On Tuesday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar claimed flying objects existed during the period of Ramayana and the arrows of Arjuna of Mahabharata had atomic power. After which he drew flak from scientists and scholars.
Ironically, Dhankhar's comments came during his inaugural address at the 45th eastern India Science Fair and 19th Science and Engineering Fair. "If we delve into our old scriptures... plane was invented in 1910 or 1911. But in Ramayana, we had uran khatola (aircraft). In Mahabhabharata, we had a situation where Sanjay narrated everything and not from the field. We had those arrows of Arjun that had nuclear power," said Dhankhar.
According to Mahabharata, Sanjaya had the gift of seeing events happening at a distance right in front of him, and narrated them to the blind king Dhritarashtra the action in the climactic battle of Kurukshetra, which includes the Bhagavad Gita. "The world can no longer afford to ignore India," said Dhankhar.
Many scientists criticized the governor and said that he should refrain from making such statements. Veteran nuclear physicist Bikash Sinha, a Padma Bhusan and Padma Shri awardee told the Hindustan Times, “He is showing symptoms of insanity. As scientists, we get furious when we hear such things. Someday he may say Lord Krishna’s chakra had powers of hydrogen bomb. This is absurd. Since he is a governor, people listen to what he says. I am afraid that such statements can have a negative impact on the society. He means to say that we had everything in the past and there is nothing new.”
Taking a dig at the Governor, Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said "the problem is these Governors appointed by the centre's BJP government are delving into everything. They are know-alls". He said there was indeed a reference to weapons like 'pashupat astr'0a in Mahabharata which was "capable of destroying the world and the people", and Ramayana did speak of the very speedy "pushpak rath", "But what people like Jagdeep Dhankhar are totally incapable of fathoming is that great poets have very strong power of imagination."
(Inputs from Agencies)