- During Chandrayaan-3 celebrations, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mistakenly confuses astronaut Rakesh Sharma with Bollywood personality Rakesh Roshan.
- However, Mamata Banerjee’s mix-up isn’t the only blunder related to the moon mission.
- A Rajasthan minister’s congratulations to the “passengers” of Chandrayaan-3, despite it being an unmanned mission, adds another layer of confusion to the celebrations.
During a speech preceding the successful moon landing of Chandrayaan-3, Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, made an embarrassing mistake by confusing astronaut Rakesh Sharma with Bollywood figure Rakesh Roshan. As India rejoiced in the historic triumph of Chandrayaan-3’s lunar mission, Mamata Banerjee’s mishap became a source of mockery.
While addressing an event in Kolkata just before the Chandrayaan-3 lander touched down on the moon, Chief Minister Banerjee mistakenly associated astronaut Rakesh Sharma with Bollywood actor and filmmaker Rakesh Roshan.
She remarked, “On behalf of the people of West Bengal, I send my advance congratulations to ISRO. Scientists must get credit. Credit must go to the country. When Rakesh Roshan landed on the moon, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked him how India looked from there.”
In actuality, Rakesh Sharma, an Indian Air Force pilot, became the first Indian to journey to space in 1984 as part of the Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 mission. During a live televised news conference from space, he spoke with then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She inquired, “Upar se Bharat kaisa dikhta hai aapko?” (How does India appear to you from space?). He eloquently responded by quoting the poet Iqbal, saying, “Saare jahaan se achcha” (Better than the entire world).
The blunder made by the Chief Minister of West Bengal quickly spread across social media platforms, leading to a plethora of memes at her expense. Curiously, Banerjee wasn’t the sole politician involved in a Chandrayaan-3-related mishap.
In a different part of the country, a Rajasthan minister congratulated the “passengers” of the Chandrayaan-3 mission despite the mission being unmanned. Rajasthan Sports Minister Ashok Chandna stated, “If we are successful and make a safe landing, I salute the passengers. Our country has taken a step further in science and space research. I congratulate the countrymen for this,” as reported by news agency PTI.
India achieved a groundbreaking feat by becoming the first nation to successfully land a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole, an area believed to contain water ice. The touchdown occurred at 6:04 pm on Wednesday and was met with jubilation at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru. Over the next 14 days, the Pragyan rover will explore the lunar surface, transmitting images and data back to scientists on Earth.