By JOANNA SUGDEN
India put a satellite into Mars orbit early Wednesday, the only nation to have done so on a maiden voyage and the first in Asia to reach the red planet.
As the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked on, space scientists at mission control in Bangalore, India’s tech capital, announced that the Mangalyaan orbiter had entered Mars orbit after a 10-month voyage from Earth.
Mangalyaan, Hindi for Mars craft, cost $74 million to send into space, making it by far the cheapest of recent missions to Mars. The U.S. spent $671 million getting its Maven satellite to Mars orbit, where it arrived late Sunday.
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Who is next? Shall we read this from the pamphlet flown besides the bullet ridden body of Shahbaz Bhatti or somewhat more too? Something deeper and disturbingly pervasive around us? Something partly brutal and bloody and partly preachy and persuasive but it has been there for decades difficult to deny. Fanatic and fundamentalists play it with bullets while the soft-spoken suffocate every breath of freedom and fragrance with their voluminous oratory. The pamphlet is the dossier of death and intimidation, the manifesto of a blinkered mind scripted in red and must not be read as an isolated act of murder or an ignorable statement.
Dehumanize and gun them down. This is what the religious dogmatism does or intends to do to the non-Muslim minorities for they have a mission to purify arz-e-pak from all those worshipping God differently or a different god. The very phrase of “eisai kafir Shahbaz Bhatti maloon” amply manifests the hateful mentality of the murderers, damning and casting a human soul aside in a single breath, just because he was ‘a Christian’. Immune from guilt, the wilful words are deployed to dismiss the ‘humanness’ of a person and justify the heinous crimes, opening up their genocidal intent against the followers of ‘other faiths’. In its worst form, once the ‘inequality’ and ‘sub-humanness’ of a group is made tangibly or tacitly ‘natural’, the horrible assaults become acceptable and quickly pass into oblivion. …
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