In Sept 2014, will we see a fresh Cong-BJP fight over Mars mission?

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In September 2014, when the Mars Orbiter launched on November 5 is scheduled to reach its destination, the ground reality in Indian politics will be different. Who will rejoice the conclusion of the mission (provided it succeeds) more, the Congress or the BJP? Going by the arguments that often engulf the Indian political circles as to who belong to which camp, there is no doubt that the Mars mission will leave enough open space for the two political opponents to engage in yet another controversy in the future.

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi didn't waste any time in congratulating the scientists for the big inter-planetary mission. His face appeared on the news channels giving a reaction on the mission even before the prime minister or any other leader from the Congress spoke a word. It is a clear Blitzkrieg policy which has been adopted by Modi whenever it comes to do something to attract the attention of the national media and hijack the limelight from the ruling party. The word Mangal looks very conducive to be hijacked by the Hindu nationalists and used in a full-fledged slogan to corner the opponent.

Like Sardar Patel, Mars could too become a subject of political tussle

But in 2014, if there is a change of guard at the Centre, there is no doubt that the new government will start highlighting the Mars mission a high point of its own tenure even as the current UPA government took a commendable first step in approving the Mars Orbiter Mission last year.

The mission was prepared in 15-months time, something which demands a praise but will the divided political class in India ever reach a consensus on welcoming an event of national pride together?

Recently, we saw how the two principal political parties of the country engaging themselves in a tug-of-war over claiming the legacy of late leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Mars mission won't be any different, one suspects.

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