In a historic moment for Indian space technology, DRDO and ISRO scientists successfully tested ASAT (anti-satellite) missiles on a live satellite in the low earth orbit. Codenamed ‘Mission Shakti’, the achievement was announced in an important address to the nation by PM Narendra Modi, who is also the Minister of Space in the Union Cabinet. He also explained the importance of the same, as India is now the 4th country in the world after USA, Russia and China to achieve this feat, making it thus an effective space superpower.
While the nation rejoiced on this unexpected glory achieved by our innovative scientists, the usual suspects felt aghast with the same. Led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and incumbent CM of Bengal Mamata Banerjee, they not only insulted and mocked PM Modi but also tried to usurp credit for the ASAT programme, thanking Jawaharlal Nehru for ‘his visionary approach’ as usual.
In a stunning revelation, ex DRDO Chief VK Saraswat, who had worked with the previous UPA government and is currently a member of the NITI Aayog, slammed the Congress and the left-liberal intelligentsia for ther absurd statements. He said, “Every experiment in science and technology has two parts. One part is a simulation, which was done and carried out in 2012 and based on that I had said that we have the capability.
On the ASAT programme, VK Saraswat further added, “We made presentations to National Security Adviser & National Security Council, when such discussions were held, they were heard by all concerned, unfortunately, we didn’t get positive response (from UPA), so we didn’t go ahead. When the proposal was put up by Dr Satheesh Reddy & NSA Ajit Doval to PM Modi, he had the courage & based on that he gave a go ahead.“
VK Saraswat also slammed UPA government for their inept attitude towards such projects, saying that this project could’ve been executed by 2014 had they got permission in 2012. He also said, “Perhaps it was the “fear psychosis” in the UPA administration that probably prevented the Manmohan Singh government to give a mission clearance for carrying out the test. The clearance was given to the DRDO by this (Modi) government. Such kind of courage was not present in the previous government.”
This is not the first time ex-bureaucrats and defence staff have slammed the Congress for being inept in their approach. Only a month ago, when Congress tried to mock NDA government for having executed the air strikes, ex IAF Chief of Staff Fali H. Major revealed to Times Now that the IAF had suggested such counter operations to UPA right after 26/11, but it fell on deaf ears.
Moreover, VK Saraswat wasn’t the only one who bashed the left-liberals. Ex ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair also backed him, as he mentioned, “India had the anti-satellite missile capability more than a decade ago but there was no political will at the time to demonstrate it. When China shot down an ageing weather satellite by launching a missile in 2007, India had the technology to undertake a similar mission.”
Current DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy also mentioned that the green light for the project was given two years ago and the scientists went into “mission mode” in the last six months. Congress already jumped to take the credit for the successful completion of the mission saying that the project was initiated during the UPA era. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the mission was ready in 2012 but the scientists could not test it during that time.
However, in a major embarrassment for the party, the then Defence Minister AK Antony revealed that he was not informed of the ‘Mission Shakti’ during that time. On an interview with Republic TV, he said, “I was not told by anybody about it. I was not told it started.” On Kharge’s claims, he further added, “Nobody told me if we were ready for this test under UPA. You can ask the Defence Secretary and check the records. I wasn’t told about this. I don’t want to politicise it, I wasn’t aware of the space warfare programme.”
Besides securing the satellites from possible invasions in the future, the ASAT missiles are also beneficial in terms of cleaning the space debris. As such, it is extremely atrocious when opportunistic people like Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee try to play politics on such a historical achievement. However, given that their predecessors had mocked the Vajpayee government for boldly executing the underground nuclear tests at Pokhran in 1998, this comes as no surprise.