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Monday, March 04 2024

ISRO Chairman S. Somanath Postpones Autobiography Release Amid Controversy

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman, S. Somanath, has chosen to postpone the official publication of his upcoming autobiography, "Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal" (The Lions that Drank the Moon). This decision is a reaction to pointless controversies that have emerged because certain parts of the book have received media attention. Being a prominent member of India's space program, Somanath hopes to motivate youth by sharing his experiences of overcoming obstacles in his personal and professional life.
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Chennai: S. Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has decided to delay the formal release of his forthcoming autobiography, titled ‘Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal’ (The Lions that Drank the Moon). This decision comes in response to unnecessary controversies that have arisen due to specific sections of the book that have been highlighted in the media. Somanath, who has been a significant figure in India’s space program, seeks to inspire young people by sharing his experiences of overcoming challenges in his life and career.

The Autobiography and Its Intent

In his autobiography, Somanath chronicles his journey in the space research field, aiming to motivate and guide the next generation of scientists and engineers. He seeks to share the story of his rise through the ranks of ISRO and the challenges he faced along the way. The book is intended to provide insight into the struggles one encounters when striving for success and how determination and resilience can help individuals reach the pinnacle of their careers.

Controversy Surrounding the Autobiography

The controversy surrounding the autobiography primarily stems from specific sections that have been taken out of context and misconstrued by the media. It has been suggested that the book hints at Somanath’s elevation as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) being deliberately delayed by K. Sivan, who became the Chairman of ISRO.

One aspect of the controversy revolves around the claim that Somanath’s promotion to the role of VSSC Director only occurred after the intervention of former VSSC Director B.N. Suresh. However, Somanath insists that his intention was not to accuse or blame Dr. Sivan for obstructing his career progress.

Somanath has emphasized that these controversial sections represent a small portion of the autobiography. He expressed his disappointment with the media for misinterpreting his words and inadvertently creating unnecessary tensions.

Somanath’s Clarity on the Book’s Intent

The Chairman of ISRO clarified that the primary goal of his autobiography is to serve as an inspiration to young individuals. He wants to convey the message that facing and overcoming challenges is an integral part of one’s journey to success. He stressed that the book should not be viewed as an indictment against his former colleagues or superiors at ISRO.

Somanath highlighted that he was trying to share his experiences of overcoming various challenges while ascending the ranks within the organization. He emphasized that ISRO, as a premier space research institution, has always been committed to fostering talent and nurturing the spirit of innovation. The organization is renowned for providing opportunities for individuals to excel, and his intent was to underscore this positive aspect.

Controversy’s Impact on the Release

Due to the controversies that have arisen and the misinterpretation of specific sections of the book by the media, Somanath has decided to delay the formal release of ‘Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal.’ He stressed that he is not publishing the autobiography for the time being.

It appears that Somanath’s decision to postpone the release is driven by a desire to avoid any further misunderstandings and potential damage to the reputation of ISRO and its senior members.

Background on S. Somanath

S. Somanath has had a distinguished career in ISRO. He is known for his contributions to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which aimed to explore the Moon’s south polar region. His role as Chairman of ISRO involves overseeing the organization’s various programs, including satellite launches and space exploration missions.

Somanath’s commitment to nurturing young talent and promoting innovation within ISRO has been a cornerstone of his leadership. He firmly believes in empowering the next generation of scientists and engineers, and his autobiography reflects this commitment by sharing valuable lessons from his own journey.


The delay in the release of S. Somanath’s autobiography, ‘Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal,’ highlights the inadvertent controversies that have arisen due to media misinterpretation. Somanath’s intention was to inspire and guide young individuals in their quest for success by sharing his own experiences of overcoming challenges.

It is essential to understand the larger context of the autobiography and its purpose of motivating the next generation of scientists and engineers. The decision to withhold the release temporarily is driven by a desire to prevent further misinterpretations and any adverse impact on ISRO and its esteemed leaders. Somanath’s dedication to the organization’s mission and his commitment to fostering innovation continue to be at the core of his leadership.

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