Return of the Academic Mullahs

Let’s not pretend that the soul-crushing shrillery of the academic mullahs of Delhi—led mainly by the mini-mullahs of the history department—has anything to do with academic freedom or “curbing our freedom of thought” or “censorship of education” and such other arrant nonsense.  It’s anything but that. It’s simply the latest instance of their decades-long ritual of opportunist sniffing to find out just how much damage their rabble-rousing can inflict. It’s the most recent manifestation of their insane loathing for everything Hindu, which prompted some of their elites to pervert Indian history on such a scale that the brains of at least three generations of Indian people have successfully been filled with poison. Equally, it’s also the most current attempt to somehow resuscitate their once-flourishing but now-crumbling empire built on the fetid foundation of historical distortion and supported by the pillars of lies and fraud.

Neither does their heart genuinely bleed for the late AK Ramanujan, whose ill-advised essay entitled 300 Ramayanas (that link has the full text of his essay. Recommended only for bravehearts. Keep an Anacin handy.) was erased from the Delhi University’s textbook list—which is what made these academic mullahs unleash the despicable display of collective insanity in the ongoing public orgy.

If I want to gloat, I’ll say that exactly 14 days ago, I had foreseen that the usual suspects would most definitely manufacture a controversy around this non-issue.

That 300 Ramayanas was prescribed in the first place as required reading for a higher graduate course is an illustrative indicator of why our universities are full of X-rated professors who can’t write a coherent sentence let alone teach. Here’s an example of a certain pre-historic eminence who says that “Even if the essay was an unexceptional piece, we would still be here…as this decision is clearly rooted in paying respect to the politics of hurt religious sentiments.” In other words, he’s ok if a poem like “Roses are red violets are blue/higher the skirt better the view” is included in a higher education syllabus but if it’s dropped for obvious reasons, it would be tantamount to “paying respect to the politics of hurt sentiments.”

This “school” of thought basically says that a text should be included only because it “supports the cause of academic freedom” and not because it stands on the force of merit. The other “school” of thought—really, the other side of the same worthless coin—actually, seriously argues that “this essay by Ramanujan is an exceptional piece of reasoning, but our mathematical professor, the V-C decided to scrap this text.” Notice the sneering, the pathetic attempt at sarcasm in “our mathematical professor” directed at the DU Vice Chancellor. A classic, but outdated technique of whatever’s left of the Left. This exceptional eminence in all seriousness calls 300 Ramayanas an “exceptional piece of reasoning.” That’s like saying the Church was right and Galileo was wrong.

What none of these academic mullahs talk about is AK Ramanujan’s credentials to even author such a piece. It’s true that you mustn’t talk ill of the dead but look at the amount of filth that just one essay by this dead man has spawned. AK Ramanujan was not a historian or mythologist. His scholarship was primarily in English literature with a smattering of Kannada and Tamil folklore. He didn’t have the kind of knowledge of Sanskrit that an essay, which dismisses the authorship of Ramayana demands. And yet, like most “scholars” of his time, he wrote this monumental pile of academic shit, which I dissected three years ago. Neither did he have any knowledge of reading manuscripts, another key discipline required to produce any body of work on a topic of this nature. And yet he wrote this with supreme confidence in…in what? Well, with the same supreme confidence that U R Ananthamurthy wrote Samskara, a novel that seeks to shatter the evil edifice of Dharma written without a shred of understanding of the subject. Incidentally, AK Ramanujan translated Samskara into English. That then is part of AK Ramanujan’s credentials. Of course, this is precisely the kind of information the media and academia won’t tell you.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I’d attribute casteism as a strong motivator behind Ramanujan’s essay: here’s a Brahmin who has attempted to take away the credit from Valmiki, the original and only author of the Holy Ramayana because Valmiki belonged to a lower caste. I mean, how dare a low-caste hunter write a timeless epic in Sanskrit, reserved for elite Brahmins like AK Ramanujan? And what better way to get back than claiming that Valmiki’s Ramayana was merely “one of the tellings (sic)?” How about whispering this conspiracy theory into the ears of the folks who belong to the beda, or the hunting caste? You know, tell them that some nasty college lecturers in Delhi are taking out demented processions in support of an essay that claims that Valmiki—whom they regard as God—is not the author of Ramayana. But that’ll mean practicing the Congress Brand of politics, so I’ll stick to decency.

