With the advent of dawn of 24th September 2014,
Mars orbiter mission A.k.a Mangalyaan reached mars. The indigenous built satellite made India an unique nation of succeeding in its very first attempt. And also with its meager budget of 74 million dollars its the cheapest space mission in the world. Immense pride for Indians.
Enough of the facts. So what importance does it hold for Indians?
” What a waste of resources which could have been used to ease poverty. India is so poor ” - says one of the comments on a British daily. Another comments ” Indians don’t have toilets, yet they are ambitious enough to send a mission to mars. Time to stop the 300 million pound aid to INDIA”. Of-course many rural place in India don’t have toilets. Poverty is a big problem. But is that a reason for India to stop its advancement in science. For most of the last 5000 years Indians were on the forefront of scientific inventions (the concept of zero, Plastic Surgery, number system, Iron forging etc etc) and then came the British and Indian was driven into famines and looted mercilessly. Reviving the scientific temper is the need of the hour which can drive India out of poverty into self reliance. The mission not only shows the world that Indians have a world class education system where scientists can put a satellite at 1/6th the cost of NASA, It also paves way for a lucrative income where other countries can use our rockets to send their satellites into orbit at a cheaper price. It also opens up an opportunity for job creation to the young mass of engineers which India produces every year. The satellite itself has sensors which will detect the levels of methane, which in a way will help us here on earth know how life ended on mars and prepare our self if earth heading the mars way.
The 300 million pound aid to INDIA by the British is peanuts in comparison to trillion dollar budget we have on the strength of domestic tax collection and to think that stopping an aid which India doesn’t even want will deter us from exploration, the British must be high. The money used on Mangalyaan was not from aid from our erstwhile colonial masters. Heck its not even wasted. We call it an investment for our future generations.
Space is not a privilege of the rich developed nations. It provides equal opportunity to developing nations. And to think that only having toilets will make you intellectual/scientific and that without them we don’t have the right to put a satellite in space, well toilets have made Britishers crazy, stupid and JEALOUS. Its not a rat race India is after to show their potential or to stamp authority in the South Asia, Its just that India is capable of doing so and that’s what people of developed countries are unable to digest.
Hope Mangalyaan will open new frontiers in space exploration and turn into a profitable investment. Thank you ISRO.