An old photo of a priest performing a religious ceremony in front of the Agni-V missile is being falsely shared with a claim that it shows a traidional Hindu pooja performed for the successful launch of the Chandrayaan 2.
The photo is being shared in light of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launching Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft on July 22, 2019 with a stated mission to land on the moon’s south polar region.
The Facebook post reads, “This is a slap on the face of people who do not believe in Puja and vedic karma. A group of Chandrayaan-2 scientists performed puja before the launch. In addition, before any launch by ISRO, a replica is presented to Lord Venkateswara in Venkateswara temple so that the launch is successful. Not only in India, but religious rituals are performed around the world. Now a fool will say that the scientist does not believe in worship, why? Congratulations ISRO”
In Hindi – “पूजा पाठ, वैदिक कर्म, कर्मकाण्ड को ढोंग ढकोसला कहनेवाले के मुँह पर जोरदार तमाचा लगाते हुए हमारे चन्द्रयान -2 के वैज्ञानिकों के समूह ने प्रक्षेपण से पूर्व पूजा-पाठ किया । साथ ही ISRO द्वारा किसी भी की प्रक्षेपण से पूर्व उसका प्रतिरूप वेंकटेश्वर मंदिर में भगवान बेंकटेश्वर को अर्पित किया जाता है ताकि प्रक्षेपण सफल रहे। सिर्फ भारत ही नही दुनिया भर के वैज्ञानिक अभियान की सफलता के धार्मिक अनुष्ठान करते है। अब कोई मूर्ख ही कहेगा कि वैज्ञानिक पूजा पाठ को नहीं मानते हैं क्यों? ईसरो का अभिनंदन”V
We searched with the same caption and found that the post was viral on Facebook.
A reverse image search showed that the viral image was taken before the test launch of the Agni-V and not Chandrayaan 2.
BOOM found the image on wire agency Getty Images dated September 15, 2013, the same date as the second test launch of Agni-V. Read here.
The picture clicked by Pallava Bagla had the caption, ‘India today successfully test fired for the second time it’s long range nuclear capable Agni-5 missile that has a range of over 5000 kilometres. India now joins the select club of nations like United States, UK, Russia, France and China that have the capability to operate a missiles across continents, striking at will in Europe, Asia and Africa. The missile can carry a 1000 kg nuclear warhead and has three rocket motors and was launched from Wheeler Island in India.’.
Agni-V missile is an intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India.
BOOM zoomed into the viral image and found that ‘AGNI-5’ was blurred off when compared to the original photo.
BOOM has contacted ISRO to enquire whether a religious ceremony was performed before the launch of Chandrayaan 2. The article will be updated once we receive a response.
News reports suggest that ISRO chief K Sivan visited the Balaji Temple at Tirumala hill shrine and Sri Chengalamma temple in Sullurupet to pray for the success of the Chandrayaan 2 mission on July 14, 2019. Read here.