On Wednesday (23 August), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by successfully demonstrating the soft-landing capabilities on the lunar surface. The more striking achievement is that the space agency carried out this ambitious task near the south pole of the Moon which has been relatively a lesser-known frontier for humankind since now.
With the successful lunar landing of Vikram lander in the Chandrayaan-3 mission, India has become the first nation to successfully carry out a soft landing near the moon’s south pole and only the fourth country to achieve a successful landing on the moon after the US, Russia and China. Following the momentous occasion, the ISRO Chief made the confirmation announcement stating, “India is on the Moon”, words which have now been etched for eternity.
Afterwards, social media was abuzz with congratulatory messages for both ISRO and India. While everyone shared the positive news in their own style, one uncanny reaction by a Congress leader caught everybody’s attention. Apparently, Rajasthan’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ashok Chandna believed that the Chandrayaan-3 is a manned mission and India has sent astronauts to the moon.
While speaking to media persons seeking his response, Congress Minister Chandna said ‘we got success and achieved a safe landing. I salute all those passengers who went there.’
He said, “Hum kamyaab huye aur safe landing hui toh jo yaatri gaye hain unko salam karta hoon aur hamara desh ek kadam aur science mein, space research ke andar aage badha usko sabhi deshwasiyo ko badhai deta hoon.”
Now, it is pertinent to note that Chandrayaan-3 is an unmanned mission, and apart from the automatic landing sequence, it was guided by ISRO’s command and control centre on earth.
As the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is an unmanned mission, that is, it has no passengers onboard. By the way, space “passengers” are known as astronauts.
The Congress Minister Chandna’s gesture of saluting ‘passengers who went in Chandrayaan’ made him the centre of a new social media storm. While some questioned the “scientific temper” of Rajasthan’s Youth minister, others hailed and saluted ‘Gems of Congress’.
Here is how social media has reacted to his remarks.
One X user argued that for these reasons, it is imperative that there should be educational criteria for becoming a politician.
Another user sarcastically asked about the passenger list of who went on the Chandrayaan 3 mission.
Interestingly, one user saluted the Congress Minister for saluting the imaginary passengers who went with Chandrayaan-3. The user further insinuated that only God can save sportspersons in Rajasthan.