Tujhe salaam!

   By Vijay Darda | 28-08-2023

A big salute to scientists who enhanced the glory and prestige of tricolour the world over!

As the time for the landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon was approaching, the heartbeat of every Indian was increasing. Meanwhile, when the news broke that Russia’s famed spacecraft Luna-25 had crashed, the beats got even faster. But my inner mind was saying that we would definitely succeed this time! The reason for this confidence was that I have had the opportunity to visit ISRO and other space institutions several times as a member of the parliamentary committee. I have seen our scientists’ dedication and loyalty. I have seen their passion for accomplishing something despite all the limitations.

On the day of Luna-25’s crash, one of my friends asked me what was the need for Chandrayaan-3 to go to the South Pole. If you want to land on the Moon, you can do it anywhere! The feat will definitely be recorded, won’t it? I asked my friend who was the first person to land on the Moon. He immediately replied, “Neil Armstrong”. My next question was, who was the second one? He started racking his brain. He couldn’t even recall Buzz Aldrin’s name! I told my friend that 12 American astronauts have walked on the surface of the Moon so far. Harrison Schmitt was the last person to walk the lunar surface. Others who have walked on the Moon include Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke and Eugene Cernan, but only Neil Armstrong is remembered! The world remembers the first person. If India had landed its spacecraft on the easy part of the Moon, we would have ranked fourth behind America, Russia and China! Who can recall the fourth? India has become number one by landing Chandrayaan-3 in a tough and unknown place that is pitch-dark most of the time. This feat has been recorded in history.

This is a great accomplishment. Great since no foreign agency has contributed to it. It is completely indigenous! It has been so economical that the entire world has been taken aback by its budget. In this race to the Moon’s South Pole, Russia spent `1,600 crore on Luna-25, whereas our scientists spent not even half of that! ISRO spent less than the budget of several Hollywood films to land Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon’s South Pole! Let me tell you that the Moon’s South Pole is around 2,500 kms broad and has an eight-kilometre-deep crater on its side. It is thought to be the Solar System’s oldest impact crater. This crater was most likely formed by an impact with a big meteorite. Deep pits and uneven ground can also be seen in the most recent images sent by Chandrayaan-3. The temperature drops below zero to 200 degrees in the shadows of deep pits and large mountains. Layers of ice are believed to be frozen there. The possibility of water in this area is being explored. Chandrayaan-1 indicated in the year 2008 that there could be water on the Moon. Undoubtedly, other elements will also be discovered. It is still hidden in the womb of the future what will be discovered there and how it will be used on Earth, or whether humanity will be able to settle on the Moon.

Only time will tell whether we obtain anything from this lunar mission, how much we get or if we get nothing at all. Have faith, we will definitely get something! Would our communication system be as advanced if man had not explored space? Would we be able to access the Internet even in remote locations? Let us now discuss the most recent thing we have got. As the Chandrayaan-3 landed on the South Pole, we raised our heads high. It’s a moment of pride and glory. The world’s confidence in India, which has been growing, has strengthened even more. All the scientific institutions of the world have recognised the talent of our scientists. Now, the day is not far when an Indian will travel into space in his country-made spaceship. After the soft landing of Chandrayaan-3, the world believes that someday an Indian will definitely walk on the Moon. Trust in one area boosts reputation in other areas as well. A big salute to our scientists who have enhanced the glory and pride of the tricolour all over the world! I salute the women scientists who have been a new source of inspiration to women across the country. Today, even though the number of women in our Parliament is few, the number of women in ISRO is considerable and their tales of glory are unparalleled.

There is no doubt that our leadership has stood firmly by the scientists to turn imagination into reality. From the first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi, all our leaders have been visionaries, but the one who begins is the true dreamer and visionary. Above and beyond politics, we must admit that Nehru dreamt big. Our leadership has always valued scientists. Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao and APJ Abdul Kalam receiving Bharat Ratna bears testimony to that.

I would like to mention two more things after the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon, which is an inspiration for everything right from lullabies to romance. First and foremost, our space budget should be increased. At the moment, space accounts for barely 0.34 per cent of India’s total budget. Second, science laboratories in schools and colleges should be modernised, equipped and empowered to upgrade them to the research level. A separate budget should be set aside for this purpose. Who knows which great scientist of the future is growing up in which Indian village!

For now, let us sing this song from Shailendra:

Yeh chanda Rus ka,

Na yeh Japan ka,

Na yeh American pyare,

Yeh to hai Hindustan ka!

View Image

Relevant Articles

Our scientists have tremendous talent(Opens in a new browser tab)

It’s time to motivate our scQuakes: How prepared are we?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Citizens of 83 countries are still slaves!(Opens in a new browser tab)

Brainstorming conclave on ‘Is Indian media completely polarised?’(Opens in a new browser tab)