Many people say that the mention of 'vimaanas'; or flying machines in several Sanskrit texts, e.g. pushpak vimaan in Ramayana proves that ancient Indians had developed the science of aircraft construction and aeronautical engineering. This would be in line with the Prime Minister's statement that in ancient India our surgeons could do head transplant and genetic engineering.
However, the question then arises : If there were aeroplanes in ancient India, there must have been engines in ancient India, because an aeroplane runs on an engine ( or more than one engine ). Then why was the Mahabharata war fought with chariots and horses, instead of with tanks, self propelled artillery, and motorized katyushas ?
It is true that there is mention of vimaanas in our epics like the Ramayana. But what is Ramayana ? It is an epic poem ( mahakavya ). In poetry a poet has, what is known as , poetic licence. In other words, he can exaggerate. So everything written in the Mahabharat or Ramayana should not be taken and understood literally.
There were certainly no aircraft in ancient India. Even a child knows that the first aircraft in the world was invented in Americaby the Wright brothers in 1903. It it is true that ancient Indians like Aryabhatta had made some outstanding discoveries in science and mathematics e.g. the decimal system. Sushruta had invented plastic surgery in ancient India. But this did not enable a surgeon to do head transplant. Nor was genetic engineering invented by ancient Indians.
Thus by mixing up the truth with falsehood, we dilute the real great achievements of our ancestors
I regret to say that these ' champions ' of Indian culture are largely ignorant of our culture and the real great achievements of our ancestors ( see my article ' Sanskrit as a language of Science ' on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in or the website kgfindia.com ), but by making false and empty boasts ( see my blog ' Mixing the True with the Untrue ' ) they make us a laughing stock before the whole world.