The fact is that over 5000/6000 years, every single tradition, author, poet, or folktale takes Valmiki’s name with the utmost reverence as the original author of Ramayana. Not one other person is mentioned as the author. Yet, AK Ramanujan’s opium-filled pen includes Valmiki’s original as “one of the tellings” on the basis of…absolutely no evidence. He simply assumes. And this product of drug-addicted scholarship has been prescribed as a textbook for god knows how many years.

The claim that this puerile essay provides “alternative viewpoints” is absurd. Alternative viewpoints must be based on the original epic, on the original story and not on fantasy. You can’t alter the original dramatically—like making Ravana Sita’s father—and then claim that it’s an “alternative viewpoint.” That’s distortion, not an alternative viewpoint. And 300 Errors Ramayanas does precisely that—it legitimizes such distortions.

Let’s forget 300 Ramayanas forever for a moment. Does any history and/or comparative religious studies courses in Delhi University (or any university in India for that matter) include one, more or all of the following books?

  • Why I am not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hrsi Ali
  • While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer
  • Londonistan by Melanie Philips
  • Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide by Bat Ye’or

As far as I know, they aren’t and they aren’t because, well, secularism and all that good stuff. I’ve read all these books and while they all talk about Islam, there’s plenty of “alternative viewpoints” in them. Why doesn’t even one of these academic-freedom-loving and anti-censorship-advocates get on the streets and have these books included in the curriculum? They won’t because they’ve set the rules for what constitutes censorship. Only this time, the VC of the Delhi University has himself broken that rule.

The behaviour and character of academic mullahs is once again consistent with their sorry record of misdeeds. The way—the civilized way to go about protesting an issue like this is to call for an academic debate. Call experts on both sides, have a debate and then come to a conclusion. But then that’s how academics do it. Academic mullahs get right down to business—descend on the streets and follow the template set by the Grand Mufti’s hooligans and shout stuff like Inquilab Zindabad! and V-C Dinesh Singh hosh meh aao! The choice of Inquilab is pretty self-explanatory, and all the more because it’s being raised by History professors and their ilk. Wonder what toxins they subject their students to in class.

Although the Delhi University has done the right thing by chucking out AK Ramanujan’s spurious piece of scholarship, it has done so on the grounds of hurt sentiments.  However, the academically correct and the morally decent way would have been to not include it in the first place because it has no academic merit and is a work full of holes. In reality, Ramanujan’s essay is one among thousands of such essays that was “deemed fit” to prescribe and the “undesirable” ones like those by Jadunath Sarkar for example, got thrown out when the Marxists’ star was on the rise.

The Delhi University’s final decision of removing the essay was reached after it complied with the Supreme Court’s directive to examine if 300 Ramayanas caused hurt sentiments. A committee was formed, the essay was studied and a vote was taken. The vote unfortunately was for chucking out 300 Ramayanas. But for the court’s directive, the errant essay would’ve continued to stay and none would’ve been the wiser. Honestly, how many of us actually knew that:

  1. Such an essay even existed?
  2. It was a textbook in Delhi University’s B.A. (Hons)?

And so we see to the same phenomenon again. The toxic worms in the academia—densely populated in the history and humanities departments—silently work their way in and over the years distort facts, poison children’s minds, mooch off taxpayer money, and establish little islands of hegemony. The moment these odious little empires are challenged, all hell breaks loose. Think back to when the country was slapped awake and realized the importance of the history department only when Arun Shourie exposed the ilk of these selfsame charlatans. We had to wait for more than 40 years for Arun Shourie’s book. In other words, we were asleep for 40 years, unaware that damage was being inflicted slowly, systematically. And now, 300 Ramayanas has been scrapped and the worms are wriggling in fear holding placards and shouting slogans.

926 comments for “Return of the Academic Mullahs

  1. ava
    December 15, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Also there are a lot of rumblings and incoherent statements in that paragraph, Euclid is not a concoction whatever that means in the field of mathematics…..You can debate all you want whether such a person existed or not, and who influenced him and what not and and who took up his ideas and what not, but he stands tall in the realm of mathematics….Frankly most of that paragraph you put up does not make sense to me, Euclid is Euclid, does not matter who claims what on the basis of his works…..

  2. ava
    December 15, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Euclid does not need to be stated as making grand claims….Have you ever read him? Most mathematicians care about the ideas in a text and leave it to others to debate the rest….There was a lot of interactions in the ancient world as I said, even Pythagoreas had travelled all over and lived in Egypt… The influences could be many, no one denies that. Even Greek civilization did not arise in a vacuum and there were a lot of influences from the Near East….Frankly no one cares what the Church claims when it comes to mathematics, the Greek sciences died out initially under Christianity….The fact is, people interested in the foundations of mathematics will continue to read Euclid regardless…. Don’t see how claims made by the Church lessens the contributions of Euclid or makes what he wrote any less valuable….

