India's 1st astronaut speaks

Competence Matters, Not Gender: Rakesh Sharma On A Woman Possibly Being Second Indian In Space

Amitabh P Revi New Delhi 4 December 2018

India’s first astronaut Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (retd) speaks to SNI’s Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi on his unforgettable space flight in 1984. He talks about the next Indian to follow him, the process of being chosen, whether he still speaks Russian and Shah Rukh Khan’s biopic. India’s only cosmonaut, so far, was in New Delhi to attend the unveiling of his portrait by Dr Vladimir Anisimov in the presence of the Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev in partnership with the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


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  • I recall with nostalgia the warm welcome Rakesh Sharma received after his space oddessy at the Star City. Soft spoken and degnified, wearing his fame lightly on his shoulders – he signed my commemorative booklet with a smile.
    It’s a treasured possession.
    Hurtling through space – when he flew over India – PM Indira Gandhi asked him how India looked. His spontaneous reply “Saare jahan se achchaa” was heart warming.

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