In a series of tweets, Tharoor said "modernists sneering at" Vardhan "should know he was right" and added that "to mock the credulous exaggerations of the Hindutva brigade, you don't need to debunk the genuine accomplishments of ancient Indian science".

He went on to cite articles he had written in the past.

"Modernists sneering at @drharshvardhan should know he was right, as I pointed out in 2003," tweeted Tharoor, who was last year removed as Congress spokesperson for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 'Swachh Bharat' campaign.

"Ganesha plastic surgery theory is absurd, except as a metaphor. But Susruta was world's 1st surgeon," the former Union Minister added.

At the inaugural event of the Indian Science Congress yesterday, Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan had said ancient Indian scientists have graciously allowed scientists from other countries to take credit for their findings.

"Our scientists discovered the Pythagoras theorem, but we ... Gave its credit to the Greeks. We all know that we knew 'beejganit' much before the Arabs, but very selflessly we allowed it to be called Algebra. This is the base the Indian scientific community has maintained," Vardhan said.

The Union minister said Indians have never used their knowledge of science for negative purposes.

"Whether it is related to the solar system, medicine, chemistry or earth science, we have shared all our knowledge very selflessly," he said.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks linking genetic science and surgery with mythology had caused a flutter.

Asserting that India had opened new frontiers in the field of science, Modi had said, "Mahabharata says Karna was not born out of his mother's womb. This means people then were aware of genetic science. There must have been a plastic surgeon who fixed an elephant's head on Ganesha."

He said what the mathematician Aryabhata had said centuries ago, the world has accepted now.

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