ISRO chief N Sivan. (PTI Photo)
ISRO chief N Sivan. (PTI Photo)

‘First of all, I am an Indian’: ISRO chief Sivan wins hearts with his reply

People took to Twitter to show respect for presenting the national identity first.
By Anonna Dutt | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 28, 2020 02:24 AM IST

“First of all, I am an Indian.” With this reply, the chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan won millions of hearts. The interviewer from Sun TV had asked him as a Tamilian, having attained such a big position, what he had to say to people from Tamil Nadu.

“I joined ISRO as an Indian. ISRO is a place where people from all regions and languages work and contribute. But I am grateful to my brothers who celebrate me,” he said.

People took to Twitter to show respect for presenting the national identity first.

“I am from Bihar and I am proud of Dr. Sivan like every other Indian. It doesn’t affect me which state he belongs to, what religion he practices, or which language he speaks. For me, he is an honest, hard working chairman of a world renowned space agency. He is our national hero,” tweeted Aakash Srivastava (@Aakashlive) an architect working in New Delhi, according to his profile.

 Watch: Chandrayaan 2: ‘Don’t lose heart’, says PM Modi after Vikram lander loses contact during descent

Vani Chauhan (@Vani_Chauhan) tweeted “’First of all, I am an Indian.’ This statement from ISRO Chief K Sivan is something I wish every Indian thought. I see so many thumping their chests to claim superiority of their regional identity or ridiculing others & forget that without India they will have no identity.”

While others questioned, why not?

“ISRO chief K Sivan’s “I am an Indian first” reply to a Tamil channel is stealing all hearts. But I have a question. When a PV Sindhu makes India proud, the people of her State highlight her regional identity. How do we reconcile this dichotomy? #SivanPrideOfIndia” tweeted Viswanath (@viswanath_vis) from Hyderabad.

He had taken Twitter by the storm two days ago, when he broke down and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoled him just six hours after ISRO lost communication with the Vikram lander.

On September 7, the space agency lost communication with the Lander just two minutes and 2.1 km away from India making history by becoming the first nation to land near the Lunar South Pole.

Dr Sivan comes from a family of farmers from a remote village in Kanyakumari district. Despite the modest means of his family, he graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering in 1980.

After this he pursued aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 1982 and a PhD in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Sivan joined ISRO in 1982 in its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project. He has contributed immensely to the development of the cryogenic engines for launch vehicles. The GSLV Mark III, which launched the Chandrayaan 2 mission to space on July 22, also relies on the cryogenic engine in the third stage to carry heavier payloads.

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