West Bengal chief minister and a key opposition leader Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said when ‘Rakesh Roshan reached the moon’, Indira Gandhi asked him how India looked from there. Banerjee said this at an event after Isro’s Chandrayaan 3 successfully soft landed on the south pole of the moon on Wednesday. The clip went viral as Mamata Banerjee confused astronaut Rakesh Sharma with Bollywood personality Rakesh Roshan, father of Hrithik Roshan. Also, Rakesh Sharma did not go to the moon. His conversation with Indira Gandhi was from space. “Sare jahan see accha,” Rakesh Sharma said replying to Indira Gandhi’s question, “Upar se Bharat kaisa dikhta hai aapko (How does India look like from space?).”
“I remember when they reached the moon, Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh Roshan how India looked from there, for space,” Mamata Banerjee said. The clip went viral adding to the list of public displays of ignorance by political leaders on the question of India’s prestigious and successful moon mission. For example, Rajasthan sports minister Ashok Chandna congratulated the ‘passengers’ who were on Chandrayaan 3 after its successful soft landing. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was asked on Chandrayaan 3 before the soft landing. He apparently did not understand the question and asked the minister who was with him.
While Nitish Kumar and Mamata — both key leaders of INDIA alliance — came under fire, they posted congratulatory messages on Chandrayaan 3’s success. “By successfully landing Chandrayaan-3 on the moon, the country has created a new history in space for which every countryman is proud. This is the result of the hard work of ISRO scientists. Many congratulations to the entire ISRO team for this,” Nitish Kumar tweeted.
Hail its stupendous success!!
Hail @isro!! Hail our nation’s magnificent achievement in sending an exploration mission successfully to the Moon!! Our scientists have testified the country’s scientific and technological progress. India is now in the super league of space. Sincere congratulations to all the proud architects and stakeholders of the expedition. Let us celebrate the majestic moment and pray for further advances of India in the frontier areas of knowledge and applications. Hail India, Jai Hind!” Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
Actor and politician Prakash Raj who was criticised for his ‘chaiwala’ cartoon ahead of Chandrayaan 3’s soft landing congratulated ISRO after