India and Pakistan is duking it out on Twitter over the crashed lunar rover

On the midnight of September 7, India and space enthusiasts were anticipating the successful conclusion of India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, set to land on the moon at around 20:23 UTC. The lunar rover Vikram was just 2.1 km above the surface of moon when communication went dead, and then realization set in that had crash landed at speeds far exceeding the target 6.6 ft/second touchdown velocity. It was a big setback for India and the Indian Space Agency (ISRO).

And then, from the other side of North West Indian border — Pakistan — came the ridicule. What transpired set off a furious Twitter battle between India and Pakistan.

2AM on September 7 after ISRO confirmed Vikram was incommunicado. Science and Education minister of Pakistan Fawad Chaudhary was one of the first to start the twitter battle, with a tweet mocking ISRO and India. He said “You shouldn’t mess up with things that you cannot accomplish, Dear ‘ENDia’.”

Pakistan’s minister didn’t stop there, and went on trolling not just ISRO and its mission but also the Modi led Indian government.

He continued attacking India the next morning, passing remarks on such subjects as poverty, Kashmir, and lack of public hygiene in the nation.

Political activists from Pakistan also found this a good opportunity to politically and religiously blame India for the failure of Chandrayaan-2. Some stated it was because of Hindutva, Siege and Killings happenning due to recent [Kashmir issue](

On september 8, what was started by Pakistan’s minister as a mockery of India and ISRO became a twitter battle between two nations. #IndiaFailed started trending and poured fuel on the fire. In response, Indians roasted Pakistan’s poor financial conditions and their need for financial aid from China. One tweet from India said “The first picture sent by Vikram rover” and showed Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan begging for money.

Indians also mocked Direct General of Pakistan Asif Gafoor after he tweeted wrong figures related to ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 budget, “900 Crore is not 900 Billion, First get urself admitted into a primary school & learn some basic mathematics.”

Referencing Pakistans’s education system, one tweet said “The country that teaches Earth is flat to their children is now trying to teach us?!” One user also wrote “At least people are taught to pursue science instead of being encouraged to become suicide bombers.”

“#IndiaFailed” was not a hit with all Pakistanis however, as scientific communities from Pakistan regretted the loss of India’s moon mission and expressed frustration over their minister’s narrow mindedness.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chief Satheesh Reddy of India said, “I don’t think the people who haven’t done anything of this class can appreciate or understand the complexity of this mission. Chandrayaan-2 is a very complex mission. This type of complex mission can be appreciated by those people who have also taken up such missions” in a not so subtle dig at Pakistan’s space achievements or lack thereof.

India and Pakistan has been in a perpetual state of some conflict or another since their independence in 1945. The recent Kashmir dispute has no doubt poured fuel on the fire of India-Pakistan social media skirmishes.


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