Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan continues to be a darling of the Indian social media space. A clipping from an interview he gave to Sun TV in January 2018 has resurfaced in which he underlined his Indian identity.
When asked by the interviewer how did he feel as a Tamilian having attained such a high position at ISRO, Sivan said his identity as an Indian mattered much more.
“First of all I am an Indian. I joined ISRO as an Indian. ISRO is an organisation where people from all regions and languages work. But at the same time, when people from Tamil Nadu celebrate me as one of their own, I am grateful to them,” said Sivan.
Dr Sivan who hails from a poor agricultural family in Kanyakumari district, graduated from the Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering in 1980. He was the first graduate from his family. Subsequently, he joined ISRO and worked on its PSLV project in 1982.
Dr Sivan’s reply should embarrass BJP leader H Raja who gave a regional and political twist to Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugging Dr Sivan after ISRO Mission Control Centre lost contact with Vikram, the lander. Tweeting the clip of the PM’s hug, Raja had said in Tamil that this is dedicated to all those people who accused Modi of being anti-Tamil and anti-Tamil people.