lost my only hope from this mission for ordinary people to spread scientific temper in the society. Such opportunity can be utilized with help of media to tell masses about capabilities of science, as superstitions, religious fundamentalism, casteism, and women suppression are widely spread illnesses have highly influential defects in progress of our Indian society. I cannot only blame Indian Prime minister who is self-declared follower of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a hindu nationalist organization, as ISRO chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishanan went to Venkateshwara temple in Tirupati with the replica of Mars Orbiter Mission to perform special pooja for its success a day before its launch from Shriharikota. I believe that no one other than scientists is more responsible for maintaining scientific temper in society as they represent a community of rationale.

Mangalyan

Corporate mainstream media presented success of Indian Mars Mission with great nationalist flavour and repeatedly kept on mentioning unsuccessful mars missions from China and Japan. Nationalism is a part of propaganda of present right-wing corporate loving ruling party so corporate media plays a good role in corporate-government nexus. People use to forget their basic problems in nationalist mood, so it is really good time for corporates to complete their deals with government. Labour laws are getting diluted, environmental norms are being changed for the clearance of corporate projects, and army has been employed against its own people to repress local resistance against illegal mining.

Hindu nationalist organizations are working with their full strength to spread their hatred fascist ideology of ethical superiority with religious fundamentalism. As their political wing is in power, they try to twist history books, change school books with full of propaganda, and target minorities.

In such a difficult time, I don’t like to be a cheerleader. I love science for its rationality and capability to make life better. If it goes on other way, we need to correct it.

  • akhil

    well said Lalit… I agree

  • Do you know how much money India can make following this success? The number of paid loads on the future expeditions will skyrocket.

  • Vikas

    @radhasut As Lalit works as a research scholar in PRL (ISRO) and probably he will also be using data from the MOM. He knows very well. But you seems to miss his point ..The cost of the mission was not very high,But he made a very important point … science should never be allowed to mix with religion…. it is as if modi and party some day attach “nimbu mirch ” with the payloads and then will say it is successful because “nimbu and mirch ” were there.