Read Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements on genetic science and plastic surgery being present in ancient times. He has cited “plastic surgery” to explain the creation of Lord Ganesha, and “genetic science” to explain birth of Karna.

Speaking at a function in Mumbai on Saturday, Mr. Modi stressed on the need to improve healthcare facilities and said “We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time. We all read about Karna in Mahabharat. 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.” He spoke of Lord Ganesha and said that 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.

Why just medical science? Mr. Modi seems to be forgetting our contribution to Space Science, Aeronautics, Engineering, Quantum Mechanics and Technology! Missiles were used in Mahabharata, right? And where did these ancient highly powerful and advanced futuristic weapons come from? But obviously from aliens! Ancient Indians had already discovered other planets and launched ‘satellites’ centuries ago. Am sure there are lessons for modern day scientists. Probably organisations like ISRO and NASA should simply study Mahabharata, Ramayana and other mythological tales, rather than spending time and energy on modern research and development. Just imagine how advanced the technology those days were that Rama’s bridge, the Sethu between India and Srilanka was built in less than one year. And then how can we forget that Sita’s whereabouts were probably successfully located by use of GPS. Ancient India’s development in aeronautical engineering was also so advanced that Sant Tukaram was carried to Vaikunta (heaven) by Lord Vishnu’s Garuda Vahan, the most sophisticated drone during those times.
At not point in time, do I mean to criticise Indian mythology – I myself am well-read and believe in the richness of our Indian culture and benefits of reading these legends. My objection is to glorification of mythological legends to establish relevance in the modern era.
Our first Prime Minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, way back in 1930’s believed that Science and Technology would play a major role in the economic, social and cultural advancement of our country. He envisioned the development of nuclear weapons and established the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948. Isn’t it an irony that here we are today in 2014, and our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, creates stories to glorify relevance of ancient mythology? Am surprised, to say the least. Seriously hoping he does not really believe this. Are we moving backward or forward???