Indian minister ridiculed for claiming Internet was invented by ancient Indians

Biplab Deb, who is the chief minister of the north-eastern state of Tripura, had made the comments at a public function.
Biplab Deb, who is the chief minister of the north-eastern state of Tripura, had made the comments at a public function.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI - Netizens are mocking an Indian minister who claimed that the Internet and satellite were invented hundreds of thousands of years ago by ancient Indians.

Mr Biplab Deb, 46, who is the chief minister of the north-eastern state of Tripura, had made the comments at a public function on Tuesday (April 17).

"Internet and satellite communication had existed in the days of Mahabharata. How could Sanjaya (the charioteer of King Dhritarashtra) give a detailed account and description to the blind king about the battle of Kurukshetra? It means Internet was there, the satellites and that technology was there in this country at that time," he said, according to Times of India.

Mr Deb, who is from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that European nations and the United States may claim that the Internet is their invention, but it is actually India's technology.

He said since the era of the Mahabharata, India was top in technology but somehow in the middle, it got lost.

"But, again today India has regained its position in technology in the world and it can be proved from the fact that a large number of software engineers play a vital role in the US companies," he added.

But his claim has not found many takers.

According to the BBC, "Tripura CM Biplap Deb" is trending on Twitter with many Indians mocking him.

Kshitij Nagar tweeted: "Well I hope they at least had better bandwidth than what present day ISPs offer."

Others pointed out that this was a dangerous trend with the current government.

"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 romanticising a fictional past that never existed. Pathetic and embarrassing," commented Twitter user Rupa Subramanya.

According to the BBC, Mr Deb is not the first Indian minister to have claimed that many modern day science technologies were invented in ancient India.

In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a gathering of doctors and medical staff at a Mumbai hospital that cosmetic surgery existed in ancient India.

Last September, junior education minister Satyapal Singh raised a few eyebrows when he claimed that the airplane was invented by Indian scholar Shivkar Bapuji Talpade and not the Wright Brothers, NDTV reported.

Earlier last year, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had equated the rockets developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation with the arrows of Lord Ram, and credited him for his "engineering skills" for building the mythical 'Ram Setu' between India and Sri Lanka.