New Delhi: In a desperate bid to deny Prime Minister Narendra Modi credit for the scientific achievement of India in Mission Shakti, rabble-rousing leftist elements like lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan are ready to defy history. Right after the Prime Minister's video address to the nation, the ilk went all out to suggest that India had the capability of hitting a satellite with a missile way back in 2012 under the UPA rule.

First, the assertion must be taken with a pinch of salt. UPA-era DRDO chief VK Saraswat never said this was a recently acquired skill of Indian scientists. He had said while the capability was believed to exist, a permission was sought from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to test it. Saraswat alleges that the Congress government denied the permission.

What followed was funnier. Some detractors of Modi went much beyond 2012 to Jawaharlal Nehru's epoch and credited the country's first Prime Minister for all scientific developments in the country including the establishment of the reputed ISRO, the DRDO and HAL.

Bhushan tweeted, "ISRO, DRDO&HAL set up by Nehru in the 50s to make India self-reliant in Space, Aircraft&Defence technology. The anti-satellite missile was developed&ready in 2012. Modi snatched Rafale deal from HAL for Ambani. Gave up TOT&self reliance. Now claims electoral credit for DRDO test!"

The problem with the assertion is that it is patently false. While Nehru ruled between 1947 when India gained independence to 1964 when he died, the following are the timelines of establishment of the institutions Bhushan named.

ISRO was established on August 15, 1969, five years after Nehru had died.

Also read: Congress sees signature of Nehru (d 1964) on ASAT that hit satellite in 2019

In 1958, Nehru did not actually create the DRDO out of thin air. He ordered the merger of the Technical Development Establishment, the Directorate of Technical Development and Production and the Defence Science Organisation to form the DRDO.

HAL was established on December 23, 1940, by an entrepreneur called Walchand Hirachand who had named it Hindustan Aircraft Limited. India was under the British rule

Nehru ruled in the period 1947-64. It is widely believed his health had deteriorated following the humiliation by China in 1962 due to his flawed handling of the bilateral relation and the war ― and nationwide criticism thereof ― which finally claimed his life.