On August 23, 2023, India achieved a monumental feat as it became the first country to successfully land a lunar lander near the surface of the moon. The momentous occasion was marked the success of ‘Chandrayaan 3’, which received global recognition and praise for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its team of scientists.
The achievement was not only celebrated Indian film stars but also politicians, such as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. However, in her speech congratulating the ISRO team, Banerjee mistakenly referred to filmmaker Rakesh Roshan and astronaut Rakesh Sharma. She recalled a fictional anecdote where former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh Roshan how India looked from the moon, to which he supposedly responded, “Saare jahaan se achcha, Hindustan hamara.”
As the video of Banerjee’s speech went viral, it sparked a wave of memes and humorous comments on social media. Users took the opportunity to create collages and jokes featuring Indira Gandhi, Rakesh Sharma, Hrithik Roshan, and Bollywood actors such as Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. Some even joked about Rakesh Roshan retiring from the film industry to pursue a career in space.
Despite the humorous reactions, netizens also took the opportunity to remind Banerjee of the correct details. They pointed out that it was actually Rakesh Sharma, not Rakesh Roshan, who went to space in 1984. Nonetheless, the incident did not overshadow the historic achievement and the praise extended towards the ISRO and the Indian space program as a whole.
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