Bangalore: Slamming the action against four
space scientists over the Antrix-Devas deal without giving
them a chance to defend themselves, former ISRO chief Prof U R
Rao today described it as "ridiculous" and indicated it might
impact decision-making process at the space agency.
"It’s ridiculous in a democracy. What kind of democracy
are we running?” he asked.
"If there is something wrong, please go ahead and take
action (against them). You don?t give them a chance to defend
themselves?...under what circumstances they agreed (for the
deal) and so on. What country are we running? On what basis
they have taken action," he said.
He welcomed ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan?s statement on
the intention of the space agency to make public two reports
on the basis of which action was taken against former ISRO
chief G Madhavan Nair and three other scientists but wondered
the need for two panels in the first place.
"Why two committees? Why two reports?," he asked, and
pointed out that in the five-member team, only the names of
Pratyush Sinha and Radhakrishnan are in the public domain, “Who are the other three?” he added.
In addition, did these two committees have "right type
of people?" he asked, noting that the technology in question
is difficult and complex, and "space communication is totally
different from land-line communications".
He indicated that the action of kind taken against the
four scientists without giving them an opportunity would
impact decision-making process at ISRO and the space programme
"I am worried that if you do like this nobody will
take a decision. We don’t have money like China to spend. At
one time, we were ahead of China and today, we are far behind
China," Prof. Rao said.
"I am concerned. Give them an opportunity (to defend
themselves). I don`t know what they have done wrong," he said,
adding. "Let the law take its course. But this is not even
law. Not giving them a chance is not even a law".
Prof Rao said the ISRO row has certainly affected the
morale of the space scientists.
"People are scared. They think why should we do
anything," he said, adding, issues need to resolved quickly
and ISRO scientists in general should be convinced that they
need not worry about this.
"Decision-making is an important thing and (space)
missions have their own time schedules. If don’t do that, you
will have services going off," he warned. "You can’t simply go
Prof Rao admitted that politics has got into the ISRO
row now. "The problem is you bring politics into it. That’s
the problem. It’s such a bad thing to happen".