Mission-Shakti – Why is it a Big Deal?

Yesterday, the Prime Minister tweeted that he will be on TV to address the nation. The whole nation was eagerly waiting with all sorts of speculations. Initially, PM’s announcement seemed like an anti-climax to people’s imagination.

WHY SUCH HIGH IMPORTANCE?

The answer is that it is a BIG DEAL as it changes India’s STRATEGIC DEFENSE DETERRENCE DOCTRINE forever.

Shooting down a satellite is a giant leap and unprecedented. By shooting down a satellite in the Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) over 300 km high, India declared a live Anti-Satelite-Test (ASAT) capability! The news is full of awesomeness with reference to India’s defense capabilities. It required extremely non-trivial tech-capabilities – rockets, tracking, guidance, control, and high-level accuracy.

In a modern day war, shooting down of a satellite is like a Nuke test. India is a space superpower now, joins US, Russia, China in space leadership.

Each and every Scientist and Engineer of DRDO deserves a standing ovation!

This is how the Wall Street Journal covered it:

WSJ

As per Brahma Chellaney, a strategic thinker, and a respected  analyst of the international geostrategic trend:

Space wars are not just Hollywood fiction. The US, Russia, and China continue to pursue anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. Space is being turned into a battlefront, making counter-space capabilities critical. In this light, India’s successful “kill” with an ASAT weapon is significant. Without building deterrence by demonstrating an ASAT capability, India risked encouraging an adversary like China to go after Indian space capabilities early in a conflict. To “defend” its satellites, India has to deter China’s use of its direct-ascent missiles and laser weapons.”

This test and its timing are important for India as a space arms treaty are being negotiated in Geneva. This time India won’t be a have-not. India could have done nuclear tests during Nehru time in the 60s before the NPT but avoided it. The result being India is still dealing with the non-proliferation sanctions & tech denial.

POLITICS:

This was a moment when India should be celebrating. But soon the Saboot-Gang started running down India again politicizing the matter with their predicted twists and turns, completely confused, to call it “what’s the big deal” or take credit of the success.

While some opposition leaders questioned the timing, relating it to the election, Rahul Gandhi wished PM Modi “Happy World Theatre Day” trivializing India’s success.

“India will face a backlash from the international community.” – Shashi Tharoor.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra congratulates ‘Nehru-founded’ DRDO for ‘Mission Shakti’ success.

“Hats off to the scientists, not to Mr. Narendra Modi. What is his achievement in this?” asked Tanveer Ahmed of JDS.

“The UPA government had initiated the ASAT program which has reached fruition today I congratulate our space scientists & the visionary leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh” – Ahmed Patel.

Pidi Patrakars like Shekhar Gupta and Sankarshan Thakur called it a desperate move to have footage during the election. The Lutyens cabal declared: “if it is at all a success, credit goes to Nehru.”

REALITY:

The embarrassment was waiting. The entire SM had great fun and soon “Thanks to Nehru Ji” became a national joke.

After Congress claimed that the space superpower preparedness came under former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh’s term, MASSIVE EMBARRASSMENT came when UPA-era Defence Minister AK Antony said: ‘I wasn’t told.’

Distinguished former DRDO Chief Dr. Saraswat makes it clear that the only change that has taken place today is the will of the nation. If we had the will in 2012, by taking some more steps in that direction, we could have demonstrated this in 2014-15.

We made presentations to NSA and NSC during UPA, when such discussions were held, they were heard by all concerned, unfortunately, we didn’t get a positive response (from UPA), so we didn’t go ahead.

Here is a report from 2012: Can show anti-satellite capability if govt gives nod: DRDO chief.

Without mincing his words he said: “India could achieve it because of the political will of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a clear go-ahead from NSA Ajit Doval.”

Listen here:

The present DRDO Chairman GS Reddy to ANI says, “NSA (Ajit Doval) whom we report to on strategic matters gave direction to go ahead with the test and he had the concurrence from PM. The development started a few years back and we went into mission mode in the last 6 months.

Listen here:

US State Dept: “Saw PM Modi’s statement announcing India’s anti-satellite test. As part of our strong strategic partnership with India, we’ll continue to pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation including collaboration on security in space.” 

A tight slap on those expecting a backlash from the international community.

On questions why PM had to do this announcement and not the DRDO scientists?

No. 1, this achievement is of global importance and our PM is also Minister responsible for the Department of space. He did not use the State Broadcaster, did not announce any policy decision or made a political statement, he only announced the achievement and credited the Scientists.

Listen to what MP Modi said while interacting the scientists: “Jo kisi ka bura nahin chahta, uska Sabze zyada balwaan Hona sabse zaroori hai.”

PROFOUND!

Congress-led UPA had the same opportunity when in power. One wonders why securing our nation was not their priority. The difference between calling it ‘Rajiv Gandhi Antariksh Yojna’ and ‘Mission-Shakti’ says it all. One govt sat on its arse and did nothing about it, while the other seized the opportunity and went ahead with it.

The bottom line is, a decisive leadership leads to a stronger nation. 

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