Wednesday July 17, 2019
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Would you feel safe: Ignorance reaches new levels in America

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Here is the story: A man in a flight from New York to California made a 40-second video of a Sikh man sleeping seated next to him and put it on the Youtube with the caption “Would you feel safe? Flying with Osama Bin Laden”.

The Sikh man wasn’t even aware of what is happening around him as he was asleep. The man making the video did not try to hide his identity as well.

https://youtu.be/x-EJOWRMOtU

Ignorance prevailing in the minds of some US citizens touched a whole new level of absurdity. Since the California shooting, a Gurudwara was vandalized, a 12-year-old boy was arrested in Texas for joking that he has a bomb and now this.

America is proud of the fact that they were the first modern democracy with a constitution providing rights in the history of the world.

Where are those rights? Where is that famous inclusive nature of the American society? These incidents are the examples of ignorance, stupidity, fears and racism prevailing in the society that champions itself as the custodians of human rights, equality and free thinking.

This has reached to such a level that it feels nonsensical to even talk about it. It is like you scold a kid for doing something but that kid keeps repeating the same again and again, and one day you get fed up so much so that you give in and start feeling stupid to say the same thing.

The man who made the video received a lot of duly deserved flak on the internet but does it even matter? Does it even teach anyone that it is wrong to assume someone a terrorist because of his colour, beard or looks? No, it does not, because if it would have, it wouldn’t be happening repeatedly.

Stereotyping has, over the time, become such a habit for some of the American citizens that it is not going to go away that easily. It is like their burger and coke.

It is amazing that the whole country like India is branded intolerant because of a shameful and stupid incident that the world media starts writing editorials about it and, on the other hand, America retains its greatness even after the series of ridiculous incidents of hate-crime and mass shooting happening almost daily.

But then they are right, they are America, the great north, and as the “thing go south, it loses its shine”. What do we know? We are hardly 70 years old, we have just six Nobel winners. Only nine Olympic gold medals, even Michael Felps has more.

However, these criteria were created by the western world.

Edward Said, in his book Orientalism, explained that this whole theory of considering which society is greater was built on beliefs and customs of the Western world.

The problem lies deeper as we, as a society, have an inferiority complex and that is why such things keep occuring. Through the cultural imperialism, the west has managed to sustain its hegemony over the developing world.

It is a different debate whether globalization is just Americanization or not but it is for sure that this racist, ignorant absurdity has to stop. The equal treatment should not be just in papers or theories but in practice as well.

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India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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India, Spacecraft, Moon
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)