Was Hanuman the first space traveller? Did Ravana’s ten heads give him the intelligence and skills required to make an aeroplane? Did Lord Ganesh receive his elephantine tusk through plastic surgery in an ancient All India Institute of Medical Science?
If you answer ‘yes’ to all such questions you are eligible to present a science paper in the 102nd Indian Science Congress being conducted by Mumbai University. “One paper, co-authored by Captain Anand Bodas, retired head of a pilot training centre, and Ameya Jadhav, a teacher, claimed there was evidence of ancient aviation in the Rigveda,” says a Hindu report. There were 200-foot planes that could fly forwards, backwards and sideways and even hover in mid-air during the Vedic age. The Captain claimed that the planes, invented by a sage called Maharishi Bharadwaj over 7000 years ago, had up to 30 engines and were equipped for warfare.
The Head of the Sanskrit department of the University claimed that Pythagoras Theorem was actually discovered by Baudhayan in 800 BCE. One wonders in the first place what a Sanskrit professor was doing in a science congress. Another such ‘scientist’ claimed that cows could turn food into 24-carat gold using some bacteria in their bodies. Well, the cow is getting holier!
One exhibitor, Kiran Naik, said that during the Mahabharata war, there was a chase in one of those Vedic planes from the earth to the moon and then to Mars, where a king attacked his rival, breaking his helmet. More, he asserted that NASA found the helmet on Mars.
What is happening to India? Are we becoming a nation of loonies burying our sanity under the ossified leaves of the past?