Defence Exhibition: Patriotism for Parliamentarians
The Defence Exhibition being held inside the parliament raises the question: Is patriotism the exclusive preserve of our elected representatives?
Shibu Kumar Tripathi Delhi
In a bid to attune parliamentarians with the state of battle readiness and functioning of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Lok Sabha inaugurated a first of its kind defence exhibition inside the Parliament building on Wednesday. The exhibition has been organised exclusively for members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabhya to get a firsthand experience of the technical accomplishments of DRDO. Mahajan was accompanied by Manohar Parrikar, the Minister of Defence.
The exhibition is being seen by many as one of the many moves to invoke the spirit of patriotism and nationalism among members of the parliament ahead of the 70th Independence Day celebrations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently instructed his ministers to visit sites which had been the centers of the Indian freedom struggle and educate youngsters there about the sacrifices that were made by the country’s freedom fighters.
The 3-day long exhibition being held in the Parliament library building has numerous, indigenous, state-of-the-art defence technologies, products and systems on display. The weapons and equipment’s on display includes the mighty BrahMos missile, Arjuna battle tank, Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C), multi barrel rocket launcher Pinaka, remotely operated vehicle, NBC recce vehicle, Wheeled Armoured Platform (WHAP), Laser Ordnance Disposal System (LORDS), Varunastra Torpedo, Mobile Automatic Robotic System (MARS) and various radars in use by the three forces.
The exhibition is being held strategically ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. Officials in Ministry of Defence said that as all parliamentarians are in the capital due to the ongoing monsoon session, and will remain posted there till the Independence Day celebrations, DRDO has managed to score the perfect window of opportunity for spreading information and awareness about its product range.
With a plan to instill the feeling of patriotism in parliamentarians first the exhibition has been held inside parliament complex where general public is not allowed. DRDO officials said that as of now there is no intimation about extending the exhibition for the general public. Ravi Kumar Gupta, Director, DRDO Public Interface said that, “the exhibition has been organized to develop a knowhow among our parliamentarians about indigenously developed weapon systems and equipments. The exhibition will help in creating awareness among MPs about R&D being carried out by DRDO.”
Officials said that the ministers and MPs will be briefed on an array of topics during the exhibition which includes missile, aeronautics, armaments & combat systems, life sciences, micro electronic devices, cyber technologies, electronics & communication, radars, laser technology, naval system, material technologies being used and developed for the Indian Armed Forces.
Along with familiarisng the MPs with the working of DRDO, a virtual reality experience of Arjun Main Battle Tank, BrahMos Missile, AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control System) & LCA-Tejas will be held. Officials said that virtual reality, which is being used for the first time in the exhibition, has become a popular phenomenon and this will help in MPs experiencing a closer simulation of the working of these equipments and the environments in which they are operated by our armed forces. The exhibition will conclude on August 7.