Saturday, November 15, 2008


Yes, we can!

After the American elections a lot has been said, discussed and written with respect to India. A lot of people have lamented the state of affairs in India and wishfully wondered when will we have our own Obama - the one who will provide us hope and a message for change.

My reply to all such people is to read today’s newspapers: “INDIA TOUCHES THE MOON”. The 35-kg Moon Impact Probe touched the lunar surface at 8.31 pm on 14 November 2008. A true gift to the children of the world with Children’s Day being celebrated in India.
For the uninitiated, this is truly an inspirational and momentous moment for mankind. India did it right the first time – not a mean feat even by the best standards. This is from a nation categorized as ‘developing’ with the highest number of malnourished children in the world; a nation that was deprived of technology as some countries felt the world was being threatened due to our atomic testing. This is from a nation of immeasurable diversity – diversity that, some feel, poses a threat to the nation’s growth, and these people would rather every Indian follow a single religion and way of life. With all its encumbrances, the nation has been able to send Chandrayaan-1 through an astronomical distance of over 3 lac km. A number of people have been involved through its various stages – scientists, engineers, technicians, teachers, motivators, programmers, operators, invisible people plus one ex-President – people who lost sleep due to nervousness, people who lent support to the sleepless to forge on! Together, they could!

We are a nation so steeped in history... A lot of the young I have interacted with say they feel proud of the achievements in history. On the other hand, they are cynical about the present and are unwilling to lend a hand to creating their own history. A lot of them simple state they are proud without knowing exactly what gives them this lofty feeling – perhaps, the ‘proud’ feeling is handed down as cultural heritage. Well to all of them out there, let this be a day when the world says if anything is possible in the world, it is here in India! This is an event that makes every Indian proud.

Chandrayaan is not just about a probe landing on the moon - it is about hope, ability to surmount challenges and change for the better. We have our own Obamas here within us and for once, we don’t need to stand on the sidelines cheering for somebody else but our own.

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