How will you feel when someone takes away the credit of your historic achievements? Will you not feel betrayed and want to get back the fruits of your labour? Well the same has been going on for aeons against Indian civilisation. Our civilization sees knowledge as a way to enrich our soul rather than a way to fulfil our materialistic needs. But the same virtue has been misused by the rest of the world. Our age-old research was either copied completely or presented in a better organised form. This reminds us of the saying ‘Old wine in a new shop’. But enough of this credit-stealing, Indians have started to reclaim the great achievements of Indian civilisation be it in the streams of science, research, traditional medicines or knowledge of surgery and Maths.
Position paper submitted by Karnataka government
For a better implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP), every state has to submit its position papers on the NCERT website. In its position paper, the Karnataka government has suggested that all schools should teach Sanskrit as the third language, proposed under the three language formula by the NEP. It has also proposed to introduce Manusmriti and ancient numerical systems like Bhuta-sankhya and katapayadi-sankhya paddhati in the school syllabus.
The paper suggests that students should be encouraged to ask questions. It also termed Pythagoras theorem and the story of an apple falling on Newton’s head as ‘fake news’.
The position paper suggests that students should ask questions like “how fake news such as Pythagoras theorem, apple falling on Newton’s head etc. are being created and propagated”.
Many research documents have clearly stated that at least 250 years earlier to Pythagoras theorem, Indian Rishi Baudhayan had laid down the same theorem in Vedic texts. After learning the Karnataka government’s stand, some educationists either in ignorance or biased with colonial mindset started questioning these basic facts. Madan Gopal, chairman of the task force entrusted with the duty to implement NEP in the state, rejected these baseless criticisms of the so-called educationists.
He said, “This is the interpretation of the group. Gravity and Pythagoras have roots in Vedic maths. This is an Indic-centred approach. A lot of information is there about this on Google. For instance, it is believed that Baudhayan had laid down Pythagoras’ theorem in Vedic texts. This is a viewpoint. You may or may not agree with it.”
Who prepared the state’s Position paper?
Earlier, the Basavaraj Bommai government had formed 26 committees to prepare state’s position papers on school education. It included ‘Knowledge of India’ among others.
Dismissing the objections around the position paper on Knowledge of India, Madan Gopal said, “This paper has been prepared under the chairmanship of an eminent IIT professor. It has been vetted and accepted by the state government.” Interesting to note that the committee was headed by renowned professor V Ramanathan of IIT (BHU), Varanasi. So, why do the educationists crying foul on giving credits to Indian civilisation where it is due?
The Karnataka government’s position paper pointed out that many of the Smrti literature “have been relegated to obscurity or being proscribed due to incomplete and poor understanding of their ethos and content”.
It said, “For instance, even though Manusmirti contains lofty ideals of public and societal good, it has become controversial to the extent that its very name solicits unwarranted bemoans from a section of our society.”
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Earlier, the then Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan too emphasised the same. He said, “Our scientists discovered the Pythagoras theorem, but we gave 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”.
It is unfortunate that some Indians find it hard to digest that Indian civilisation was far ahead in many fields than the rest of the contemporary civilisations. The matter of fact is that when others were engaged in primitive ways of survival, Indian civilisation had knowledge of meticulous town planning, navigation, maths, science, spiritualism, philosophy and astronomy among other things. So it doesn’t matter how hard the rest of the world try to steal the achievements of Indian civilisation, the fact will remain the same.
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