Mumbai: An invited plenary speaker at the Indian Science Congress in Mumbai on Sunday raised eyebrows after he delivered a 30 minute speech on ancient Indian aviation technology. Captain Anand Bodas said planes were invented in the Vedic Age by a sage. He also said they could travel from one planet to another, halt mid air and move in any direction thereafter.
"There is official history and unofficial history. Official history only noted that the Wright Brothers flew the first plane in 1903," said Mr Bodas. (Ancient Indian Science Should Have Been Discussed Earlier, Says Noted Scientist at Indian Science Congress)
An online petition by a scientist at the NASA research centre, signed by over 200 other scientists had demanded that the scheduled lecture be cancelled as it mixes mythology with science and misleads people.
"I haven't heard of any online petition. I'll cross the bridge when I get there. Once I receive it, I'll give it thought", Mr Bodas said.
He cited an ancient Indian treatise, the 'Vaimanika Prakaranam' as the source of the text and said that most of its principles have been forgotten with the passage of time.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar who was also present at the symposium said, "Ancient Indian scientific theories were based on minute observations and logic. That wisdom must be recognised."
The symposium on 'Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit' was a first in 102 years of the Indian Science Congress. Eight speakers were invited to deliver speeches on topics ranging from ancient Indian botany and nueroscience of yoga to ancient Indian aviation technology and ancient Indian surgery.