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PM Modi’s hug brought tears to my eyes: ISRO chief K Sivan on viral photo

BENGALURU: ISRO Chairman K Sivan found himself in an awkward position when media persons on Wednesday asked him why he had cried on the failure of lander Vikram to land successfully on the moon’s surface. The ISRO chief was asked whether his emotional outburst was due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying ‘something’ to him. Sivan replied, “There were already a few in tears and when Prime Minister Modi hugged me, I was in tears too…”

The scene of Modi hugging Sivan—which went viral worldwide— hours after the lander Vikram lost signal with the earth station, raised divided opinions over the gesture, with some even questioning why a chief of a reputed space agency like ISRO should be in tears over a ‘failure.’

Visuals in the early hours of September 7 showed Sivan tearing up as he was given a bear hug by Modi after several attempts to revive signals with the lander proved futile. Sivan had remained silent over the issue since then, actually facing the media on Wednesday—the first day of the year—for the first time after the incident.