I am suffering a conflict of emotions regarding India?s recent announcement about its proposed space adventure that it will send an unmanned satellite to the Moon by 2008, a US$100-million project. The mission, called Chandrayan-1, will put a satellite in polar orbit 100 kilometres above the Moon’s surface. Chandrayan-1 will map the chemical composition of the entire lunar surface, and produce a three-dimensional atlas of regions of interest. According to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) the mission is a forerunner for other planetary missions, including landing robots on the Moon and visits by Indian spacecraft to other planets in the Solar System.(Source: Nature 424, 985 (28 August 2003) I am really happy and proud about our scientific advancement.
However, the conflict with my own emotions stem from fact that the quality of life of an average Indian do not match that of any scientifically advanced country. I think I am right when I say that citizens from a number of western developed countries enjoy a higher degree of quality of life compared to average Indians. But these countries are by no means anywhere near in matching the intellectual and scientific standard of India. To be concise all I am saying is that at this point of time in history the standard of living of average Indians in India should match proportionately to its intellectual advancement. A higher sense of responsibility and urgency to rectify the state of affairs by its citizens should help tilt the balance towards to right side. In a country like India where the resources fill the coffers of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, it would be rather harder to achieve than to reach the moon.
Author: Vijay Dsouza- UK