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‘Shiva Shakti’ and ‘Tiranga’: How space missions impact psyche of nation

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The investment in missions like Chandrayaan-3 goes beyond the tangible; it fuels the imagination of a nation and its youth

Fresh from his diplomatic engagements in South Africa and Greece, the Indian Prime Minister’s aircraft touched down not in the capital but in the tech hub of Bengaluru, epitomising the nation’s steadfast commitment to science and innovation. Amidst a crowd of scientists and engineers, the Prime Minister felicitated the team behind Chandrayaan-3 for achieving a historic milestone—the first-ever soft landing on the dark side of the Moon, particularly at the lunar South Pole. He said, “This is India, which thinks innovatively and uniquely. This is India which goes to dark zones and illuminates the world by spreading light.”

The Prime Minister also made several landmark announcements. The Chandrayaan-2’s landing site was christened ‘Tiranga,’ invoking the tricolor flag of India, while the Chandrayaan-3’s site received the poetic name of ‘Shiva Shakti,’ symbolizing the harmonious union of cosmic powers. More significantly, he declared the 23rd of August, the day the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3 touched the Moon, as National Space Day, engraving it permanently in the annals of India’s scientific history.

Notably, India’s moon missions are not just feats of modern technology but also carry the philosophical underpinning deeply rooted in the country’s culture. India has a long tradition of philosophers like Aryabhata and Bhaskaracharya, who pondered celestial bodies and the nature of the universe long before modern science made it possible to touch them. By naming the landing sites ‘Tiranga’ and ‘Shiva Shakti,’ the Prime Minister has subtly tied the country’s scientific pursuits with its rich philosophical traditions. It is as if India is sending a message that science and spirituality, much like Shiva and Shakti, are two sides of the same cosmic coin, working in harmony to advance the Indian civilisation into a future brimming with limitless possibilities.


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