Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unusual address after keeping the entire nation on its edge to announce a successful conduct of an anti-satellite missile test was not only violation of the model code of conduct, but also betrayed his fears about a possible electoral benefit accruing to the Congress for its minimum income guarantee scheme. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s tasteless comments against the Opposition further confirms the party’s nervousness. By no stretch of imagination, the national security imperatives demanded either conducting such a test or a statement from the country’s PM at this juncture. It is clear that this has been done with to shift the narrative back to an emotive issue like national security.
Some reports say the country’s capability to intercept and destroy adversarial satellites in space had been tested successfully in 2011 itself without making much noise by the Manmohan Singh led UPA-II. On the flip side, Modi’s well deserved compliments to the Defence Research and Development Organisation scientists should also be seen as his tacit acknowledgement of successive goverment’s invaluable contribution towards development of space research.
S K Choudhury Bengaluru
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