In its enthusiasm for bells and whistles, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has this howler as part of a soft-focus flash movie that begins when you launch their newly designed webpage. You know they wanted to trumpet the Arihant, but the sub in the picture is INS Chakra, the very Russian Charlie-1 class nuclear attack submarine that India leased in 1988. The DRDO guys should’ve been told that there’s a very nice photo of the Arihant that was rendered de-clas after it appeared in the Prime Minister’s status report to the nation, scooped of course by Livefist. And as commenters have pointed out, the film shows that the DRDO also builds the American M1 Abrams tank and Israeli Arrow ABM system, while some DRDO babu has put the Indian tricolour on the iconic World War-2 photograph of the US victory in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Has anyone seen anything more mortifying than this? The sad part is, if the DRDO had used the Arihant, Arjun and AAD interceptor instead, nobody could’ve said a word — these are all programmes that are either swimming along nicely or have finally turned the corner after years of delays. Yet, some nitwit sitting in DRDO Bhawan’s salubrious confines chooses to go with Google Images, and mount this piece of execrable, infuriating nonsense.
This may be just someone’s foolishness, but it’s this kind of braindead, careless tripe that reflects an entrenched devil-may-care attitude that we see in so many things that DRDO does. And it’s such nonsense that demolishes all the good, positive image-building that the DRDO is clearly spending so much money on. Stuff like this proves that in the end, it’s all just skin deep. How deeply disappointing. DRDO should find the guy who chose the photos above and give him what we in India call a “rocket”. That would be appropriate too.