An Indian minister's claims that the internet and satellite technology were invented by ancient Indians thousands of years ago has sparked a Twitter firestorm of ridicule from his compatriots.
On Tuesday, Biplab Deb, chief minister of the northeastern state of Tripura, said a story from the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata proved internet existed over 3,000 years ago.
Citing the battle of Kurukshetra, Deb said the epic also proved satellite technology was being used in ancient India. He said the character Sanjaya must have used both technologies to give a detailed account of the battle to King Dhritarashtra from miles away.
Indians weren't convinced, taking to social media to mock the lawmaker, prompting "Tripura CM Biplap Deb" to trend on Twitter.
The chief minister of India's Tripura state says that his country has been using the Internet since the era of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.— Arif Rafiq (@ArifCRafiq) April 18, 2018
So I think that would mean around the 10th century BC.
No wonder India leads the world in trolls.https://t.co/SBqWZ2fgMM
Deb is not the first minister in the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP to claim modern-day technologies in the ancient world.
In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a hospital gathering in Mumbai that cosmetic surgery was practiced in ancient India. Last September, junior education minister Satyapal Singh claimed the first mention of an airplane occurred in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana.
The anti-intellectualism and regressive streak from sections of the BJP continues to astound and worry. Rather than solve today's problems they're busy romanticizing a fictional past that never existed. Pathetic and embarrassing. https://t.co/QqTxXZFL9F— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) April 18, 2018