Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday equated ISRO’s rockets with the arrows of Lord Ram, saying the Hindu deity had done in the past what the space agency was doing now. Invoking the Ramayana, Rupani also praised Ram for his “engineering skills” by having a bridge, the mythological ‘Ram Setu’, constructed between India and Sri Lanka, “with the help of the engineers of that era”. “Each arrow of Lord Ram was a missile. What ISRO is doing right now (launching rockets), Lord Ram used to launch in those days,” the chief minister said while addressing the first convocation ceremony of the Institute of Infrastructure Technology Research and Management(IITRAM), located in Maninagar area, yesterday. Tapan Misra, Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Space Application Centre, was also present at the event.
Rupani said, “If we link infrastructure with Lord Ram, imagine what kind of engineers he had at that time to build that Ram Setu bridge between India and Sri Lanka. Even squirrels contributed in building that bridge. It was Lord Ram’s imagination which was realised by the engineers of that era.” The BJP leader went on to pick more examples from the mythological text to connect to the modern era. According to the chief minister, Hanuman carrying an entire mountain to bring a cure for Lakshman was a story of “infrastructure development”, while Ram eating berries tasted by Shabari was “social engineering”. “When Lord Hanuman could not pick up the right herb which can cure Lakshman, he brought the entire mountain. We wonder what kind of technology existed back then which facilitated the shifting of the mountain. This is also a story of infrastructure development,” he said.
“Not just developing weapons and infrastructure, Lord Ram also did social engineering. He brought people from all castes and communities together. By eating berries offered by Shabri, he won trust of adivasis (tribals). Imagine bringing together Sugreev, Hanuman and the army of monkeys, it was social engineering by Lord Ram.”