ISRO chief takes Mars mission replica to Tirupati, rationalists fume
Mangalore: The Federation of Rationalist Associations has strongly criticised ISRO Chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan for offering special prayers and performing pooja with the replica of Mars Orbiter Mission at the Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirupati, a day before the successful launch of the spacecraft from Sriharikota.
In a statement the federation president and noted rationalist Narendra Nayak said, "We strongly condemn the attitude of the Chairman of ISRO K Radhaksrishnan who has insulted the Constitution of India by placing the replica of the satellite meant for the Mars mission at the feet of a deity at Tirupati.
He is unfit to occupy the position of the head of the space mission and should be immediately sacked.
" He has also stated that the act was against India's secular Constitution. "He has perhaps forgotten that ours is secular republic and that worship of a deity belonging to one particular religion particularly in matters of state is negating this very basic tenet of our Constitution. He has also forgotten Article 51AH which states that it is the duty of every citizen to develop scientific temper and the spirit of enquiry and humanism. I don't know which principle of science is applicable to the act of placing a replica of the satellite at the feet of a statue at a temple. Again, if we quote his own words - We have to understand a lot from the solar system etc. If this is the case we have to also go a long way to understand how a person like him in a responsible position in a government organisation is foolish enough to believe that prayers to particular god can ensure the proper launch of a satellite! I don't know who is responsible for the failures in such a scenario! We demand that he be immediately sacked for having done this affront to the Constitution of country. If he were to go a temple for his personal work we would have no reason to object at all. But, carrying his personal superstition into matters of the state is a crime against our Constitution."
ISRO chief Radhakrishnan seeks divine blessings for Mars mission Radhaksrishnan and his wife had visited the famous Venkateshwara Temple on Monday. He had placed the replica of the Mars Mission before the god. After the special pooja Radhakrishnan had said that they did not want to leave anything to chance. India's journey to Mars begun with the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission on Tuesday afternoon. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) joined an elite club of just four agencies in the world which dared to travel to Mars. The Rs 450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was successfully launched from Dr Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, a small coastal village in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday at 2:38 pm.
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