Once labelled as spy, former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan is happy to get Padma Bhushan award

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, IndiaUpdated: Jan 26, 2019, 09:41 PM IST
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ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. Photograph:(DNA)

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Former ISRO scientist Narayanan was arrested in an alleged espionage case in November 1994.

"My contribution is recognised," said former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan on Saturday, this year’s Padma Bhushan awardee who had once been labelled as a spy and was arrested too.

Narayanan told ANI, ''I am happy. In fact, I was known to the public as a spy and then I became the victim of a spy. So, I became more popular in that sense subsequently. What I wanted was the contribution I made to the country should be recognised."

ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda, Actor Mohanlal, veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayyar (posthumous), Indian mountaineer Bachendri Pal and Lok Sabha MP Hukmdev Narayan Yadav have been selected for the Padma Bhushan award.

"In fact, in October 1994, we launched the PSLV. It was moving with the engine which I have developed. But immediately within 10-15 days, I was arrested. Till date 44 PSLVs were flown successfully using the engine I developed," he said.

"But, honestly, nobody mentioned this anywhere. I felt sad about it but today this award gives a feeling that my contribution is recognised. In other words, I am happy to be known as the man who has contributed rather than a victim of spy," said Narayanan.

Former ISRO scientist Narayanan was arrested in an alleged espionage case in November 1994.

"If you think that something is right and the truth, then you should stick to it. You should not surrender to pressure or influences. That was what I was doing. It is not easy to fight a powerful government and but my happiness is the concerned governments understood the truth. I am happy that they corrected themselves," Narayanan added.

The scientist was reportedly accused of selling vital Indian space technology secrets to Pakistan. The Supreme Court had, however, cleared him of spy charges and termed his arrest as “needless” and “unnecessary.”