Ever since Narendra Modi took centre stage in Indian politics, there has been a surge in nationalist sentiments of a strange kind - it's as if a section of India has been on a trip to rewrite history and claim several firsts as feats achieved by India or in India. The PM wants to "Make in India" but his party members seemed determined to prove that everything was Made in India first. And it's bigger and better. The latest in the list is BJP MP from Uttarakhand Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who suggested that science is a dwarf compared to astrology. While Bejan Daruwala's clan and Smriti Irani might be thrilled at the suggestion, most other rational people let out a collective groan.
Here's a handy list of everything that's proof that what India thinks today, the world figures out centuries later.
1. Astrology > Science Like a true chivalrous gentleman, Nishank came to the rescue of Smriti Irani who was being harangued by the Opposition for her alleged visit to the astrologer. Given that her pictures were splashed on several vernacular dailies, the only way to defend her, was by saying astrology is better than science, right? So he said, "Astrology which can predict the future is far ahead of science. Science in fact is a pygmy compared to astrology." But PM Modi should be really annoyed with his minister. While he woke in the wee hours of the morning to be present at the Mars Orbiter launch, he should have been really looking at the charts of what Mangal rising meant for his future.
2. Ganesha first, plastic surgery later Rene Zellweger can chin up now. If she is tired of fielding brickbats for the plastic surgery mess-up she has been victim to, she can point at us Indians. We worship Ganesha, who according to our Prime Minister, was the first individual in the universe to have undergone plastic surgery. "There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant”s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery," were our PM's actual words at Mumbai. Considering that there is no evidence that Ganesha specifically asked for an elephant head to replace his own, the said 'plastic surgery' can be categorised as one that went horribly wrong. Anyway not to split hairs (or faces) but if it was anything surgical it was really a head transplant rather than a facelift.
3. Where did IVF come from? Mahabharata yaar! While English physiologist Robert G Edwards might have snagged the Nobel Prize in Medicine for facilitating the first IVF, he should have really been reading the Mahabharata. PM Modi suggested that since Karna in Mahabharata was not born of Kunti's womb, the said child must have been born out of an artificial process - no divine mumbo jumbo like some would want to believe. He told a congregation of doctors in Mumbai, "We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb.”
4. Hallucination > Television Now dope heads need not get excited. We are not talking about the bhang or weed induced 'visions'. A textbook brought out by the Gujarat government, with a foreword by Narendra Modi, had stated that much before J. L. Baird envisaged the television, ancient Yogis in India had a better, more handy version of it. The text book, as reported by The Indian Express, reads: "Indian rishis using their yog vidya would attain divya drishti. There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this." Aastha televison jai ho. Imagine watching whatever you fancy and not saas bahu dramas! Obviously divine vision wins over television on this.
5. Horse-less Chariots > Ferrari The same text book suggested the following: "What we know today as the motorcar existed during the Vedic period. It was called anashva rath. Usually a rath (chariot) is pulled by horses but an anashva rath means the one that runs without horses or yantra-rath, what is today a motorcar." Only problem of course is somehow along the way we forgot how to do all of these and had to have everything tediously reinvented for us. But at least we made it in India first.
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Updated Date: Dec 05, 2014 07:39:13 IST