  3. NASH
    December 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    to moonclan,

    ok .I was experimenting if you look at my replies.

  4. moonclan
    December 15, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    @Nash

    No it does not touch on the subject of Indian toys – it does about brown toy soldiers – sepoys who act as gatekeepers for the west though. Their variety and purpose are better covered in greater detail in the book Breaking India ..

    One word of advice and I agree with Amit – lets not entertain trolls – nor respond to them with replies. As we notice the most productive discussions happened in the last few days when trolls were ignored and kept at bay,

  5. NASH
    December 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    to vinay

    regarding ban of ayurvedic preparations the call for that happened some years back.(may be 6 to 8 years)

  6. NASH
    December 15, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    to moonclan

    link information was helpful.

    Does Being Different touch on the subject of indian toys.The imagination and sheer variety of toys show
    how the civilization invested in its future.

    thanks

  7. December 15, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Ekal Vidyalaya…. look at the stats it presents 64% India illiterate… if that isn’t poverty porn… what is? http://www.ekal.org/content/mission

  8. moonclan
    December 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Let me confess that my knowledge of medical sciences is somewhat lacking. So let me approach the issue from another direction. I believe that Indian (and Dharmic) culture and worldviews are fundamentally different from Western ones in that these are based on non-normative ideas. Hence our fundamental ideas like Dharma, Ahimsa etc are exceedingly subtle and hence encompass a wide range of possibilities. Because of its peculiar history the west has as its fundamental cultural building blocks a set of normative ideas. Hence what Rajiv Malhotra describes as history-centricism of the west may be treated as a distinct form or particularism. Other ideas derived from these fudnamental ideas are increasingly normative. Hence treatment of issues, phenomena (and the world in general) become increasingly reductive and didactical. While on the one hand this does lead to specialization and a deepening of domain knowledge – this is necessarily at he cost of the general and the larger, and more inclusive perspectives of existence. This continuously fragmenting , deepening and frangmenting particularism may explain the isolation of ideas as seemingly disparate entities. Too much disparity and lack of a sense of relatedness possibly leads to phsychological, spiritual and social isolation of individuals. Isolated individuals seek comfort in conformity and hence develop a preference for order. This order seemingly coalesces the disparate ideas into an illusory whole. Any fear of chaos (to borrow Rajiv Malhotra’s term again) is probably a deep seated fear of confronting the disparate and mutually incompatible categories of thier own creation.
    Rajiv Malhotra in Being Different has juxtaposed context sensitivity of Indian ethics, morals, worldviews against the context insensitive, history-centric normative worldviews. I am quoting from a section which deals with the effect of a non-normative Dharmic worldview which is very context-sensitive on Ayurveda – which perhaps will serve to demonstrate its difference from modern (western) medical systems and philosophy.


    The same kind of contextual sensitivity is shown in preparations of herbal medicine, as well as in medical diagnosis and prescription. Here, health is defined as the balance of opposites and involves moderating the extremes. Ayurvedic prescriptions are never pre-formulated since each individual's distinct body type needs to be ascertained before any diagnosis can be made or treatment recommended. Ayurveda's lexicon uses words like 'imbalance' rather than 'attack' (as in a 'viral attack'), etc., to describe the cause of disease. The physician prescribes a harmonious mixture in which antagonistic forces compensate for and moderate one another. Certain poisons are even used as cures in Ayurveda because toxins, too, depending on the context, have therapeutic properties. The invention of vaccination by Indians was based on the principle of using the opponent constructively to strengthen the whole system.35 Different plants and foods contain distinct juices (rasas) which may be harmful if taken pure, but mixing and cooking can make them useful. Each individual's distinct body is assessed and corresponding juices are prescribed in the form of foods to achieve the correct balance.36


    Malhotra, Rajiv (2011-10-10). Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism (Kindle Locations 2985-2993). Kindle Edition.

    Please note S N Balagangadhara has written quite a bit about normative and non-normative ethics and what the implications of the adoption of normative ethics has meant for India. Here is an interesting articls on this subject – Is Normative Ethics Richer? and lots of others here

  9. moonclan
    December 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Somehow the link for From Newton to Nirvana: Science, Vigyan and Gyan did not get posted properly . Here is the link

    http://www.shunyacreations.com/Newton_to_Nirvana.pdf

  10. moonclan
    December 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    This is in responses to several statements here implying a belief that science is neutral. Value-neutrality and/or objectivity of science is a claim that is contested within the western framework itself. This article by Edward Goldsmit titled Is Science Neutral ? and the responses there offers some interesting perspectives on this debate from within the western paradigm on this debate. However our concerns extend beyond the template or superstructure of western categories under which this debate is carried out.

