Mumbai | Actor Prakash Raj was trolled on Monday for a post on X, formerly Twitter, viewed by many as mocking India's Moon mission Chandrayaan-3 and responded by saying, "hate sees only hate" and he was referring to an old joke.
On Sunday, Raj shared a cartoon showing a man in a shirt and sarong pouring tea. He captioned the cartoon in Kannada, writing, "Latest news: First view just arrived from the Chandrayaan #VikramLander #justasking".
While the actor did not specify the man in the cartoon, many social media users slammed the actor for making fun of former ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) chief K Sivan.
Among them was Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.
"I condemn Prakash Raj for this shameful tweet. Success of ISRO is success of India," he wrote.
Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14, is ready to touch down on the Moon's south pole on August 23. It will be the first to land on the lunar south pole. On Sunday, India's space agency specified it would do so at 6.04 pm.
In a tweet on Monday, the actor said his earlier tweet was referring to an old joke from the era of Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969.
"Hate sees only Hate... i was referring to a joke of #Armstrong times.. celebrating our Kerala Chaiwala.. which Chaiwala did the TROLLS see?? .. if you don't get a joke then the joke is on you.. Grow up #justasking(sic)," Raj tweeted.
The actor's tweet left many users angry on social media, with one of the users even asking Raj, known to be vocal against the government, to keep
political hate away from ISRO's achievements.
"Prakashji, this Chandrayan mission is from ISRO not BJP. If it gets succeed, it's for India not for any party (sic). Why you want this mission to fail? BJP is just a ruling party. It will go one day. But ISRO will remain for years and will make us proud (sic)," he wrote on X.
Some others felt the National Award winning actor had taken his criticism of the BJP too far with his latest post.
He is making fun of an achievement that the world considers a milestone," wrote another user.
"You have stooped so low.. feel ashamed that you are a fellow countryman !! I am proud of ISRO !! Jai Hind.
Raj, who has made his mark in films such as "Kanchivaram", "Singham" and "Wanted", contested as an independent candidate for Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency during the 2019 general elections and lost.
Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.