The arrows of Mahabharata's Arjuna had atomic power, claimed West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, drawing sharp criticism from academicians, even as he joined a long list of politicians who have in recent years given bizarre interpretations linking mythology with science.
Speaking at the 45th Eastern India Science Fair and 19th Science and Engineering Fair on Tuesday, Mr Dhankhar also claimed that flying objects existed during the period of Ramayana.
"It is said that the plane was invented in 1910 or 1911, but if we delve into our old scriptures we will see in Ramayana, we had ''uran khatola'' (aircraft)," he said.
"Sanjaya narrated the entire war of Mahabharata (to Dhitarasthra) not from TV. The arrows of Arjuna in Mahabharata had atomic power in it," Dhankhar said, asserting that the world can no longer afford to ignore India.
According to Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, Sanjay, even after staying away from the battlefield, had narrated what was happening there to Dhritarashtra, who was blind. Mr Dhankhar, who has been in news for clashes with the Mamata Banerjee government ever since he assumed office in July last year, joins politicians such as Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb and UP deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma to give odd interpretations of mythology.
While Mr Deb had claimed that the internet existed during Mahabharata, Mr Sharma suggested that godess Sita was a test tube
Recently, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was trolled online for sharing a doctored video that claimed, "NASA recorded sound of sun -- Sun chants Om".
Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said governors appointed by the BJP government at the Centre are delving into everything and behave "as if they are know-alls".
"They fail to understand one thing that great writers have very strong power of imagination," she said.
Scientist Sandip Chakraborty said such comments only hurt the scientific progress in India at the global forum. "The ancient writers described all these things based on their imagination. It is true that India made a lot of progress during the ancient period, but such comments only damages the progress made by our scientific community," he said.