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Prof. Rao
Prof. Rao

Top Indian scientist criticizes superstition of Indian Space agency

In a welcome move, top Indian scientist, Bharat Ratna-designate and the Chairman of the scientific advisory council of the Indian Prime Minister, Prof. CNR Rao, has publicly criticized the long time practice of Indian Space research agency of seeking "divine blessing" in Tirupati temple and called it an act of superstition.

Prof. Rao was responding to the shameful act of the chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K Radhakrishnan, making special prayers in his official capacity at the temple with a replica of the Mars orbiter that India launched recently. Sanal Edamaruku, President of Indian Rationalist Association, earlier deplored the ISRO chief's act.

"Human beings are scared. They think that if they do offerings, their work will get right. What to do?", Prof. Rao said.

"I am not superstitious. I don't believe in astrology. I don't believe in any other kind of superstition", said CNR Rao, who is also the President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR).

Prof. Rao is a Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India or Gem of India) designate. Bharat Ratna is the Republic of India's highest civilian award.

ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan
ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan seeking divine blessing of the Tirupati deity with a small replica of the 1350 kg Indian Mars orbiter that travels 780 million kilomoteters before reaching Mars in September 2014.