    My own understanding of science is that it is merely a description (thererfore a particular understanding) of the world. As in the tale of the seven blind men and the elephant – such descriptions may differ substantially from describer to describer. If we replace the describer by cultural (and therefore knowledge) systems we realize that science (formative assumptions, investigative methodologies, and means of transmission) would naturally depend on cultural conditioning. This is as true for humanities as it is for natural sciences. As an example “modern” science employs terminologies like “laws of nature”. Obiviously such “laws” are inferences of regularity based on observations that form a very miniscule portion of the range of possibilities that nature offers. For example laws of mechanics dont really apply in the quantum world. So these “laws” are not really laws and as they are not uniformly applicable in time and space. Hence “law” is a non-objective metaphysical abstraction that only eases our description process. Therefore the very premise that there are laws is subjective and not objective. So where did this come from ? It comes directly from Christian theology (due to cultural conditioning of early european scientists) ie the idea that God made laws for the world to be governed by. C K Raju demonstrates in his many writings that such cultural issues related to not only ideas but methodologies (eg priveleging deduction over experimentation and observation etc). Different cultures pursue and understand the world differently. Preserving this diversity (including preserving our uniqueness) ie Being Different ( to borrow Rajiv Malhotra ) extends not only to spiritual, philosophical and cultural matters but to also to sciences.

    Regarding the statement of science being a subset of vigyan – this is mostly true. Where it differs of course is being based on two entirely different models the meanings are not synonymous. For example the word vigyan itself is based on the nature of consciousness whereas modern science when it does not outright shun the idea of consciousness remains deeply ambivalent about its existence. Here is a quite a good exposition about the idea of science versus that of vigyan in an article by Dr Subhash Sharma titled From Newton to Nirvana: Science, Vigyan and Gyan

  11. moonclan
    December 15, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    @Ava – How does it matter if Euclid was a real figure or not?

    In response to you let me quote C K Raju from his book verbatim where he writes this after citing sources that indicate Euclid does not find mention in earlier literature –

    People seem unaware that it is on this sort of “evidence” from late and accretive texts that the grand claims about Euclid derive. Understandably, the evidence for lesser names (or their linkages to the works they supposedly authored) is much weaker. At about this point, many people jump up to say that they don’t really care about the person Euclid, and it is the book called the Elements which ultimately matters. This is a facile escape route. If Euclid is a concoction, the Elements might have had a non-Hellenic origin in the mystery geometry of pre-Alexandrian Egypt. In that case, it could be better understood as contrary to post-Crusade Christian rational theology. The same conclusion applies even if we accept seriously the Neoplatonic philosophy of geometry, as articulated by Plato or by Proclus in his Commentary on the Elements. So, accepting Euclid as a concoction also entails a different understanding of the Elements, and amounts to denying the appropriation of reason by the church. Such a denial would alter the present-day philosophy of mathematics, and the idea of deduction as fundamental to science.


    Raju, C. K.; Lal, Vinay; Vinay Lal (2009-07-01). Is Science Western in Origin? (Dissenting Knowledges Pamphlet Series) (Kindle Locations 487-498). Multiversity and Citizens International, Penang. Kindle Edition.

  12. ava
    December 15, 2011 at 7:27 AM

    @moonclan
    How does it matter if Euclid was a real figure or not? Try reading his works translated from the Greek, it makes for fascinating reading if you have an interest in mathematics like me…
    Also, what we have of the works of the Greeks survives in fragments, even Aristotle is incomplete, we just have his lecture notes, he is said to have written dialogues like Plato but they are lost…Most of the tragedies are lost and what remains is so impressive, one can imagine how impressive it all was as a whole….
    The Arabs translated works from the Greeks and Hindus (works in Sanskrit) because they did not have much of a culture initially so they borrowed heavily from converted cultured peoples like the Greeks, Persians (Zoroastrians), Hindus and Buddhists….A great deal of Greek texts survive due to these translations….

  13. ava
    December 15, 2011 at 7:05 AM

    Sorry for typos above….hindrance to learning, “traditionally” only once, lack of commas and so on….

