A few film reviewers and celebrities voiced their concerns over Nambi being presented as a fervent “Hindu” when Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, a movie based on the life of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, first entered theaters a few weeks ago.
Nambi Narayanan slammed the critics who questioned whether being a Hindu constituted a crime in an interview posted on a private YouTube channel.
The film Rocketry: The Nambi Effect is based on the biography of Nambi Narayanan, a former ISRO scientist who was wrongfully accused of espionage and was eventually exonerated by the Indian Supreme Court.
In the film, Madhavan, who plays the real-life figure of Nambi Narayanan, is presented as a devoted Hindu who wears vermilion, does pooja in his home, and offers oblations to the sacred Tulsi plant.
Anupama Chopra, the creator, and editor of the film-related website Film Companion wrote a review in which she implied that the film was overly nationalistic and Hindu. She claimed that. Although it is commendable that the movie has highlighted Narayanan’s numerous accomplishments, the screenplay continuously emphasizes his patriotism and also makes a strong case for his faith. She emphasized that Narayanan is first seen in his home’s puja room.
Nambi Narayanan hit out at those who had complained about him being shown as a Hindu in the film. Narayan explicitly said that he is a Hindu and has no shame in saying so. He directed a question to the critics about whether it is a sin to be Hindu.
He said that if he is a Hindu then he will be shown as Hindu and not a Muslim or Christian or from any other religious community for that matter.
He also criticized the widespread denigration of Brahmins in public discourse. Contrary to common belief, Nambi Narayanan is not a Brahmin from Kerala, but rather a member of the Tamil Hindu group known as Senai Thalaivar.
In response to a query about Narendra Modi’s administration bestowing the Padma Bhushan on him and if he has any political ambitions, Nambi Narayanan stated that it should not be seen as Narendra Modi as a BJP politician acknowledging his work, but as the Prime Minister of the country.
He also stated that he has had strong backing from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, but that this does not qualify him as a Communist.
Another self-proclaimed film critic Sowmya Rajendran of The News Minute, wrote “The film begins with the heavens above and the earth below, Vedic chants in the background. It is difficult to sit through it without being reminded of Madhavan’s disastrous claim that ISRO scientists had used the ancient geocentric panchangam for their Mars mission, and that Indians already knew everything that was to be known about space a thousand years ago. We meet Nambi’s family, and his daughter casually remarks that she’s unsure if her husband – who also works at ISRO – is a scientist or astrologer because he’s always holding on to the panchangam in bed. My heart, which was already sinking, reached my feet at this point. Was the whole movie going to be on WhatsApp University territory? To my relief, it does take off. Somewhat.”
When questioned if he had any political aspirations after the interview, Narayanan made the remarks. He responded that he would continue to be a scientist and that he had no interest in entering politics, but he then revealed that politics was being practiced in his name.