Rocketry, directed by Ananth Mahadevan, is about an extraordinary man named Nambi Narayanan. The film will focus on the scientist’s life and the ISRO espionage case. It has been made in Tamil, Hindi and English. The multi-lingual film will focus on how Nambi Narayanan was in-charge of the cryogenics division.
Nambi Narayanan, born in Trivandrum in 1941, is a noted Indian scientist and aerospace engineer. Narayanan began his career as a payload integrator at the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram. He went on to earn a NASA fellowship and completed his Masters in Chemical Rocket Propulsion from Princeton University.
In the early 1970s, Narayanan introduced the liquid fuel rocket technology in India. He further developed liquid propellant motors, first building a successful 600 kilograms (1,300 lb) thrust engine in the mid-1970s and thereafter moving on to bigger engines.
Being able to foresee that rocket technology required in India, he was considered to be quite a formidable person in the field. But perhaps the one case that put Narayanan in the spotlight was the whole espionage charge.
It was 1994 when he was falsely charged with leaking defence secrets – confidential flight test data from experiments – to two alleged Maldivian intelligence officers. He was accused of selling these secrets for millions even though he showed no signs of corruption.
He spent 50 days in jail and was further subjected to awful torture when he was instructed by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials to make false accusations against the top people of ISRO. The torture was so bad that he was hospitalised. The worst part was, nobody from ISRO wanted to interfere in this matter leaving Narayanan fending for himself.
In 1996, the charges were dropped and he was declared not guilty in 1998. He has since been rallying to expose those who mentally tortured him and defamed him all these years, and trying to reveal the people behind the conspiracy.
In September this year, the Supreme Court appointed a three-member panel headed by its former judge to probe his “harrowing” arrest and alleged torture. A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also awarded him Rs. 50 lakh in compensation for the “mental cruelty” he suffered all these years. The reprieve comes almost a quarter of a century after he began his legal battles in various forums for his honour and justice.
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