  14. ava
    December 15, 2011 at 6:22 AM

    Unani medicine meaning Greek medicine is something the Arabs got from converted Greeks, most likely Syrians and Lebanese…..the Muslims still practice this in India, showing stagnation….I believe the arrival of Islam in India was an intellectual Hindrance to learning, the Buddhist kingdoms which facilitated exchange of information were all destroyed, not a single university was established, India was intellectually isolated from the rest of the world at this point….Hindus were traditionally open to everything traditionally, science would have caught on without Islam in between, even Ayurveda stagnated as well as other things as flow of ideas came to a stop, knowledge is facilitated through intellectual exchange….when that is cut off a culture decays…Which is why colonialism for all of the bad which came with it, had one good effect of opening up India to the intellectual developments in Europe….and facilitating the exchange of ideas again….

  15. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    @ava

    the global average life expectancy in the early nineteenth century was a mere 31 yrs. Now that figure stands at double that value.

  16. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    As far as medicine is concerned, science is merely neutral, the question is that of its uses, whether it is utilized with wisdom or not…..People like Steve Jobs died because they did not take medicines they needed initially but relied on some quack spiritual healing until it was too late….No the question is not between ayurveda and modern medicine, but the lifestyle which is what our spiritual heritage is there to guide us with respect to, the choices we make in our day to day living…Many diseases in the US are just a result of lifestyle and bad eating habits, resulting in obesity and so on….We forget that we were quite rational once, just look at our systems of logic, those who confuse voodoo spirituality with Hinduism do a lot of harm, so we have no shortage of new age gurus and what not…It is not a question of Eastern vs Western medicine, but a question of proper living and that is where our spiritual heritage comes into play for guidance…..

  17. NASH
    December 14, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    to vinay

    iabetes mellitus (DM) is a syndrome of chronic hyperglycaemia (increased glucose blood level) due to relative insulin deficiency, resistance, or both. It affects more than 120 million people world-wide, and it is estimated that it will affect 370 million by the year 2030. Diabetes is usually irreversible and, although patients can have a reasonably normal lifestyle, its late complications result in reduced life expectancy and major health costs

    Types Of Diabetes
    There are two types of diabetes:

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus/ Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
    Type 1 diabetes is a disease of insulin deficiency. Type 1 diabetes is prominent as a disease of childhood, reaching a peak incidence around the time of puberty, but can present at any age. A ‘slow-burning’ variant with slower progression to insulin deficiency occurs in later life and is sometimes called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). This may be difficult to distinguish from type 2 diabetes.

    Clinical clues are: hyperglycaemia which fails to correct with diet and tablet treatment, and autoantibody tests indicating autoimmune disease.The incidence of type 1 diabetes appears to be increasing in most populations. WHO (1995) estimated that there are 19.4 million people with type 1 diabetes and that the number will rise to 57.2 million by 2025.

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus/ Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
    Type 2 diabetes is relatively common in all populations enjoying sedentary lifestyle. The four major determinants are increasing age, obesity, ethnicity and family history. In poor countries diabetes is a disease of the rich, but in rich countries it is a disease of the poor, obesity being the common factor. Diabetes may be present in a subclinical or undiagnosed form for years before diagnosis. The onset may be accelerated by the stress of pregnancy, drug treatment or intercurrent illness. Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes 80–100 fold, and this is reflected by the increasing prevalence of diabetes in different populations.

    Further, sedentary lifestyle means that the proportion of obese young adults is rising rapidly, and epidemic obesity will create a huge public health problem for the future.

    Type 2 diabetes is associated with central obesity, hypertension, hyper-triglyceridaemia, a decreased HDL cholesterol, disturbed haemostatic variables and modest increases in a number of pro-inflammatory markers.
    The International Diabetes Federation has proposed criteria based on increased waist circumference (or BMI > 30) plus two of the following: diabetes (or fasting glucose > 6.0 mmol/ L), hypertension, raised triglycerides or low HDL cholesterol.

    Sometimes the diabetes is asymptomatic called as asymptomatic diabetes. In asymptomatic diabetes, Glycosuria or a raised blood glucose may be detected on routine examination (e.g. for insurance purposes) in individuals who have no symptoms of ill-health. Glycosuria is not diagnostic of diabetes but indicates the need for further investigations.

    In ayurveda, diabetes is regarded as madhumeha. It is classified under a type of vataj prameha. Literally, it describes the symptom of a diabetic patient i.e. presence of sweetness in urine due to which ants are attracted towards the urine of the sufferer. It is called rich man’s disease because diabetes affects only those people who are over nourished and spend sedentary life style. It is characterized by excessive hunger, thirst,urination and weakness. It may be one of the cause for the burning sensation in the feet. This type of diabetes which occurs in small children is called juvenile diabetes.

