Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist S Nambi Narayanan is among the selected to be felicitated with the Padma Bhushan this year. In an exclusive interaction with Republic TV, Narayan opened up on the honour and also on a movie to be made on him, R Madhavan starrer and directorial, ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.’ The veteran said it was ‘funny’ to see someone else playing him, but is convinced that the movie will make people angry and be a success at the box office.
Madhavan has transformed himself brilliantly to look like Narayanan and the pictures of the duo have been going viral. On the actor stepping into his shoes, Narayanan said, “I was there for some days and it was funny to look at myself in the screen. I’m having the unique opportunity to have somebody act like myself. By looks of it, he’s looking completely (like me). I think the movie is coming out in a very beautiful manner. At times, when I saw the shooting going on, I myself became emotional. I feel the movie is going to be a great success.”
When asked if Madhavan’s character would be seen winning the Padma Bhushan as well, he replied, “I don’t know maybe he may get the Padma Bhushan or Padma Vibhushan. I have feeling and I’m not exaggerating it, when you will watch the movie, back of the mind, you’ll keep telling yourself that this is bad, but at the same time, you know that this has happened. This is a true story and not an imaginary story. Naturally, I'm sure you will get upset, emotional or you will become angry. Not about Padma Bhushan, maybe he will get an Oscar award.”
For the unversed, Narayanan as ISRO scientist and aerospace engineer is credited with introducing liquid fuel rocket technology in India in the ‘70s and his work in the invention of liquid propellant motors, Vikas engine used by several ISRO rockets, has been significant.
However, matters took a turn for the worse in 1994 when as head of ISRO’s cryogenics division, he was accused of passing on information about space missions to a Maldivian woman, who sent it to Pakistan. Narayanan was arrested on charges of espionage and spent 50 days in jail.
After a legal battle, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Supreme Court in 1996 and 1999, respectively, freed him of the charges. Last year in September 2018, Supreme Court ruled that he was "unfairly arrested and harassed" and also awarded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh.
‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’s plot revolves around how India’s mission to Mars in 2014 could have been accomplished at least two decades earlier with Narayanan’s research in the field of cryogenic-based fuels and how his arrest at that time poured water over the plans.
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