New Delhi: In the wee hours of Saturday, when India was waiting with bated breath in front of their television screens to watch a historic moment unfold, Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander went incommunicado 2.1 km above the Moon’s surface. With a quivering voice, ISRO Director K Sivan announced that Vikram Lander lost contact with the Earth and went blank, just three minutes before its scheduled soft-landing.
The setback to the ISRO’s lunar mission left millions of Indians teary-eyed and the world dejected but at the other side of the border, it became a cause of ridicule and mockery for some.
Ironically, it was Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry who shot a series of vile tweets using the hashtag “India Failed” after ISRO lost contact with its Vikram lander. In the series of vitriolic tweets, Chaudhry even raked up IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan’s capture and release by Islamabad.
Surprised on Indian trolls reaction, they are abusing me as I was the one who failed their moon mission, bhai hum ne kaha tha 900 crore lagao in nalaiqoon per? Ab sabr kero aur sonah ki koshish kero #IndiaFailed— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 6, 2019
Dear Endia; instead of wasting money on insane missions as of Chandrayyan or sending idiots like #abhinandan for tea to across LoC concentrate on poverty within, your approach on #Kashmir ll be another Chandrayyan just price tag ll be far bigger.— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 7, 2019
Modi g is giving Bhashan on Sattelite communication as he is actually an astronaut and not politician, Lok Sabha shld ask him QS on wasting 900 crore Rs of a poor nation... https://t.co/48u0t6KatM— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 6, 2019
Chaudhry was backed by senator Faisal Javed Khan and DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor also weighed in.
SmallMen in BigOffices-endia has failed big time.They don't ve to work on the moon-They ve to work on thr Toilets 1st. Waste of huge money same as waste of Endia's #aggression, #killings, #Genocide & #Violence in Kashmir because Kashmiris will get FREEDOM insha'ALLAH #IndiaFailed— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) September 6, 2019
Well done @isroWho to blame:1. Under siege innocent Kashmiris of IOJ&K?2. Muslims & minorities of endia?4. Sane anti hindituva voices of endia?4. ISI?hindituva will take you nowhere, let alone moon.For another stream of lies & fake claims see replies!#AnotherVirChakar— Asif Ghafoor (@peaceforchange) September 6, 2019
However, Pakistani Twitteratti were not impressed and heavily came down on Chaudhry for fanning "anti-science sentiments". Pakistanis were quick to point out that a setback to Chandrayaan-2 is not something to be mocked and that it was unbecoming of a minister to make such insensitive jokes.
That being said, Chaudhry is not new to cracking inappropriate jokes about sensitive issues. During ICC World Cup 2019, Fawad Chaudhry tweeted an offensive joke after Afghanistan beat Pakistan by three wickets in a World Cup warm-up match.
guy who was leading the mocking was same minister whose biggest achievement was fighting for the state to stop using medieval practices of sighting - not landing - on the moon.— Ahmer Naqvi (@karachikhatmal) September 7, 2019
A moon mission should be something we aspire to, not ridicule. We pursue science not as citizens of a particular country, but as members of the human race.Commiserations @ISRO, better luck next time. #Chandrayan2#VikramLander pic.twitter.com/AMLReezcPm— Mighty (@mightyobvious) September 7, 2019
Someone please do a televised interview with Fawad Chaudhry and ask him about Pakistan's space programme and what he knows about astronomy and astrophysics... or just ask him what "soft-landing on moon" means! #Chandrayaan2— Faran Rafi (@faranrafi) September 7, 2019
Don’t even know what to say. No Pakistani who knows an iota about science and technology would make fun of India’s progress in these fields. Ask any technical person you know who has worked internationally, about the quality of Indian people and infrastructure. https://t.co/LgTZsT1RpM— Zeerak Ahmed (@zeerakahmed) September 7, 2019
The #Chandrayaan2Live mission will only motivate scientists in India and beyond to do even better. The only reaction legitimate reaction from Pakistanis should be admiration and, if in power, the fiscal, budgetary & procedural reforms that will enable emulation.— Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) September 7, 2019
Ridiculing India's space mission is childish, especially when their success in that area dwarfs ours. They are investing in science and tech knowing its value for the future. Perhaps we will too one day, when DHA Phase Moon is required.— Hassan A. Niazi (@HNiaziii) September 7, 2019
If Faisal Javed and Fawad Chaudhry couldn’t make any sane and sober comments over #Chandrayaan2 they should have kept quiet. There was no point in making comments like the loser kids. After all they represent the state of Pakistan.— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) September 7, 2019
Is this a child in grade 2 who got more marks in science than the boy sitting next to him in class or a federal minister? Have we made any moonlanding attempt? https://t.co/UlF4Otzbgm— Mina Sohail (@MinaSohail) September 7, 2019
Critics of India regarding "failure" of moon mission are so wrong. It was still a huge technological achievement to have come so close. Pakistan is decades behind. We need to rise and invest in Space Science instead of rejoicing on the Indian failure. Wake up Pakistan!!!!— Atta-ur-Rahman (@1964atta) September 7, 2019