Chandrayaan–2's debacle and media
Chandrayaan-2 launched successfully on July 22 was to land on the moon in the early morning hours of September 7.
Chandrayaan-2 launched successfully on July 22 was to land on the moon in the early morning hours of September 7. Since the launch and other stages went off as planned, the whole nation waited to see Vikram to land smoothly on the unexplored South Pole of the moon.
But then when it was 2 kms away from the surface ISRO lost contact with the lander and it is believed to have crashlanded . Though subsequently the lander is sighted ISRO is yet to establish contact with the lander.
If it was a successful mission it would have gone in the annals of Indian space history as one more feather in their cap. But losing contact with the lander at the last minute and the way different people have reacted to the incident showed different facets of human nature.
The first and foremost was the reaction of Sivan, the director ISRO. His emotional breakdown has shown his involvement with the mission ,his passion and dedication.
It is reassuring to the nation that space program is safe in his hands. His own rise to the top post from very normal beginnings is also reassuring that systems are working well in this country and with merit one can reach the top wherever one has started.
The second was the reassuring gesture from the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at a crucial juncture.
The way he stood by the scientific community at this crucial hour consoled the top man is exemplary and sent the right signals. That one gesture is good enough for the ISRO team to work even harder and accomplish the tasks set.
First cousin rivalry is not new to Indian subcontinent and is as old as Mahabharata. Kauravas always envied the Pandavas and wherever possible tried to put spokes in their path.
This element was in full display on that day from Pakistani minister for science and technology Fawad Choudary and Asif Gafoor DG ISPR. But it was the turn of the Pakistani nationals to have reminded them how inappropriate and mean their comments were.
During Mahabharata time it was Bhishma and Vidura who were doing this job. Glad to note there were many Bhishmas and Viduras in Pakistan willing to correct inappropriate response from their leaders.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President of Sri Lanka acknowledged it as an incredible proud moment for all of South Asia and displayed goodwill which some of other neighbours could not .
The video which caught prominent journalist of an important news channel shouting at the spokesperson of ISRO who came to brief the journalists as to why the director of ISRO Sivan did not come to brief the press went viral.
The nation was aghast at the rude behaviour of this senior journalist at a time when everyone was feeling sad and accordingly responded to his behaviour on the social media.
What was more surprising was the way who and who of Indian media houses coming in support of this journalist and stating that now that he has apologised matter should end there .
They were accusing those who were criticizing him as lynch mob . Their behaviour was more in the fashion of a trade union. All of them wanted his apology to be taken into consideration and put an end to the controversy .
If it was an act of momentary indiscretion definitely with an apology the matter can be put to rest . But what was on display on that day was mannerless behaviour of an arrogant, insolent man. Whoever saw the video could make this out.
This looks to be more a trait picked up over a period of time and symptomatic of an attitude that he can do and say anything and get away with it.
To his bad luck this time it was in public glare . That is why nation in one voice condemned his action and demanded action against him .
Unfortunate who and who of the media thought that they should come to his rescue. So much for the fair press operating in our country.
(Writer is former Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh)