Mathura, Jun 1: Taking a cue from Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb on linking modern inventions with ancient India, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on Thursday said that journalism began in the Mahabharata era. Sharma, who was speaking at an event organised to mark the ‘Hindi Journalism Day’, also drew a parallel between Narad Muni and search engine giant Google.

The BJP minister rejected the various claims on the origin of journalism, and said, “It (journalism) started during Mahabharata”. He also cited various instances from the Indian epic to buttress his claim. He said the mythological character, Sanjaya, sitting at Hastinapur, narrated a bird’s eye view of the war of Mahabharata, to Dhritarashtra. “Yeh live telecast nahi to aur kya hai (if it is not live telecast, then what is it ?),” Sharma asked.

Equating Narada with the present-day Google, the deputy chief minister said, “Your Google has started now, but our Google started a 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.” He lauded freedom of press in the country while asserting that governments should be responsible for the safety and security of media persons.

The BJP leaders have courted controversy by claiming that advance medical procedures like cataract, plastic surgery, even the gravitation theory, nuclear tests and the internet, have all started during ancient times. Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had likened Narada Muni to Google. He said Narad Muni used to deliver news to Balram (brother of Lord Krishna) during the Mahabharata period.

Tripura CM Biplab Deb also claimed that internet and satellite communications existed in India thousands of years ago. Deb also advised mechanical engineers not to go for the civil services as, he said, civil engineers were better suited for the job. “Those who are from a mechanical engineering background should not opt for civil services. Society has to be built up. Civil engineers have this knowledge,” Deb said. (With PTI inputs)