Saare Jahan Se Accha when Rakesh Sharma told Indira Gandhi
LUCKNOWWhen asked by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi how India looked from space, ‘Saare Jahaan Se Accha’ was the prompt reply of India’s first cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma which had instilled a fresh sense of pride among Inidans.
He turned 67 today. Newztrack.com wishes him a very happy birthday.
Born on January 13’ 1949, Rakesh is a former Indian Air Force Pilot and flew aboard as a part of the Intercosmos Programme on April 3’ 1984. He along with the then Wing Commander Ravish Malhotra was shortlisted for the space mission but it was Rakesh Sharma who finally made the cut.
Rakesh was selected on September 20’ 1982 to travel in space as a part of joint programme between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Soviet Intercosmos Programme. He spent 7 days 21 hours and 40 minutes aboard the Salyut 7 orbital station.
Rakesh recited the lines of famous patriotic urdu poem written by Iqbal, ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara’ when asked by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that how Indian looked from above. He carried with him portraits of Indira Gandhi, President Zail Singh, Defence Minister Venkataraman and some soil from Rajghat, where the mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi are kept.
Rakesh used to practice yoga for 10 minutes every day to improve his efficacy for keeping fit in space, he had once said.
The cosmonaut was conferred with the honour of Hero of Soviet Union upon his return from space and the Government of India also bestowed upon him the highest peace time gallantry award - the Ashoka Chakra.