A recent post by actor Prakash Raj about India’s Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission has sparked outrage on social media. Some people on X, formerly known as Twitter, viewed the illustration of an old Malayali joke about a tea seller on the Moon, 58, as an act of irony and insult to the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
He has now hit back at the backlash, making it clear that it was “an Armstrong-era joke” involving the people of Kerala.
“Hate just see Hate.. i’m referring to a joke from the #Armstrong days.. celebrate our Chaiwala kerala.. What TROLLS did Chaiwala see??.. if you don’t understand the joke then it’s a joke. belongs to you.. GROW UP #justasking,” read his new tweet.
Hate just see Hate.. I’m referring to a joke of #Armstrong times .. celebrate our Chaiwala kerala .. what Chaiwala has the TROLLS seen ?? .. if you don’t understand the joke then the joke is on you .. UP UP #just askhttps://t.co/NFHkqJy532
– Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) August 21, 2023
The actor had previously shared a social media post about a caricature depicting a man pouring tea.
– Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) August 20, 2023
The post was deemed insensitive and offensive by users who urged him to show respect to the scientists responsible for India’s historic Moon mission.
“Chandrayaan-3 is something that the whole of India should be proud of, regardless of political ideology. Know the line between political and national trolling,” one user wrote.
“There’s a difference between hating someone and hating your country. It’s sad to see your condition!” wrote otherwise.
“This is so sad. The work of ISRO and Chandrayaan-3 is one of those rare things that ignites the spark of solidarity, passion and optimism in billions of hearts. If you can’t celebrate it, you can’t celebrate it.” , the more you hate an individual more intensely than your love for the country,” one person wrote.
“Never let hate swallow you up to the point where you start hating the progress, achievements and efforts of your country and people,” another shared.
However, one user pointed out that this post is related to an old joke that “precedes anyone you feel he is insulting”.
“People who only hate will only hate. If that makes any difference, Prakash Raaj is referring to a joke (before anyone you feel he is offending) about how he is insulting) we find Keralites everywhere in the world and the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin saw when they landed on the moon was a Malayali selling tea there. The keralites we lay out about ourselves and we wholeheartedly accept and laugh about it for decades Now, if you have to insist on hating even after it’s been explained to you, that’s saying up a lot of things about you, right?” The user wrote along with a photo of a tea vendor, apparently Malayali, on the Moon with an astronaut in the foreground.
Those who only hate will only hate.
If it makes any difference, @prakashraaj is referring to a joke (before anyone you feel he’s insulting) about how we find Keralites everywhere in the world and the first thing Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin see when they … pic.twitter.com/reJJKkgHeY
— Dr. Roshan R (@pythoroshan) August 21, 2023
Prakash Raj is a vocal critic of the ruling party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She ran as an independent candidate in Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency in India general election 2019 but lost.
Chandrayaan-3 was launched into space on an LVM3 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on July 14 and entered lunar orbit on August 5. It is expected to make a light landing on the 23rd. August.