Indian Space Prowess
Qatar Tribune
While Indians are making computer chips, Arabs have not gone beyond potato chips
Ahmed Ali

The exploratory mission of the Indian spaceship to the moon lannched on Friday from an island in the Bay of Bengal grabbed my attention.

This unprecedented space mission is a historical one in that it aims to send a probe that will go around the planet earth to study doposit of minerals and other elements deep in the womb of our planet.

This mission reflects the terrific scientific capabilities Indians have acquired to be able to explore the space with their science.

While the Indians have proved their capabilities in manufacturing computer chips and CDs, the Arabs are still unable to produce anything beyond potato chips and Al-Falafel.

Away from the great Arab success in producing Al-Falafel with the Egyptian flavour or with any other flavour, India seeks to enroll itself as a member of the space club through its scientific project. It intends to launch 60 space missions till 2013 aimed at exploring the moon.

What distinguishes the Indian space programme is that, it is the cheapest in terms of expenses at the international level. The Indian budget for the space programme is estimated to be $700 millions compared with the Indian $116 billions.

In appreciation of this Indian achievement, I would like to congratulate all Indians and express my deep respect for them and for their country.

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the Indian community in our country, especially to those simple workers who gather in certain areas of Doha at the weekend.

The great Indian scientific achievements pulled off by the indigenous scientific capability should compel us the Arabs to take a critical look at our own poor track record in science and technology and ask ourselves this question:what have we done for our present and for the future ?is our scientific underdevelopment caused by our political regimes or is it the result of the weaknesses of our education system or the bankruptcy of Arab mentality?

While we have become specialists in fabricates conflicts among ourselves, creating disagreements and igniting seditions and divisions, other nations of the world are busy pulling of one scientific feat afteranother and one civilisational victory after the other.

We have to frank with ourselves and look for the reasons that have put India in the forefront of scientific and technological march and made it a nuclear power while the arab mentality has no identity.

What is the reason for the Indian achievements that have become a trade mark of the scientific superiority and technological sophistication while the Al-Falafel that used to be the pride of the Arabs heavy industries has become an industry that is managed by Asian labourers in all restaurants in the gulf states.

What makes me feel sad is the bad and wrong impression we have entertained about anything that comes from India to our countries. We thought that India has only drivers, kema food, or sauce bottles where as the fact is that a large number of prominent scientists, engineers, managers and thinkers spreading around the world have Indian identity. The idians have taken a big step towards exploring the space with the launch of their moon mission. In recognition of its scientific achievements, we have to change the way we think of India and Indians and start dealing with them accordingly because they belong to a great nation that has carried its flag into the space.

After India succeeded in launching Chandrayaan, we have to treat simple Indian laboures with greater respect because they deservr that.

What makes us feel jealous is that while there is a stiff compititionamong several nations in our neighbourhood to explore the space, the arabs have been specializing in the art of invading one another’s territory;while other nations are vying with one another in reaching out to the stars, Arabs are busy with poems and romance. The only thing we can do wellin our lives is singing for the moon, or crying over our bad situations.

Nov 10, 2008