24th August 2023, Mumbai: During an event following the successful soft landing of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 on the moon’s south pole, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a factual error that quickly went viral. She mistakenly attributed an anecdote involving astronaut Rakesh Sharma to Bollywood personality Rakesh Roshan, the father of actor Hrithik Roshan.
Mamta Banerjee’s Confusion Chaos
In her speech, Mamata Banerjee stated that when ‘Rakesh Roshan reached the moon,’ former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had inquired about how India looked from there. However, the clip’s widespread circulation highlighted her confusion between astronaut Rakesh Sharma and filmmaker Rakesh Roshan. Furthermore, Rakesh Sharma’s interaction with Indira Gandhi was not from the moon but from space itself.
Mamta Banerjee lacks Awareness?
The actual incident involves Rakesh Sharma, who replied to Indira Gandhi’s question about how India appeared from space by saying, “Sare jahan se accha” (Better than the entire world). Mamata Banerjee’s mix-up added to the list of public instances where political leaders demonstrated a lack of awareness about India’s prestigious and successful space missions. This incident is reminiscent of other similar gaffes, such as the Rajasthan sports minister Ashok Chandna congratulating the ‘passengers’ on Chandrayaan 3 after its soft landing, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s apparent misunderstanding of a question about Chandrayaan 3.
Mamta Di extends Congratulations to ISRO
Despite the mix-up, both Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee, prominent leaders of the Indian political alliance, extended their congratulations for Chandrayaan 3’s success. Nitish Kumar acknowledged the country’s historical achievement and praised ISRO scientists for their hard work. Mamata Banerjee celebrated the accomplishment, considering it a testament to India’s scientific and technological progress. She expressed pride in the nation’s achievements and highlighted its advancement in the realm of space exploration.
While Mamata Banerjee’s confusion drew attention, her and Nitish Kumar’s messages on social media underscored their support for India’s space achievements and the contribution of ISRO’s scientists to the nation’s growth in space technology
By Yashika Desai.