Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India had successfully shot down a low-orbit satellite today, thousands took to Twitter to congratulate him as well as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the achievement.
PM Modi took it upon himself to thank a few of them.
One of the first to send his compliments across was cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, who acknowledged how this feat could set India apart from the rest. "Great achievement for our country as we become the fourth nation in the world to acquire the capability of the Anti-Satellite Missile System. Congratulations to @isro and @narendramodi for #MissionShakti. Proud moment!" he tweeted.
The Prime Minister responded with a flattering nod to Mr Dhawan's batting capabilities. "Indeed, a proud moment for the whole nation. Just like you smash the bad deliveries out of the park, our scientists have given India the capability to smash those forces who threaten our peace and harmony," he tweeted.
Indeed, a proud moment for the whole nation.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
Just like you smash the bad deliveries out of the park, our scientists have given India the capability to smash those forces who threaten our peace and harmony. #MissionShaktihttps://t.co/U4mpQiH9Fn
Another person who came forward to congratulate PM Modi was paralympic sportsperson-turned-politician Deepa Malik. "A historical achievement and a proud moment for our country. We are now one of only 4 Space Super Power countries in the world. A big salute to Hon PM @narendramodiji, the @DRDO_India scientists and everyone else involved in the success of #MissionShakti. Jai hind," the sportsperson, who had joined the BJP on Monday, tweeted. Ms Malik was the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic Games.
PM Modi, in his response, sought to pass all the credit to those who worked towards developing the anti-satellite technology. "Full credit to our scientists who succeeded in making India a part of an elite group of countries who have A-SAT missile capability. Undaunted by the shameful mockery of a select few, they continue to serve Maa Bharti," he tweeted.
PM Modi reacted to a congratulatory message from singer Lata Mangeshkar by dubbing Indian scientists as the "pride of the nation". "Your promotion will further enhance the morale of our scientists. I believe they will take our nation to new heights," he tweeted.
Indeed Pranab Da.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
These rich words from a distinguished statesman like you, who has also dealt with issues of national security, will greatly encourage our scientists and engineers. They have always worked to strengthen India and will continue to do so. #MissionShaktihttps://t.co/BvzsSQfUNA
Among other eminent personalities who voiced their appreciation over the development were former President Pranab Mukherjee and Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi, who termed it as a result of "perseverence, doggedness and brave leadership".
The Prime Minister had earlier described the missile launch as one of those "moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come". A-SATs are considered as the ultimate weapon because they can be used to cripple entire nations at a time when everything -- from banking to communication links -- is dependent on satellites.