With the countdown underway for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an exclusive interview to Republic Media Network, speaking to Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, encompassed the crucial preceding events, the current mood of the nation, and delved into the depths of significant issues faced by the nation.
In terms of national security, the Prime Minister spoke about the momentous events of just a few days ago, specifically, his announcement that India had tested its ASAT missile (Mission Shakti) destroying the pre-determined target of a defunct satellite. Speaking over India's emergence as a 'space super power' and the ensuing attempts by Opposition leaders to malign the accomplishment, he picked apart the Congress party for how despite having been in government for 10 years in the UPA years, their statements 'lacked basic knowledge' of the development.
He said, "In the Opposition, when juniors make mistakes...mistakes do happen, but the Congress party, which was in the government for a long time and they've had esteemed leaders who've taken care of different functions of the government, they should've at least consulted their people and asked what is this about? What is Modi talking about? I think, the basic knowledge that is needed, there seems to be a lack of it in their statements."
He proceeded to detail how the Congress should have known that such tests can't be conducted at random and require significant planning and coordination with the global community:
"The second thing, call it an adventure or an initiative, they don't happen suddenly. You need to tell the global community that you want space at a particular time in the space to ensure there's no space traffic or collision, you need to ask for open space, you need to fix that space. It's a long process," he added.
In a much-anticipated address, PM Modi on Wednesday had said that 'Mission Shakti' was a difficult target to achieve but was completed within three minutes of the missile launch.
"Today is 27th March. A while ago, India achieved a historic feat. India today registered itself as a space power. Till now, 3 countries of the world- America, Russia, & China had this achievement. India is the 4th country to have achieved this feat," he said.
"The ASAT missile will give new strength to India's space program. I assure the international community that our capability won't be used against anyone but is purely India's defence initiative for its security. Mission Shakti was a highly complex one, conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space program," the PM concluded.