Marutis to the moon

Since before independence from the British, Indians have been proud to build “indigenous” products, and prove they can take their place among the world’s leading industrial powers. To be sure, you can get reasonable facsimiles of products one sees in the West, often mostly designed from the basic blueprint. Sometimes the Indians put their nameplate on a foreign product, such as the Suzuki Maruti. The little Maruti is a functional puddlejumper, alright. It is most Indian’s dream to own one.

There has been a movement for decades by the military/space establishment to design and build “indigenous” vehicles and weapons. For example, they are trying to make a new main battle tank to replace it’s aging, obsolete Russian tanks. It’s been many years and the thing is still “in testing”, thereby becoming more obsolete as the years go by. The latest is, they bought off the shelf a German nitrogen gas suspension for it. Cool! The only trouble is that the crack engineers at the defence reseach department failed to protect it with armor, so the tank can be disabled by small arms fire. And it’s way overbudget. Americans are used to costly projects that won’t work, but this is even worse than we must endure.

They have also been building an indigenous fighter aircraft to replace their aging MIG 21’s. I think they should call it the Osprey-29.

Now, India wants to have an indigenous mission to the moon. This, I need to see. I can just see teams of flip-flop clad, $2 a day, boys and men climbing around on the new spaceship. One’s job is to put the ladder up against it. Another brings the rivets of state of the art indigenous design. Another cleans them each according to his specific instructions which CANNOT be altered in any way with out authorization through the appropriate chain of command. Finally, the rivet will be placed, and another boy can go get the tea.

Some others will cut the fins out. Some others will paint. The engines and technology will be borrowed and modified by the research department which has almost finished testing the newest, best vacuum tubes in the world. Either that or they will buy products off the shelf from that German suspension company or someplace.

Everybody wins in the military/space industry, so that’s how that goes.

You get the point.

Need I say, in a country without education, clean water, electricity, three sets of clothes, housing with a door, or health care for hundreds of millions of people, this is painful to observe. We think we have other fish to fry? India’s going to the moon. The Indian Defense Research Institute is going to do it…. Right after tea.


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