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Despite Criticism, Bengal Governor Sticks to Claims That Arjuna's Arrows Had Atomic Power

Jagdeep Dhankhar said he sincerely believed that India was the world leader 4,000 years ago, the time which is believed to be portrayed in the epic.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:January 15, 2020, 7:08 PM IST
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Despite Criticism, Bengal Governor Sticks to Claims That Arjuna's Arrows Had Atomic Power
File photo of West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday reiterated his claim that flying objects existed during the period of Ramayana and the arrows used by Arjuna in Mahabharata had atomic power.

Dhankhar said he sincerely believed that India was the world leader 4,000 years ago, the time which is believed to be portrayed in the epic.

“Those who are making an issue out of my statement should read history first. Nearly 4,000 years ago, don’t you think such things actually existed?" asked Dhankhar. "Sitting far away, ‘Sanjay’ narrated the Mahabharata war to Dhritarashtra. How was it possible? Those questioning me should read their history first as I believe in my knowledge of science.”

Dhankhar has been castigated by academicians for his comments and joins a long list of politicians who have, in recent years, given bizarre interpretations linking mythology to science.

Dhankhar on Tuesday said the plane was invented in 1910 or 1911 but, as per older scriptures, ‘Uran Khatolas’ (flying objects) actually existed during the time of Ramayana. The remarks were made at the 45th Eastern India Science Fair and the 19th Science and Engineering Fair.

"Sanjaya narrated the entire war of Mahabharata (to the Dhritarashtra) not from the TV. The arrows of Arjuna in Mahabharata had atomic power in it," Dhankhar had said, asserting that the world can no longer afford to ignore India.

Dhankhar said he respects the views of his critics but has the right to disagree. "Some people may take Lord Ram to be a mythological figure, but I don't."

In the Mahabharata, Sanjaya had narrated the fierce war fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas at Kurukshetra to Dhritarashtra, the blind Kaurava King, though he was away from the battlefield.

Dhankhar is not the only one to make such statements in recent times. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma had earlier claimed that internet existed during the times of Mahabharata and Sita was a test tube baby.

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi was also trolled recently after she shared a fake video claiming "NASA recorded sound chants ‘Om’ from Sun".

Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said, “I don’t have words to explain what he (Governor) had said. We must understand that such content is the strong imagination of great writers. Somewhere they exaggerated the patterns in mythology, like Dashrath living for 3,000 years. There was no existence of atom bombs, flying objects, internet-like signal in those periods.”

"Such comments are not only insane but also laughable. According to the Constitution there are both fundamental rights and fundamental duties. One of our fundamental duties is to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. So the comments by a person holding constitutional office is against the Constitution," Trinamool Congress leader and MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said.

Senior CPI(M) leader Tanmoy Bhattacharya said the BJP is trying to take the country "back to the middle ages".

"They want to take back the country to the middle ages. This statement is not an isolated one, but a calculated move towards that objective," he added.

Scientist Sandip Chakraborty said such comments only hurt scientific progress in India at the global forum.

"The ancient writers described all these things based on their imagination. It is true that India had made a lot of progress during the ancient period, but such comments only damage the progress made by our scientific community (in modern times)," he said.

Nuclear physicist and Padma Bhusan awardee Bikash Sinha said he is afraid that such statements can have a negative impact on society.

(With inputs from PTI)

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