India’s “neighbourhood pandits” were better than NASA and that if the US space agency could predict solar and lunar eclipses a month in advance, the pandits could predict them for the next 100 years by looking at the ‘panchang’ (Hindu calendar).
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday advocated a “comprehensive change in the country’s education system” for students to realise that foreign countries were not the sole repositories of knowledge.
Addressing students at a youth conference in Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce, Singh said that “Bharat” possessed all the fundamentals in its “pracheen granths” (ancient texts) to make the country a “Jagatguru” (world leader).
The Home Minister also asked the students to decide between the “Western ‘dil maange more’ culture” or Indian values, adding that “dil maange more” was not “Bharat ka sanskar” (Indian culture).
“I know that many students, because of our current education system, feel that any knowledge in science, in technology whatever knowledge everyone has, is with foreign countries, that we don’t have anything. I want our youth to come out of this delusion… Bharat has all the fundamentals,” Singh said.
The minister also asserted that India’s “neighbourhood pandits” were better than NASA and that if the US space agency could predict solar and lunar eclipses a month in advance, the pandits could predict them for the next 100 years by looking at the ‘panchang’ (Hindu calendar).
During his 30-minute speech delivered in Hindi, Singh proclaimed that “Bhagwan Ram” was the greatest king, and spoke to students on the country’s legacy in the field of science and technology. “USA’s NASA can make the prediction that after a month, solar and lunar eclipse will happen at this time… the media says America has such advanced technology, it is predicted one and-a-half years, two years ago. I can say with confidence that if you go to the dhoti-wearing pandit in the neighbourhood, he will pull out the ‘panchang’ and tell you when the lunar and solar eclipses happened 100 years ago and when they will happen 100 years later,” he said.
Elaborating further, Singh attributed the origin of quadratic equations and the Pythagoras theorem to sages who lived in India ages ago.
“Children, I can give you an example, but I don’t want to take you too far, so you can verify it later… Hundreds of years ago, there was a sage in India, Manish, who did work on quadratic equations… do you know about the Pythagoras theorem?… I want to say that Pythagoras did not create the theorem, and I have no qualms in saying that Pythagoras got information of this theory from Bharat… If anyone gave this theory, it was Rishi Bodhangan, that’s why it is called Bodhangan Praved,” he added.
Singh added that the German physicist Werner Heisenberg had admitted that he got the idea for his “Principal of Uncertainty” from a “discussion with Rabindranath Tagore on Vedanta”. “Shouldn’t we be proud of these things? Is this our education system today?” Singh asked.
“First, you have to decide what you want India to become — make it a super economic power? Super intellectual power? Superpower? I know all educated students will say ‘yeah, yeah’. But people like me, who come from a rural background. will always say I want to make Bharat a jagatguru,” he said.