On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the great achievement of our brilliant scientists at ISRO, DRDO for successful test of #ASAT Missile. The test was a big success in every aspect though it required extremely high degree of precision and technical capability.
India is only the 4th country after the US, Russia and China do successfully test this technology. It is a success story we all should be proud of.
Just after the Prime Minister’s announcement of this huge success, the opposition started petty politics over the issue. The Prime Minister, however, was loud and clear in his announcement in praising and giving credit to our scientists.
The opposition party even thanked Jawaharlal Nehru for establishing the Indian space programme and Indira Gandhi for setting up the Indian Space Research Organisation — as if it would have been impossible to do all this by India otherwise.
Some opposition parties convened a special press conference to say that the scientists should have announced the programme and its success goes to their credit. They said, “Only one satellite was destroyed, which wasn’t necessary. It was lying there for long. It’s the prerogative of scientists, when to do it. We will complain to the EC”.
Funny! First, they say that the Prime Minister should give the scientists the credit and then they are saying it was not at all required. Are they trying to belittle one of the greatest achievements of these brilliant minds?
If the Railway Ministry is doing something good, we credit it to the railway minister. Similarly, we all know that the Department of Space comes under Prime Minister Narendra Modi; so, ultimately, he should get the credit too.
However, If the opposition wants it to be a political battle, here are some points that may shed some light on the facts.
1. ISRO never got too much of attention of the UPA government. During UPA era, ISRO’s budget hardly increased. From around Rs 4,000 crore in 2009 to Rs 5,500 crore in 2014.
2. Within the first two months of the Modi government, ISRO was granted a 50% higher budget, which was widely hailed by citizens.
3. The Modi government’s efforts did not stop there. In the next three years, the budget kept increasing

Image source: ISRO website
4. The government has allocated Rs 11,538.26 crore for the financial year 2019-20 to space research, which is almost twice of what it was in 2013.
5. On Mission Shakti alone, former DRDO chief VK Saraswat has revealed, when his team had made a presentation of the project in 2012 to the then national security adviser and National Security Council, the UPA government did not give a positive response. Thus, the team was not able to further the programme.
6. Saraswat said further, when the proposal was repeated by Satheesh Reddy and current NSA Ajit Doval before the Prime Minister, Modi had the courage to take a decision and give the project a go-ahead.
With today’s successful test of the ASAT missile, India is a part of the elite club of space super powers. Of course, the government has stated that it has no intention of entering into an arms race in space. But having the technology and the capability makes our country’s defence strong.
Saraswat’s statement raises many questions for the opposition. They must answer to the countrymen rather than politicise the issue.
1. Why did the UPA government not give its green signal to this crucial project?
2. India’s scientists were confident of a successful test, but the government of the time did not approve the mission. Why?
3. Did the UPA government lack the decision-making capability?
4. Did the UPA government fear the consequence of this mission, which might change India’s relations with other foreign countries?
Under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India became an atomic super power. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, India has become a space super power.
The thing to note is that BJP leaders have the courage to take such ground-breaking decisions, which benefits the country. The opposition should bear in mind that, in such matters, the country must come first.
Credit needs to be given to the scientists and workers and whoever else is associated with this project. But if this is a political battle over a technology of space war, Modi and team must be cheered.

Views are personal