Fawad Chaudhary Called Out by Pakistani Twitter Users Over Tweets Against ISRO Moon Mission

Fawad Chaudhary Called Out by Pakistani Twitter Users Over Tweets Against ISRO Moon Mission

Fawad Chaudhary, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, reacted to India’s failed moon mission Chandrayaan-2, with a series of tweets.

Pakistanis have called out Fawad Chaudhary, Pakstan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, for his tweets about India’s failed moon mission, Chandrayaan-2. On Saturday, 6th September, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), lost contact with its second moon mission as it began its descent to the South Pole region of the moon. Commenting on this news, Fawad took to Twitter to call India’s spacecraft a “toy”, drawing angry reactions from netizens from across the border. In response to some comments, Fawad again tweeted, “Surprised on Indian trolls reaction, they are abusing me as I was the one who failed their moon mission.” He also commented on Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s speech to ISRO scientists, saying that Modi was giving a speech on “satellite communication as though he was actually an astronaut, not a politician.”

However, Pakistanis on the microblogging site have severely criticised the minister’s distasteful tweets. Here’s what some users said:

Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie), a communications consultant, wrote, “Fawad you know I love and all who work to make it better. We should discourage trolling a brilliant man (of humble beginnings) w/ big dreams - it's beneath us as a country. To quote: @VORdotcom ‘The ambition to go to the moon is the larger victory.’ Respect #VikramLander"

Pakistani journalist Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) said, “Why are we so excited about failure of India’s moon mission? They made an attempt, failed. Science, information, space mission should be beyond boundaries. High time we start behaving maturely and do something for growth instead of trolling rest of the world.”

Another Twitter user, Faran Rafi (@faranrafi) tweeted, “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!”

Dubai-based Pakistan, Salman Qureshi (@salmanzq) tweeted, “Dear fellow Pakistanis. There is not a single good reason for us to troll Indians about #Chandrayan2.  Instead celebrate that scientists from our region are making this attempt.  If they fail today, success will be close.  It should inspire and spur us on to do more.”

Anastipu (@teepusahab) wrote, “Pakistan and especially our science and tech minister should be the last person lecturing India about how to land on moon, and make a space mission successful. Like seriously. #Chandrayaan2Live"

Writer and consultant, Ghazala Naqvi (@ghazalanaqvi) commented, “Difference in approach marks the destiny of nations. Wo apnay Abdul kalam ko President bana detay Hain aur hum apnay Abdul Sallam ko kafir keh ke mulk chohr janay pe majboor kerdetay Hain.”

Yaser Awan (@yaserawan) responded, “We can’t champion our failures and at the same time mock someone else’s. Minister Sahab I believe we send out a very wrong message to our youth with such tweets.”

Another Twitter user, Red Marker wrote, “The failure of #VikramLander is not a victory for Pakistan.  We should learn from this, #ISRO attempted something substantial.  Can we give India a reply by landing on moon? Can we invest this much in research & Development? Can we invest this much in People #IndiaFailed"

Fawad Chaudhary’s tweets have been seen as anti-science rather than anti-India. Chandrayaan-2, which means Moon Chariot 2, took off on 22nd July, and was carrying an orbiter, lander and rover, made in India. The lander was named after Vikram A. Sarabhai, the father of India's space programme, and was expected to to be the first to reach the moon, while rover Pragyan (meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit) was to emerge several hours later. With the successful completion of this mission, India had aimed to become the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to successfully land on the moon.

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By Ayesha Hoda
Ayesha Hoda is a senior communications professional and writer, currently based in Dubai, UAE.