    Treatment of diabetes:
    While treating such cases, efforts are made to reduce the body fat of the patient , and regulate the function of the gland called pancreas with a view to promoting sugar metabolism.

    Karela (Bitter gourd) is commonly used in this condition. This is a vegetable and the juice of the leaves and fruit of the plant is used in a dose of one ounce, twice daily preferably on an empty stomach.

    Silajatu or mineral pitch is another medicine which is held in high esteem for its anti-diabetic effect. This is resinous material which exuded naturally from the stones when they are exposed to strong heat. Such stones are known to contain high percentage of minerals and they are found in ladakh and the Himalayan ranges of Nepal. Naturally occurring silajatu is rare because it is eaten by the wild animals and birds inhibiting the areas. Commonly, silajatu is prepared by boiling these special types of stones. It is semisolid in consistency and half a teaspoon of this drug is to be taken twice daily mixed with milk preferably on empty stomach.

    Vasanta-kusmakara is the drug of choice among ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of diabetes. It is given in a dose of two grains twice daily on empty stomach.

    Complication
    In an advanced stage, and if not attended to in time, diabetes may produce many complication like coma and carbuncles. For this, it is necessary to immediately reduce the blood sugar and treatment should be taken under the supervision of an expert ayurvedic physician.

    Diet
    Sugar in any form,rice, potato, banana and such other cereals and fruits which contains high percentage of carbohydrate are strictly contraindicated. Similarly, fat should be avoided and oil, only in small quantity, is permissible. There should be control over the quantity of diet. Vegetables like karela(bitter gourd), fruits and leaves of sobhanjana(drum stick),patola( fruits of Trichosanthes dioica) and bimbi(Coccinia indica) are specially useful in this condition. All bitter things in general are good for this disease. Vegetables prepared of neem flower and neem are extremely good.
    It has been reported that regular intake of two tender leaves each of neem and bilva(Bel leaves) in the morning considerably reduces sugar and regulates diabetes.

    Other regimens
    Sleep during the day time is strictly restricted. The patient should resort to moderate exercise. Yoga, specially Pascimottasana is very useful in this condition. The patient should take care not to cut or injure himself, because in diabetes, the healing process is very slow which may result in the formation of septic wound. If the patient is attacked by other disease then it should be treated immediately because if the disease is very likely to progress to chronic form if not treated properly.

  18. NASH
    December 14, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    to amit,

    concur with your writing and note the start of unani medicine,which is somewhere in second century of the Christian Era.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unani).

    in my reply @moonclan the meaning of science becomes a subset of vignaana after reading your comment.

  19. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    NASH says:
    December 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM
    to moonclan,

    in my reply @ava i brought ayurveda for the reason that it meets the meaning of science.to elaborate if you
    go through any ayurvedic text of preparing the medicine,it meets the criteria of observation,hypothesis,testing and repeatability.

    How would an ayurvedic physician diagnose asymptomatic diabetes mellitus??

  20. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    @Amit

    other differences also exist. For instance “Allopathic” medicines claim no divine origin.Also “allopathic” medicine is an ever changing therapeutic modality with the newer and better replacing the older and more toxic as more knowledge is accumulated about the various disease processess. Ayurvedic medicnes are touted as being free of side effects which in turn puts their efficacy in doubt and since ayurveda claims divine origin there can be no research into better and safer preparaations.

  21. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Amit,
    That is right, also even in the Western world, the conflict arose when Christianity destroyed many of the Greek philosophical schools, and the various Alexandrian sects which retained elements of the Greek mystery religions, resulting in a monolithic religion…..Later with the Cartesian revolution, you have metaphysics completely chopped off, and while science becomes extremely precise and effective in a practical utilitarian sense, it loses the connection to metaphysics and spirituality, while being potent in the material control of nature…..
    But the problem is also our problem insofar as we just follow in the footsteps of the West now as regards science and economic models of development….you look at urban India and the problems are not altogether different from the problems one sees in Western cities….

  22. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Amit,
    That is right, also even in the Western world, the conflict arose when Christianity destroyed many of the Greek philosophical schools, and the various Alexandrian sects which retained elements of the Greek mystery religions, resulting in a monolithic religion…..Later with the Cartesian revolution, you have metaphysics completely chopped off, and while science becomes extremely precise and effective in a practical utilitarian sense, it loses the connection to metaphysics and spirituality, while being potent in the material control of nature…..
    But the problem is also our problem insofar as we just follow in the footsteps of the West now as regards science and economic models of development….you look at urban India and the problems are not altogether different from the problems one sees in Western cities….

