Fact Check: Prashant Bhushan Says Nehru Established ISRO & DRDO, Is He Right?
On Wednesday, March 27, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an important announcement. While Twitter was flooded with people’s anticipatory calls to march to the ATMs, in an anti-climatic plot twist, PM announced the success of India’s indigenously built A-SAT (anti-satellite) weapon.
With the elections closing in, this exemplary feat seemed to be achieved by the Prime Minister and the present government themselves alone. Many people took to Twitter to laud the current BJP government for a success achieved by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Others started pointing fingers at the previous government and their lack of enthusiasm in the project. Former DRDO director-general VK Saraswat in an interview claimed that he had proposed a similar experiment to the UPA government too, but they were not “interested”.
While this blame game and claim to power continued, Public litigation lawyer Prashant Bhusan tweeted that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru set up DRDO. He said “ISRO, DRDO & HAL set up by Nehru in the 50s to make India self-reliant in Space, Aircraft & Defence technology. The anti-satellite missile was developed & ready in 2012. Modi snatched Rafale deal from HAL for Ambani. Gave up TOT & self-reliance. Now claims electoral credit for DRDO test!”
ISRO, DRDO&HAL set up by Nehru in the 50s to make India self reliant in Space, Aircraft&Defence technology. The anti satellite missile was developed&ready in 2012. Modi snatched Rafale deal from HAL for Ambani. Gave up TOT&self reliance. Now claims electoral credit for DRDO test!
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) March 28, 2019
To this, many people tweeted that Nehru, in fact, had no contribution to the building of the two. They said that HAL was founded in 1940 and ISRO founded in 1975 and claimed that when HAL was founded, Nehru was not the PM of India and when ISRO founded, Nehru was no more in India.
HAL founded in 1940,
ISRO founded in 1975
When HAL founded, Nehru was not the PM of India & When ISRO founded, Nehru was no more in India.
You need mental treatment PB !!
— Chowkidar Sumit Katiyar (@iSKatiyar) March 28, 2019
This post was shared with many with their usual ex-Prime Minister bashing tendencies. Several people, along with some having ‘chowkidaar’ before their names on social media bashed Prashant Bhushan for the tweet.
A simple Google search would clear all the confusion surrounding the issue. ISRO used to be previously known as Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) and was established in 1962 by the efforts of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and scientist Vikram Sarabhai recognizing the need in space research. It grew into ISRO in 1969.
DRDO was formed in 1958 under the Ministry of Defence of the Indian government. Jawaharlal Nehru was still the Prime Minister then. While HAL was established in Bangalore on December 23, 1940, by Walchand Hirachand who became Chairman of the company.
The Logical Indian take
As citizens of the country, we have a certain responsibility. While trolls and parody accounts have taken the responsibility upon themselves to share as much false information as possible, it is our responsibility to differentiate between what is true and what isn’t, while making others aware about the issue too.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.