The huge success of the MARS mission should make all the citizens of India get up and give a standing ovation to the brilliantly dedicated scientists of ISRO who have accomplished this phenomenal feat under trying conditions at a remarkably low cost.
This feat needs to be applauded for many reasons:
- A scientific marvel by a developing nation, which has rocketed (Pun intended) to the big league overnight.
- Accomplished at a cost; less than many Hollywood movies, as was mentioned by the Honourable Prime Minister.
- First Asian country to reach the planet of MARS
- Achieved at the First Attempt, for the first time in the world
However, to me the greatest achievement in addition to the above is that, this proud moment has brought the patriotic fervour back, which over the last few years has been fading away. I salute our great scientists from the bottom of my heart for making this happen.
Over the last few decades I have been lamenting over the fact that we have been losing the pride and zest of being an Indian and the patriotic fervour seems to be waning because of a multitude of reasons.
I still remember my younger days, when my mother would bring out the national flag in the early hours of the 15th of August to hoist it. The entire family, in a solemn manner, will remove their foot wear stand in attention and salute the flag and then distribute sweets as if it was an important family function. Then of course all us would walk to school and celebrate Independence Day again. At dusk, the flag would be brought down with dignity; packed and kept safely for the next year.
I also remember the distress and anguish in us when China invaded us in the early sixties. The entire population of our small temple town of Udupi, in Karnataka, marched the streets in support of our jawans, and it was a truly touching sight to see the women marchers, including my mother, who donated the jewellery they were wearing at the spur of the moment, in support of the armed forces.
I have witnessed with great sadness this fervour being lost in modern times and now people look forward to Independence Day as another holiday and wait for it to come on a Friday or Monday so that one can have a long weekend off for a long vacation.
I do hope that this brilliant achievement of our Scientists will help us get back the fervour of patriotism with great gusto that it deserves.
Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, MD, FRCP(London) Chairman – Med Adv Board & Medical Director – MHEPL, Manipal Hospitals, 98, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore-560017
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