  23. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    @Amit

    in your indic civilisation is there is a separate “heaven” for believers such as you and coversely a hell for people such as me who suffer from the “secular disease” ??

  24. Amit
    December 14, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    “what are the practices that they carry from similar periods say i make an arbitrary time of 2000 years back.one system with surity i can say is ayurveda,what do they have in similar?not necessarily ayurveda,”

    Yunani medicine? Even if this medicine system has disappeared from Greece or lost favor, it is still thriving in India. Though it does have similarity with Ayurveda.
    __

    The difference between “western” science and “eastern” science can perhaps be better exemplified through the medical/healing systems – Allopathic and Psychotherapy on one side, vs. Ayurveda/Yoga/Meditation/Acupuncture on the other side. The modalities underlying the two are different – the former are based on the Cartesian system, whereas the latter take a more holistic view of mind & matter, and the interplay between the two. It’s ironic that whereas the western society favors the individual over the collective, when it comes to health, it’s one medicine for all for the same ailment. (Which is not to suggest that the Allopathic system of medicine is useless or ineffective.) Whereas, the eastern society takes an individual and his/her uniqueness into account when diagnosing and prescribing. To explore the eastern systems of medicine (termed as “alternative medicine” in the west), the west has to come up with the modality of Evidence-Based Medicine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence-based_medicine), which “recognizes that many aspects of health care depend on individual factors such as quality- and value-of-life judgments, which are only partially subject to scientific methods. EBP, however, seeks to clarify those parts of medical practice that are in principle subject to scientific methods and to apply these methods to ensure the best prediction of outcomes in medical treatment, even as debate continues about which outcomes are desirable.”

  25. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    @NASH

    As of May 1st ayurvedic preparations have been banned in EU over rising concerns of high levels of metal contaminations of many ayurvedic products.
    http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ayurvedic-medicines-face-eu-banmay-1/124606/on
    Almost all companies that market herbal based drugs such as Dabur and Himalaya have long discarded traditional ways of preparing their formulations and now use GMP guidelines as benchmarks for manufacturing processess.

  26. Tima
    December 14, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    @Amit

    Only 101$, that is it. It is quite cheap of you. You spend around $4000 on a wild night before christmas with your buddies and your target for school is only $101. No wonder the infrastructure is so poor.

  27. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    @Amit

    No separation between “religion” and science in the indic religions eh!
    Thus if what you say is true then religion which demands faith is actually science which demands proof . Thus one’s personal experience is regarded as valid scientific proof in the Indic civilisation.
    Perhaps one of your modern rishis can go deep into sadhana and come up with a cure for the numerous strains of multidrug resistant bacteria that cuase such massive mortalities amongst the indian population. One such modern day rishi was asaram bapu who claimed that if you blew a conch shell all bacteria would be killed in a radius of hundred metres. Perhaps next time you came down with gastroenteritis you could try out this remedy .LOL

  28. NASH
    December 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    to moonclan,

    in my reply @ava i brought ayurveda for the reason that it meets the meaning of science.to elaborate if you
    go through any ayurvedic text of preparing the medicine,it meets the criteria of observation,hypothesis,testing and repeatability.
    this practice of medicine preparation is uniform in bharathiya land.It shows people had internalised the process.This practical example should stand as proof of the thinking process in those times.

  29. Amit
    December 14, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Campaign update: Starting the count from “December 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM” (date-stamp of last comment by the troll before I posted my comment), the current donation to Ekal Vidyala stands at $21. My goal is to donate $101.

  30. Amit
    December 14, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    “Ava – I think you should read a pamphlet in question before making the comment. The authors contention is backed up by very good research – which is more evident when one reads the rest of his books. The author is attempting a critique of the history of science and mathematics in the western grand narrative – which we in India have carelessly imbibed.”

    moonclan, that’s a good point, and I’ve seen this among some of my Indian friends, who start speaking about the history of war between religion and science, and then bring Indic religions into this fight, failing to realize that the war between religion and science is a western concept, and moreover, not universally applicable; certainly not when it comes to Indic faiths, which did not have that kind of separation between “religion” and “science,” let alone a fight between the two to establish the truth. They will quote Sam Harris and Dawkins with starry eyes, as if what these authors criticize, applies equally to Indic faiths. It is similar to the “secularism” disease that pervades among Indian intelligentsia of the “liberal” bent. It’s the result of imbibing concepts and ideas that apply to (and are specific to) Christianity and “history of the west,” and unthinkingly pasting them on to India, Indian history and Indic faiths, without making a convincing and independent case. Intellectual laziness at its worst.

