How can a nation that lands a spacecraft on the Moon still have manual scavenging, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said on Thursday as he participated in a debate on the success of Chandrayaan-3 mission, adding that it is important to maintain scientific temper in the country.
The Congress MP said people often confuse between faith and spiritualism, and while spiritualism and science can be questioned, faith cannot be questioned.
"It is very important we maintain scientific temper of India which has been showcased by ISRO," he said.
He also said it is "baffling" that while India is landing on the Moon, the country still has issues such as manual scavenging and potholes.
"It is actually baffling...how can we as a nation are able to land in the unchartered part of the Moon and still have manual scavenging at the same time?" he said.
"How can we be launching satellites for everybody else but can't manage roads in monsoon. How can we have this contrast? There is something seriously wrong in our society if we can't leverage the scientific advancements we are making," he said.
"I completely understand our heritage and history has been very closely associated with science and with astronomy. We need to do research, test and go back to our roots to find out where did we lose this science which we had," he added.
Chidambaram also urged the government to institute fellowships and scholarships to enable more and more students from government schools to join ISRO.
Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the lunar south pole on August 23, propelling India to an exclusive club of four and making it the first country to land on the uncharted surface.
BJP MP Jayant Sinha, meanwhile, contended that science and 'sanskar' (culture) go together for Indians, and there is no contradiction.
"If we have science, we also have sanskar. If someone thinks we cannot take both together they are wrong...there has to be a balance," he said.
He also mentioned the contribution of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in starting the ISRO, and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has doubled ISRO's budget in the last nine years.
"PM Narendra Modi's contribution has been incomparable and memorable. In 2013-14, ISRO's budget was Rs 5,600 crore, which has been doubled to around Rs 13,000 crore," he said.
Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav said the credit for the success of the Chandrayaan mission goes to the scientist community.
"This achievement belongs to the scientist community alone, let us not lower our dignity in taking the credit of our scientists, let's take pride in it," she said.
NC MP Hasnain Masoodi stressed that while it was a great success, India should not forget the real issues such as bridging the healthcare gaps.
"We should not ignore the issues of people...1.5 crore people in Jammu and Kashmir have no democratic rights," he said.
"We should not hide behind praise and forget the real issues," he said.
LJSP MP Prince Raj and BJP MP Sumedhanand Saraswati also took part in the discussion on the success of Chandrayaan-3 mission and other achievements of the nation in the space sector.