Rajnath harps on ancient Indian scientific knowledge

In an apparent bid to attach more importance to ancient Indian science, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said there was nothing big about astronomical predictions by the West.

“In our country, even the 'panditji' who sits on the streets can give you the details of eclipses from a hundred years ago as well as in the next hundred years,” said Singh, speaking at a convocation ceremony at Lucknow University. “One does not have to look to US observatories to know about them.” 

Dwelling on the issue further, the minister said ancient Indians knew cosmological calculations. “Our 'rishis' and sages had been able to calculate the exact time when the earth came into existence. They also knew the distance between the earth and moon,” he added. 

Singh advised Indian youths not to be “overawed” by western achievements in the field of science and technology. “India was way ahead in these fields. Our country possesses a mine of knowledge,” he said.

The Lucknow MP also cited some mathematical calculations to buttress his contention that Indians had excelled in the field of science and technology in ancient times. “Be it geometry or trigonometry, our calculations were correct,” he said.

Singh said there are two streams of youths today. “One is of those who are earning fame in the field of science and medicine, and the other is of those who have hi-tech degrees but are involved in terrorism,” he said. Singh asked youths to shun the western way of life and follow age-old Indian traditions. “We should exhort our children to follow our traditions. The culture of 'hi and bye' should be shunned,” he said.

There has been controversy over eulogising of ancient Indian science at the recent Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, with a section of scientists voicing reservations over it.

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