Remanents of British DNA

 The British-born Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Mr.Shashi Tharoor in a post on X Platform wrote IITians went to Silicon Valley; CETians took us to the moon (sic) reminds us of the presence of sporadic DNA left behind by Britishers in the independent India. Divide and Rule by creating a wedge in the Indian society was the mantra used by the Britisher to directly rule India for close to 90 years.


Mr.Tharoor may have a point based on an old perception not backed by any present-day data, but the post shows his mischief, typical of a parochial politician pitting one against another by creating a wedge in the minds of brilliant young brains in the country. Where is the need to bring IITians here and project them as self-centered individuals not care for the country and are being lured only by dollar dreams? If Mr. Tharoor is so concerned about the absence of IITians at ISRO, he should rather find out the reasons for the non-representation of this talent pool in space research organizations rather than pointing fingers and demonizing them. Please, for God’s sake don’t bring politics into our wonderful dedicated institutions of science and technology.


The other part of the post is more damaging where he further drives the wedge deeper by pointing out that seven of the scientists behind the success of Chandrayan-3 including the Chairman, ISRO are from the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET), Kerala; a reflection of a prejudiced divisive mindset. Well, by making such statements, Mr. Tharoor has at least affirmed his status as a fully grown Congressman after completing his apprenticeship and is in the right company with other luminaries of I.N.D.I.A. 


Politicians should take a leaf out of ISRO Chairman Dr. Somanath’s address where he acknowledged the contributions of more than 500 Indian scientists and other institutions from all over the country including his organization; he did not confine his praise to Kerala alone. He said that the success belongs to all Indians and every person involved is praiseworthy including the vendors for their excellent job of supplying nothing but the best.


In India there is no dearth of brilliant young brains, rather we have a problem of plenty with a large talent pool waiting to take up challenging jobs. Every year a few lakh students compete for 17,000 odd seats in IITs and thousands of them miss the seat by less than five marks difference. It doesn’t make them any less intelligent as they join some of the best engineering colleges in the country, not confined only to Kerala, and later excel in their chosen profession which includes scientific research. 


Being an avid global traveler, I can say with some certainty that things have changed in the last few decades after the opening up of the Indian economy; an overwhelming proportion of IITians are now working and living in India, especially since the last decade. Today, in the USA more than 95% of Indians working in Software and Medicine fields or as Teachers and Lawyers are all from non-IIT backgrounds. Before 1991 economic liberalization when opportunities were less in the private sector and the limited jobs were either in the government sector or in PSUs, a good share of IITians used to migrate. Though they still migrate to the USA and Europe, the number is small now and is mostly for higher studies and research. The reasons for migrating could be low pay while pursuing a Ph.D. in India, the uncertainty of jobs in academic and research institutes and universities, the quality of research, and a proper environment and freedom at the workplace. The government needs to step up its efforts to address these issues and try to create an ecosystem where such a talent pool is retained in the country.

Won't withdraw nomination for Congress presidential poll: Shashi Tharoor

 Today, IITians have contributed significantly to nation-building. Look at Infosys which created wealth billions and generated lakhs of jobs in India and abroad or check the educational background of the founders of Flipkart, Zomato, Ola, and many such startups that are shaping India’s future, today; they are all IITians. So, pitting non-IITians against IITians and demonizing the latter is not in the best interest of the country. Everyone is contributing to the nation’s growth by playing his or her role to the best of their capabilities.


Politicians thrive on controversies and look for opportunities to create one when there is none. This art is unabashedly displayed by the luminaries of I.N.D.I.A conglomeration and some local religious political parties. Every action of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being questioned to create a controversy to derive political mileage before the general elections next year. What is wrong if the Prime Minister of the country meets the ISRO scientists at the very first opportunity after finishing his foreign commitments to congratulate and encourage them or even address them online from South Africa after the successful touchdown of Vikram on the moon’s surface? Such legitimate and encouraging actions of the Prime Minister are being questioned! 


Another unnecessary controversy that is being fabricated is about the naming of the point where Chandrayan-3 lander touched down as Shiv Shakti and the spot where Chandrayan-2 crashed in 2019 as Tiranga. Naming of points on celestial bodies has been a tradition across the world after successful missions by a country. That is why we have a Jawahar Sthal, a spot where the Chandrayan-1 probe crashed in 2008 leading to the discovery of the first traces of water, named after Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and a Sarabhai Crater on the moon.


Since the moon does not come under the jurisdiction of any one country, the United Nations came out with the Outer Space Treaty in 1966 which stated under Article II that outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, using use or occupation, or by any other means. It simply means that countries had to cooperate in their Space exploration activities and could not stake a claim to it. A nation can plant its flag on the moon, but it doesn’t have any legal meaning or consequence. The Treaty is silent on naming sites on the Moon after successful missions by various countries.  


Hence, it is clear that the opposition parties are latching on to the last straw to embarrass the government at the international forum on every action of the Modi government that is promoting India and its cultural heritage before the world community. Some religious zealots of political parties want to give a religious touch to this controversy by jumping into the Modi bashing bandwagon without realizing that planets Jupiter and Saturn are names drawn from the inspiration of Greco-Roman mythology representing their Gods.


Beware of the guile of politicians as politics dies without lies.