Features Friday, September 26, 2014 - 05:30
By Vignesh Vellore (Blog) September 24th is the day we the people of India can forget politics, religion, caste, celebrities, sports or whatever may be breaking news. Today, nothing else matters. It does not matter that our PM is visiting the US, or if love jihad has been committed somewhere, it doesn't even matter if the iPhone 6 was going to be launched, well nothing matters as much as celebrating the phenomenal efforts of the ISRO scientists who were able to successfully launch our mission to Mars, Mangalyaan. An average ISRO engineer earns around Rs 50,000/- to 60,000/-pm. (ISRO document). Its easy for everyone to read this and say “No wonder we ran the most cheapest mission to Mars”, but what we should not forget is that a large number of scientists in NASA are Indian. These ISRO scientists could have very well taken up jobs in NASA and probably earned top salaries, however they sacrificed what could have been a monetarily lucrative career to be where they are. It’s a sacrifice not many of us would make, given the so called lure of working in the U.S. Some people may argue that why spend the money on a space mission when you don’t even have the money to fill up potholes. Governance in a country like ours has nothing to do with the money. Just because you have enough money doesn't mean you can execute a good job. Many times our wonderful leaders have made numerous foreign “study trips” to Australia, Europe and even South America spending crores of tax payers money. So what did they say on returning : ‘roads are nice’ , everything works ‘systematically’, there is no ‘caste system’, garbage is being dumped properly, we saw the packaging of dry fruits and the making of ‘cherry juice’, we also went on a helicopter ride. In 2013 a set of MLA’s even went to South America to study the waterfalls in the Amazon forest. After many such trips costing crores what have the achievements been - has our garbage disposal system been revamped? Has the caste system been abolished or for that matter are our roads better? I'm sure the ISRO scientists also took such tours, but with purpose and it is that purpose which showed results today. In another couple of hours we will forget this news, as scams will break, politicians and parties will start fighting, religion, caste and abuse will eclipse our news, and celebrities body parts will become the debate of the day. But at least until the day is over, lets keep the ISRO scientists in the news, as no party or politician influenced them, no caste or religion helped them and yet they have been able to achieve something truly remarkable. Today it doesn't matter what you are angry or frustrated about. All that matters is, understanding and acknowledging the fantastic feat the ISRO scientists have achieved. They too, like us face the same issues day in and day out and yet they have achieved greatness beyond our imagination. Today it is only their success that matters. They may not make it to the prime time of news shows, we may not remember their names or faces but lets salute the sacrifice and dedication that has made this mission successful. Today is the day we can tell the world “We have arrived” and what an arrival it has been... Today is probably the one day in 2014 that we all can be proud of, no matter what our political affiliations are , what we do and how we live. As Indians, I think we should celebrate.
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