Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh regional publicity chief Narendra Jain has claimed that Hindu mythological sage Narad was the first journalist in the universe, PTI reported on Monday. His statement follows a comment last week by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma who equated Narad to search engine Google.

“Narad was the first journalist of the entire universe,” PTI quoted Jain as saying. “No two ways about it. It is a matter of faith. A debate on the issue will be futile.”

Jain’s statement follow a long list of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who have claimed that technology existed in ancient India.

On May 30, during a speech in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura, Dinesh Sharma had said: “Your Google has started now, but our Google started long time back. Narad muni [sage] was the epitome of information. He could reach any place or transfer a message by saying ‘Narayana’ three times.” The deputy chief minister had also claimed that journalism began during the time of the Mahabharata.

On June 2, the police in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district booked Sharma for insulting Sita by claiming “she was the first test-tube baby of India”, IANS reported.

In February, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh said some Indian mantras had spoken of the laws of motion much before Isaac Newton discovered them. He had also claimed that Charles Darwin’s theory of man’s evolution is “scientifically wrong”.

On April 18, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said the narrator of Mahabharata described the battle of Kurukshetra to the blind King Dhritarashtra through internet and technology. A few days later, he claimed the government’s achievement of sending “104 satellites a year to space” proved claims in the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Upanishads that ancient India had a developed scientific tradition. Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy had also agreed with Deb.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on April 30 also drew a parallel between Google and Narad, saying the sage had the entire world’s information.