I have watched as many live launches of IRSO satellites over years. Watching Chandrayaan-I, India’s first successful lunar mission, live with my school going son on tv was awesome. As the trajectory is traced, how many millions of Indians would have their hearts in their mouth waiting with bated breath for the satellites/SLV to break through the atmosphere shedding stages and join the predetermined orbit in the space. Most of these launches would have textbook precision. I may not be a scientist but visiting NASA in Florida and seeing Elon Musk’s Space X and touching the moonrock with my very hands are some of the most cherished moments of my life. More memories made at Air and space museums in Virginia. Humbled. How brilliant is the human brain. And how inconsequential is my own existence!
After watching Irrfan Khan investigate the Arushi murder case in the picture ‘Talwar’ establishing the truth, do we even need to be convinced of ISRO scientist Shri Nambi Narayanan’s innocence in the hastily filed spy case. How easily facts can be misconstrued and the media can ignite passions to mislead the public is very well illustrated in the tight and convincing script of Talwar. Its a must watch and it shakes the hell out of you. And it is not just story-screenplay-dialogue but is the very dissection of a criminal case step by step reconstructing the events and going by every single evidence and fact until the truth reveals itself. A clear cut scientific process. Irresponsibility when discharging their duties on part of those who held the office resulted in the innocent facing humiliation and punishment. Well, are those government officials and police personnel even sacked? Tried by the media and the masses, very quickly the doctor couple get judged. What an indescribable unquantifiable damage is done. Something like Arushi’s (bereaved) parents getting accused of murdering their only child and darling daughter should not happen to any Indian citizen. Dr Nambi Narayanan’s case is very similar, only the circumstances are different.
As far as I am concerned, there is this basic fact that clears the renowned scientist from the charges right in the first instance, that he should not even have come under the cloud of suspicion: nobody who foregoes a lucrative career at NASA on graduating from Princeton, to return to work for Indian salary can be capable of espionage against the country. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this very simple logic (pun intended). Are these guys crazy. Kerala is perfectly capable of forging fake cases given the communist and Hindu minority state it is. Most Keralites happen to think they are Arabs when all that they are doing is applying bootpolish to the sheikhs.
As the scientist himself avers in the close of the picture, who is really behind the plot needs to be exposed to the world. Well, we get an idea. Like in Arushi’s case, minor slips and very feeble alibis lead to wrongful incarceration of the innocent when the guilty flee the net. It is pretty clear whose handiwork is the framing of the top ISRO scientist, aimed at setting India back by decades in space sciences. After all how many Indian scientists have died under unnatural and mysterious circumstances from 1947. Homi Bhabha of atomic research conveniently died in plane crash. Vikram Sarabhai of ISRO was found dead. And the list is getting long with every following year.
Yet India became the first country in the world to taste success in maiden attempt in Mars mission over the US or China. ISRO went on to produce and launch cyrogenic engines to fuel our rockets. There are ups and downs in India’s cyrogenic journey but its the nation’s pride that the engine is desi. India went on to succeed in lunar missions and ISRO now is a global player when it comes to commercial leg of space technology earning the nation billions of dollars from international clients launching hundreds of satellites into the space.
Justice delayed is justice denied true. But this story needs to be told. I won’t say Rocketry is a great picture but it serves the purpose of educating the ordinary Indian about how we betrayed a top scientist of India shamelessly and heartlessly. Every single Indian citizen needs to hang his/her head in shame for the horrible treatment meted out to this not only brilliant but also patriotic scientist. What the family must have gone through. Corrupt Indian politicians are stashing billions and billions in Swiss accounts but go scotfree while the brainiest and honest among us have to suffer for no fault of ours. Direction is by Madhavan. I won’t say Rocketry is a well made or entertaining flick, but as I said, it does the job.
Royal salute to the scientific community of India and to Shri Nambi Narayanan in particular. Not everyone can be bought over by the greed for money. Such a strong unflinching character. And the strings he pulls. What a single minded determination. The technical mumbo jumbo is hardly a deterrent as mostly the space lingo is understandable, broken down to layman level. Not only falsely implicated but also tortured in custody for a forced confession, the iron willpower of Nambi is admirable. On the supreme court clearing his name, the scientist is honoured with one of the nation’s top civilian awards which is a small consolation.
Vikas is indigenous and matchless rocket engine made in India! Proud of Vikas that has helped launch hundreds of desi/international satellites into space. Interesting referral to ex president late Abdul Kalam ji who was the missile man of India. In his initial years, Kalam, Vikram Sarabhai and Nambi Narayana seem to have done a great spade work for India in the space sciences. Kudos! What a dream team. ISRO did no wonder get a headstart! From transported on bicycles to functioning in a Kerala church to Mars mission and Brahmos, India has come a long, long way!
I would like to close the post wishing Shri Nambi Narayanan good health and peace. He deserves much, much more. Hearty wishes to his devoted family who stood by him in his hour of need.
ISRO is the dream of a billion Indians. You guys make us very proud. Thank you so much the real heroes of India! We the aam aadmi stand with you shoulder to shoulder.