So, you laughed when Narendra Modi gassed about the ‘chaiwala’ who used “gutter gas” to fire up his stove? Don’t.

There can be no doubt in any rational Indian’s mind that India has come a long way since May 2014—a long way backwards, that is from 1946, when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of the “scientific temper“.

Convinced that freedom also means the freedom to say anything without establishing a synaptic link between the brain and the mouth, several worthies of the ‘Tongue Parivar’ have been spouting what at best can only be classified as lunatic science.

The latest piece of icing on the cake, of course, is Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi regaling scientists on Biofuel Day yesterday, of his brilliant brethren, the chaiwala who used gas from a drain to light up his stove to make tea.

So, bhakton, here’s an Independence Day quiz to test how well up you are with the latest advances. Who, amongst your crazy lot, made these bizarre claims?

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1.
“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.” Answer: here.

2.
“Internet and satellite communication had existed in the days of Mahabharata. Sanjay [the charioteer of king Dhritarashtra] using the technology gave a detailed account and description to the blind king about the battle of Kurukshetra. How could Dhritarashtra see through Sanjay’s eyes? There was technology available at that time… Internet was there, satellite communication was there.” Answer: here.

3.
“We worship Lord Ganesha. 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.” Answer: here.

4.
“Today we are talking about nuclear tests. Lakhs of years ago, Sage Kanad had conducted a nuclear test. Our knowledge and science do not lack anything.” Answer: here.

5.
Charles Darwin’s theory (of evolution of humans) is scientifically wrong. Since the man is seen on Earth he has always been a man. Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. No books we have read or the tales told to us by our grandparents had such a mention.” Answer: here.

6.
Gai ekmatra prani hai jo oxygen grahan karta hai, aur oxygen hi chodta hai (The cow is the only animal that takes in oxygen and also releases oxygen).” Answer: here.

7.
“Our scientists discovered the Pythagoras theorem, but we … gave credit to the Greeks. We all know that we knew ‘beejganit’ much before the Arabs, but very selflessly we allowed it to be called Algebra. This is the base the Indian scientific community has maintained.” Answer: here.

8.
“If a civil engineer becomes an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, he can give inputs in construction projects, which mechanical engineers cannot. One should not opt for civil services after studying mechanical engineering. Civil engineers have the experience and knowledge to help build administration and society. Civil engineering gives that kind of knowledge.” Answer: here.

9.
“We know that television was invented by a priest from Scotland called John Logie Baird in 1926. But we want to take you to an even older Doordarshan… Indian rishis using their yog vidya would attain divya drishti. There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this… In Mahabharata, Sanjaya sitting inside a palace in Hastinapur and using his divya shakti would give a live telecast of the battle of Mahabharata… to the blind Dhritarashtra”. Answer: here.

10.
“Your Google has started now, but our Google started long time back. ‘Narad Muni’ was the epitome of information. He could reach anywhere and transfer a message from one place to another by saying ‘Narayana’ three times.” Answer: here.

11.
“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. The Rig Veda refers to this…” Answer: here.