Opposition hails Pt Jawaharlal Nehru's role in space sector during Chandrayaan debate : The Tribune India

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Opposition hails Pt Jawaharlal Nehru's role in space sector during Chandrayaan debate

Opposition hails Pt Jawaharlal Nehru's role in space sector during Chandrayaan debate

Making a point: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor speaks in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. ANI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, September 21

Politics marked Parliament’s salutations to ISRO for the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 with the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru emerging as a continuous thread through the two-day discussions that ended on Thursday.

While Opposition’s lead speakers — Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor in the Lok Sabha and party’s chief whip Jairam Ramesh in the Rajya Sabha — credited the success of the national space sector to Nehru, BJP — led by Karnataka MP Tejasvi Surya — questioned the Opposition’s “Nehru bhajan.”

The problem with the Congress is their cosmos starts with Nehru and ends with Rahul Gandhi, Surya said after Tharoor asked in the House today: “Who can deny that India owes its rise in the science and space sector to the dedication of Pt Nehru?”

BJP’s South Bangalore MP, speaking after Tharoor, lashed back with some historical references.

“I wanted to keep my speech apolitical but speakers from the Opposition have indulged in Nehru bhajan since morning. An impression is sought to be created that all scientific achievements are credited to Pt Nehru when the reality is that most institutions that are the nation’s pride today were started by people in pre-independence India when Pt Nehru had no role to play,” Surya said.

He specifically mentioned Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar from Tamil Nadu who, along with the legendary Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, set up the CSIR in early 1940s.

“Today, most patents in India are filed because of the CSIR and Pt Nehru had nothing to do with its establishment. After Independence, Pt Nehru put then industries minister Syama Prasad Mookerjee in charge of CSIR functioning and it was Mookerjee, the founding father of the Jana Sangh, who strengthened India’s earliest scientific organisations at the grassroots.”

Opposition MPs — cutting across party lines — including the Left and DMK -- however hailed Nehru for inculcating scientific temper and for supporting Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai who went on to father India's nuclear and space programme respectively.

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