Former Indian Air Force pilot Rakesh Sharma, who became the first Indian to travel to space in 1984, celebrated his birthday today. To support this incredible feat, several social media users wished the former Wing Commander. Several users recalled his reply to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when she asked what India looked like from space. "Saare Jahan Se Achcha" was what he replied with. Twitter today trended with the hashtag #RakeshSharma for the occasion of his birthday.
Rakesh Sharma was a part of the Soviet Union's Soyuz T-11 mission, which was launched on April 2, 1984.
Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan and Ram Vilas Paswan took to Twitter to convey their wishes to him.
भारत के प्रथम अंतरिक्ष यात्री व देश के गौरव, अशोक चक्र विजेता विंग कमांडर #RakeshSharma जी को जन्मदिन की अशेष शुभकामनाएं। प्रभु श्रीराम से प्रार्थना है कि आप दीर्घायु हों और सदैव स्वस्थ एवं प्रसन्न रहें।- Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 13, 2020
भारतीय वायुसेना और अंतरिक्ष उपक्रमों में आपका योगदान अविस्मरणीय है।@isropic.twitter.com/lE48fIvgQP
अंतरिक्ष की यात्रा करने वाले प्रथम भारतीय, अशोक चक्र से सम्मानित स्क्वाड्रन लीडर राकेश शर्मा जी को जन्मदिन की हार्दिक बधाई एवं शुभकामनाएं। ईश्वर से प्रार्थना है कि आप दीर्घायु हों और सदैव स्वस्थ एवं प्रसन्न रहें। #RakeshSharmapic.twitter.com/91rsdPAPYe- Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) January 13, 2020
BJP leader H Raja also tweeted, recalling the astronaut's words to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Rakesh Sharma, the man who took india to space. On April 2nd 1984 he made his flight aboard the Soyuz T-11 and become first Indian to achieve this feat. When inquired how India looks from outer space Rakesh Sharma recited "Saare Jahan se Achcha" in response. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/DGm4igDgp7- H Raja (@HRajaBJP) January 13, 2020
"Today is the b'day of #RakeshSharma, former Indian Air Force pilot, First Indian to travel in space; Bharat Ratna awardee," tweeted one user.
Today is B'day of #RakeshSharma- (@parashikha) January 13, 2020
Former Indian Air Force pilot
First Indian citizen to travel in space Bharat Ratna Awardee
When former PM Indira ji asked him how India looked from space,
he replied, "Sare Jahan Se Accha" (the best in the world)
Happy Birthday sir https://t.co/d1vHwWPMmF
"India celebrating the birthday of the first Indian who went into space. #RakeshSharma turns 71. The nation will always remember you. We wish you a prosperous & healthy years ahead..." tweeted another user.
"Birthday wishes to Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to travel to space. The country is proud of you. #RakeshSharma," said yet another user.
Recently, Rakesh Sharma had approved the idea of having a national space mission by 2022. Rakesh Sharma said the ambitious mission, which plans to send an Indian into space, is "a coming of age" and a "natural corollary" of every space programme, news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
"If we wish to improve our existence on Earth, we need to ensure that future ventures in outer space, ought to work for the greater good of humankind back on Earth" he said, adding that future ventures into outer space are "not, solely, for the benefit of one or another nation."
(With Inputs From PTI And IANS)