destination india

Thursday, March 03, 2005

let us settle on the moon

Ever since our cradle days, we have heard the Moon being referred to as Chanda-mama. When we talk about the Moon, we never forget to make a mention of the spots on its surface. We compare this with what we notice in our day-to-day lives and conclude by saying that ‘whatever good there may be, there is bound to be some dark spots also!’ There cannot be good without a pinch of bad. Even pure gold cannot be transformed into attractive ornaments unless a tiny portion of impurity is injected!

Therefore, our very own Moon mission conjures up visions of prosperity.
As it is, we have converted our roads into potholes and ditches that resemble the uneven surface of the moon. Some lovingly call these as moon-craters! The drivers of our public transports perform wonders every minute by criss-crossing through this maze and returning unhurt, unscathed. They deserve praise for ensuring that journeys on these lunar like surfaces are undertaken day-in and day-out with the barest minimum of accidents.

Therefore, it was with certain reservations that I read the news item regarding sanction of Rs 106 crores in the Budget for mission ‘Chandrayaan-1’. The total cost of the Indian moon mission is targeted at Rs 386 crores and the flight is slated for lift-off by 2007-2008. A country where the concept of highways and super-highways is still to be understood, our Moon mission reeks of ill conceived notions. Our leaders in New Delhi had, once upon a time, talked of forming a golden quadrangle to connect the four most important cities. Then there was a proposal to join the rivers so that distribution of river waters could be managed more effectively. Experience shows that these are projects that failed to take off, reminding us of that wonderful TV comedy - ‘Yes, Prime Minister.’

Let us admit the truth – we are gradually running out of ideas to keep the electorate amused. Of course, in this particular case, money could start to pour in if bookings of flights were to be done now – some bright persons could come out with the idea that each ticket would cost one crore rupees. Group bookings would get a concession – less 10%. To make it still more attractive, a note could be added that those who desire to jump on to the moon wagon today will not be asked about their source of finance!

It is possible that such an action may unearth a large reserve of black money!

If we are really able to pull this off, our MLAs could be sent there for safe custody till such time a hung assemblies is re-hung!


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