After the exploits of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb and his various ideas about how modern technologies were prevalent in India during the 'time' of the Mahabharata, another top BJP leader has also now got in on the act, and cited 'proof' of such technologies having existed in the time of the epic Ramayana as well.
Uttar Pradesh's Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, while addressing an event, said that the circumstances of the birth of Sita point towards some sort of test-tube baby (In vitro fertilisation - IVF) project being prevalent at the time.
"They say Sita ji was born from a earthernware pot. There must have been a project of that kind... (mentions Janak) A baby came out of the pot and became Sita ji. Somewhere or the other, a test-tube baby must have been there", Sharma said.
In Valmiki's Ramayana, Sita was said to have been discovered in an earthernware pot on a ploughed field by Janaka, king of Mithila. As she was 'born' from the earth, she is regarded as the daughter of Bhumi Devi.
The first known case of IVF, on the other hand, is accepted to have taken place in 1978 with the birth of Louise Brown in Oldham General Hospital, Greater Manchester, UK. However, just 67 days later, the second successful case was recorded in Kolkata with the birth of a girl named Durga!
As such, IVF is described as the process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with a sperm outside the body. In vitro means "in glass", as opposed to 'in utero', meaning in Uterus or before birth. The fertilised egg or zygote is then implanted into a uterus.
This manner of view, of attributing the origin of a technology to India during the 'time' of the Mahabharata or Ramayana, was previously taken to the limit by Biplab Deb, who while speaking at an event in Agartala in April said that the fact that Sanjaya was telling Dhritarashtra about the events of the Mahabharata war proved that Internet and satellites had existed at that time.
Deb had said:
"This is that country in which Sanjaya was sitting and telling Dhritarashtra what was happening in the Mahabharat war."
"That means technology was there! Internet was there, satellite was there..."
"How can he see through Sanjaya's eyes? This means that technology was there at that time. What happened in the middle, we don't know, but at that time, this technology was there."
"I congratulate you people that you are doing this work, but you weren't the first ones to do it. This innovation was done in this country lakhs of years ago."
"I am proud to be born in this country that was running first in technology in the world. Today some European country or US can say that the technology is theirs, but this technology isn't theirs, it's ours."
A few months before that, union MoS Satyapal Singh had taken on Charles Darwin by challenging his theory of evolution and the concept of natural selection by saying:
"Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man."
There have been a number of other such arguments and counter-ideas in recent months.