NEW DELHI: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb's claim that Internet existed in the days of Mahabharata has set off a flurry of reaction from Twitter users, who were largely unforgiving for his bizarre statement.
While a section of the Twitterati used humour to ridicule Deb's claim, other took a swipe at him with tweets loaded with sarcasm.
"Chief minister of Tripura Biplab kumar Deb said that internet exist during Mahabharat times So was he communication Minister there at time? ..... Thank god he didnt said that he gave training to Bheem in his Gym," a user, with handle @naina4ucozy, wrote on the micro-blogging site.
Users mentioned characters like Krishna, Arjuna and Draupadi from the Hindu epic to mock the newly-elected chief minister of the northeastern state.
"If according to Biplab deb internet existed during the times of Mahabharat, the main question is, what was Draupadi's favorite Snapchat filter?," tweeted another user @ThePolanator.
"Biggest joke of the millennium. Tomorrow some other BJP Leader will claim there was Mobile phone in Mahabharat ,otherwise how could Dharmaraja answered questions from Yaksha, of course only by seeking lifeline!," @anumakondaj tweeted.
The reaction was triggered by Deb's remarks yesterday at a workshop on public distribution system (PDS) computerisation and reforms in Agaratala.
In the Mahabharata, it has been mentioned that Sanjay gave a live relay of the war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas to the blind king Dhritarashtra, he said.
"Communication was possible because our technology was sophisticated and developed during those times. We had the Internet and satellite communication system. It is not like the Internet or media wasn't available in the age of Mahabharata," the chief minister had said.
The 48-year-old Deb had taken charge as the chief minister of Tripura on March 9, following a spectacular electoral victory of the BJP that ended unchallenged 25-year rule of the Left in the state.
"Internet In The Time Of Mahabharat: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb's interpretation of Mahabharat... When Krishna used Google Maps and Arjun ran out of data. #InternetMahabharata," @ArreTweets posted.
"Internet was there in Mahabharat-Tripura CM Biplab dev.. Thanks a lot for not saying Bhishm pitamah existing today," said another user @Abidebyconstitn.
User @KumarShreshtha had a question for Deb: "...Can you please answer which happened first Ramayana or Mahabharat ? Any citation against what the broad minded like you claim".
"Of course, there was #internet for Sanjay to see and recount the #Mahabharat to Dhritirashtra. In fact, the warriors used GPS on their weapons to locate their targets during the war. The gems just keep coming in!," wrote @aartiishere.
But, a few also tweeted in Deb's support apparently.
"Tripura CM Biplab Deb said about Vedic Science,you may call it internet or WiFi or anytime else. Atomic weapons were used during Mahabharat & Harappa, Mohenjo-daro ruined due to atomic war. @BjpBiplab," wrote @ippatel.
Another user @t_d_h_nair said: "Internet and satellite technology is not new to India; it was prevalent at the time of Mahabharat. Sanjay regularly updating Dhritarashtra about the war sitting at a distant place wdnt hv been possible without satellite. - Biplab Dev, BJP's Tripura CM." But, the tweet sounded more of a sarcasm than support.