Nambi Narayanan is an Indian engineer who was falsely accused of espionage and arrested in 1994. After spending 50 days in jail, he was released on bail. In 1996, the charges against him were dropped. In 1998, he was reinstated in his previous position at the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Early life and education
Nambi Narayanan was born on October 15, 1941, in Kannur district, Kerala, India. After completing his schooling in Thalassery and Chennai, he graduated with a degree in physics from Banaras Hindu University in 1963. He subsequently earned a master’s degree (1965) and a doctorate (1967) in theoretical physics from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.
Career as an engineer
Nambi Narayanan is an Indian engineer who worked for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and is credited with several pioneering contributions in cryogenics. He was falsely accused of spying for Pakistan and arrested in 1994, leading to his imprisonment for 50 days. He was later cleared of all charges and awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2019.
Narayanan was born on October 31, 1942, in Kannur district of Kerala state, India. After completing his schooling, he studied physics at Government Victoria College in Palakkad and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Kerala University in 1962. He then joined the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur for his post-graduate studies and obtained a Master of Science degree in 1965. Narayanan subsequently joined ISRO as a scientist.
During his tenure at ISRO, Narayanan made significant contributions to the development of cryogenic engines for India’s space program. In the 1980s, he played a key role in the design and development of the Vikas engine, which powers the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The PSLV has since become ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle and has been used to launch numerous satellites into orbit.
In 1994, Narayanan was falsely accused of leaking classified information to Pakistani intelligence officers. He was arrested and imprisoned for 50 days before being cleared of all charges. The incident had a profound impact on Narayanan and he later wrote a book about it titled Orbiting My India.
In 2019, Narayanan was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors, by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Arrest and imprisonment
In 1994, Nambi Narayanan was arrested on charges of espionage and selling secrets to Pakistan. He was tortured in prison and spent over 50 days in solitary confinement. He was finally exonerated by the Indian Supreme Court in 1998 and awarded compensation of Rs 1 crore.
Release and exoneration
In 1994, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the case and arrested Nambi Narayanan in connection with the espionage scandal. The CBI alleged that he was part of a conspiracy to sell India’s secrets to two Pakistani intelligence officers.
In 1996, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the evidence against Narayanan was fabricated and that he had been tortured while in police custody. The court exonerated him of all charges and ordered him to be compensated for his ordeal.
In 1998, the Indian government formally apologized to Narayanan for his wrongful arrest and imprisonment.
Later life and work
Nambi Narayanan is an Indian engineer who was falsely accused of espionage in 1994. He was later cleared of all charges and awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in 2018.
Narayanan was born in Kerala, India in 1941. He studied physics at Kerala University and earned his master’s degree from Delhi University. He then went on to study nuclear physics at the University of Virginia, where he earned his Ph.D.
In 1974, Narayanan began working for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as a project director. He worked on several important projects, including the development of India’s first cryogenic engine.
In 1994, Narayanan was accused of passing classified information to Pakistan. He was arrested and spent 50 days in jail before being cleared of all charges. The incident had a profound effect on Narayanan, and he dedicated himself to fighting for the rights of others who had been falsely accused.
In 2018, Narayanan was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors, for his contributions to science and technology.
Awards and recognition
Nambi Narayanan was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, in 2019. He was also awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 1990. In 2018, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Nambi Narayanan was born on October 14, 1949, in Ottapalam, a small town in the Palakkad district of Kerala, India. His father was a government servant and his mother was a homemaker. Narayanan received his early education in Ottapalam and Theni, before moving to Tiruchirappalli to study at National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (NITT), where he graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering. He later obtained his master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras).
In 1974, Narayanan married Dhanalakshmi Thirunal Ramaraja Lakshmi Bayi, Maharani of Travancore and they have two daughters.
Nambi Narayanan’s legacy is one of a man who fought for justice, and ultimately won. In 2018, the Supreme Court of India ruled that Narayanan was “the victim of gross injustice” and ordered the Kerala government to pay him Rs 50 lakhs in compensation. The court also censured the state police for their handling of the case, stating that they had “acted in a high-handed manner” and caused “immense hardship and indignity” to Narayanan.