In the wake of the successful soft-landing of India’s Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface’s south pole, Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, the national president of All India Hindu Mahasabha, has called upon the government to declare the Moon a “Hindu Sanatan Rashtra” (Hindu Eternal Nation). The call comes in the midst of a naming controversy surrounding the landing sites.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent announcement that the landing point of the Chandrayaan-3 lander Vikram would be named ‘Shiv Shakti,’ and the site of Chandrayaan-2’s crash-landing would be called ‘Tiranga,’ has sparked debates and reactions from various quarters.
Swami Chakrapani Maharaj took to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to share a video where he stated, “The Indian government should act quickly so that no terrorists can reach the Moon. Moon should be declared as Hindu Sanatan Rashtra by Parliament, Shiv Shakti Point should be developed as its capital at the landing place of Chandrayaan-3, so that no terrorist can reach there with Jihadi mentality.”
The Swami’s appeal has ignited discussions across the political spectrum. Congress leader Rashid Alvi criticized the Prime Minister’s decision to name the lunar surface, deeming it “ridiculous” and asserting that Modi lacked the authority to make such decisions.
ISRO chief S Somanath weighed in on the controversy, attempting to ease tensions. In a statement to news agency ANI, Somanath said, “There is no need for a controversy over the name. The explanation that the honorable Prime Minister gave on ‘Shiv Shakti,’ he represented it as a combination of man and woman, the contribution of women in ISRO, and the need to create that kind of synergy in the organization.”
Somanath further said, “So he narrated the meaning of the word in a manner that suits all of us. There is nothing wrong with that. He also gave the next name to ‘Tiranga.’ Both are Indian-sounding names. He has a prerogative of naming it being the Prime Minister of the country.”