MUSINGS OF A STARRY-EYED ROTARACTOR
- Rtr. Anirudha A.S. Borkar,
President, R C Ponda-Goa
India’s proudest moment of 2008 came as the Chandrayaan-I successfully planted on the moon the Indian Tricolour, painted on the sides of ‘Aditya’, Chandrayaan’s ‘Moon Impact Probe’, and thus catapulted India amidst the moon-raking elite: A scientific and technological achievement, which was the culmination of a long, hard and journey through the 1970s and 80s, undaunted by technological isolation by the developed world. More than that, it is indicia of India’s emergence as a ‘soft power’, with technological, scientific, educational and moral capabilities beyond solely military strength.
The success of Chandrayaan-I has captured the imagination of thousands of youngsters across the country. “I am proud to be an Indian” is the almost unequivocal sentiment that pervades the air. There is immense potential in this sentiment to inspire a generation of Indians to aspire for scientific achievement, and inculcate in them an indomitable collective spirit to positively tackle the plethora of problems and challenges that plague them and their nation. Milestones like Chandrayaan are the rainbow in the daily lives of the average Indian.
As renowned computer scientist, Prof. Randy Pausch said in context of USA’s successful manned mission to the moon, "When you are putting people on the moon, you're inspiring all of us to achieve maximum human potential, which is how great problems will be eventually be solved. Give yourselves permission to dream." Neil Armstrong’s ‘small step for a man’ bestowed Americans with a sense of invincibility: there was nothing they were unwilling to try and achieve. “If we can put man on the moon,” they said, “there’s nothing we can’t do”. The real success of Chandrayaan will lie in instilling in our youth such confidence and inspiring them to dream and strive to accomplish in their lives tasks hitherto insurmountable....