ISRO Chairman behind the move: Madhavan Nair

Bangalore: Hurt at the action taken against him over the Antrix-Devas deal, former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair today accused space agency Chairman K Radhakrishnan of being behind the move and pursuing a "personal agenda" to mislead the government.

"This is his (Radhakrishnan`s) personal agenda. That individual is bent upon hitting so many people and in that process, he is killing the organisation," a bitter Nair told PTI here.

"He (Radhakrishnan) has misled the Government on the whole issue (the controversial Devas deal). He is the key person who worked behind this; he misled and miscommunicated to the Government and he has taken action", alleged Nair, who was the key figure behind India`s Chandrayaan-1 moon mission.

The government action against Nair and three other eminent space scientists came in the wake of the controversial Antrix-Devas deal in which a private company was allotted scarce S band spectrum by ISRO allegedly in violation of rules.

Nair said the action against them was "clear violation" of established norms of the country and the only agenda behind whoever had taken the decision was to "tarnish the image". "With this action, nothing is going to happen to us because all of us (the four) are established with international credibility in our own fields and the country will remember what we have given. Moon (referring to Chandrayaan-1 mission) has been given. For that, this is the reward Government is giving! I can only take pity on whoever has taken such a decision".

Besides Nair, K Bhaskaranarayana, former scientific secretary at ISRO, K R Sridharamurthi, former managing director of Antrix, commercial arm of ISRO, and K N Shankara, former director of the ISRO satellite centre, have been penalised by the department of space.

Noting that decision on barring them has been kept a secret, he asked how can such a letter (to secretaries) affecting individuals can be kept secret. "Without the authority of President of India, how such a vital decision can be communicated? This all shows that the people who handled the case at the Government….they are either ignorant or taken an autocratic view of the whole process," he said.

"I feel pity for the government…people who have taken such a decision. I have nothing to lose because people know me…what I have done for the country. I am really sad that such a thing has happened in a democratic country like India. Even in a military rule, the people are given a hearing before condemnation is made. This (the action against us) is worse than that".

He said the letter reportedly says the decision was taken by the government and competent authority. "What is this government and who is this competent authority? If they are bold enough, they should come in public," Nair said.

"He (Radhakrishnan) would have suffered at the hands of his ex-bosses (at ISRO) M G Chandrasekar (at present Chairman, Devas Multimedia) and others. He wanted to fix them. He cooked up a story and somehow misled the Government on a course of action and he is today behaving in a completely autocratic manner," Nair alleged.

He claimed that Radhakrishnan has no idea of rules or regulation about technology and "he will simply kill ISRO". "He (Radhakrishnan) is a disaster; I have kept quiet all these days because of my respect for ISRO", he added. "You look at ISRO`s programme for the last two years, that will speak volumes about where we stand".

He said he has not received any communication on barring him from government jobs and would apply under the RTI to get it and based on that, he would chalk out his plan of action. "Not that I am running just for a government job. People know what my credibility is. If government does not want to engage me in anything, it`s their pleasure. Whole thing has been handled in an absolutely shabby way", Nair said.

"There is no enquiry conducted in the matter; there is no charge sheet issued to anybody. Without that, how can any government take punitive action?", he asked.