  31. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    @moonclan,

    Science is about giving verifiable evidence to back up your claims. I don’t see how that makes it “eastern or “western”. One who gives verifiable data backing up his/her statements is a scientist no matter where he/she is geographically located. Whats with this thing about “eastern” science vs. “western” science ??

  32. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Moonclan,
    What narrative are you talking about? The knowledgable Westerners I know are well aware of the achievements of Indians in mathematics and so on, they might not be in the majority but they do exist, including my math professors….There is no one narrative in the West….there are intelligent people everywhere and there is no monolithic opinion, if some opinions seem more popular and are advertised more, they do not represent all thinking people under it….

  33. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Again the point is to properly study the civilization of the Greeks, it was unique just as Indic civilization was unique…
    There cannot be a proper discussion if people have not studied something properly. Even Westerners do not understand Greek civilization properly, viewing it often from a Christian lens, it takes them years of study of Greek language and civilization….Similarly for us, even though we still have our religion, understanding our civilization involves study of many years….Understanding what constitutes the essence of a civilization is more important…If you look at the Islamic world, most of the interest in it today is powered by the fact that they have petro dollars and fund sudies….If India becomes a strong nation economically, an interest in the culture and civilization is bound to follow, but if you have become wretched and poor no one cares, and you lose even the cultural memory what you have, which is the case for modern day India, a nation takes an interest in its past when it can feed itself properly and has the leisure to do so, and in the case of India, since Indians still retain a lot despite everything, a renaissance in learning is bound to follow with prosperity. But if India remains a basket case that is not going to be the case….

  34. moonclan
    December 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Ava – I think you should read a pamphlet in question before making the comment. The authors contention is backed up by very good research – which is more evident when one reads the rest of his books. The author is attempting a critique of the history of science and mathematics in the western grand narrative – which we in India have carelessly imbibed. In fact while western grand narrative while seemingly conceding that science and mathematics are universal have sought to place all formative influences and ideas at the door of the Greeks. While seeking to demonstrate that much of this attribution is misplaced and the author also questions the alleged universalism of sciences and infers that scientific understanding too is cultural in nature and not innately universal. Ergo (western) science is not universal.
    This is very similar to Rajiv Malhotra’s conclusions regarding humanities studies in the west. The very philosophy, etymology, and semantics that are inextricably linked to these disciplines make it a privileged frame of reference to which other ideas, concepts and methods of study automatically become disqualified. There is a propensity in the west to provincialize (all the thus far unappropriated) discpiines of science by calling them hindu-maths or arab-maths or chinese-maths whereas european maths or greek maths are automatically set on a pedestal and considered the de-facto standard maths or science against which all other disciplines are judged.
    This universalization of science and its philosophy as essentially western that the author opposes and I agree with his point of view. I also think that the title is therefore justified.
    I shall comment about the greek sciences and civilization later. Same for arabs, islam and science.

  35. NASH
    December 14, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    to ava

    is science western ?

    this term when you read,we associate with the idea that anything produced or proposition put forward,has the repeatability of that idea/produce to stand for with proof.If you notice in the samskrita there is already the word vignaana and it fairly means the same as science.
    the contention now is to which civilization the origin of the word and its practice could be assigned to?
    we are left with bharathiya and greece.

    from what you have put forward ,greece civilization when it encountered christian thoughts,was 1.at its pinnacle,or 2.just at the beginning of being a civilization or 3.just a loose group.
    well point 3 you might object and i have nothing to counter you on that.
    what are the practices that they carry from similar periods say i make an arbitrary time of 2000 years back.one system with surity i can say is ayurveda,what do they have in similar?not necessarily ayurveda,
    even if they have something, the origin of that and related to the person of finding is mystery.
    so people other than bharathiyas were always appropriating ideas from here.
    may be you have better points to disagree.

  36. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    I meant to say even the Romans were quite different from the Greeks…..not “not even”….

  37. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    My impression is that the Greeks were equally impressive, in fact the ancient Hindus and Greeks had much more in common than Hindus and Christian Europe, Greece was a civilization as was India. These were both highly contemplative cultures. I think not even the Romans are quite different even though they took a lot from Greece, for all their military and engineering marvels, they never attained the contemplative heights of the Greeks……If you look at Greece, today it is the most backward area of Europe, I think their having lived under Turks has a lot to do with it, also Christianity destroyed their philosophical,schools, and the Christians ultimately absorbed their schools of philosophy in the Midle Ages….The same way with Sicily, it was also under Islam, most of Sicilian honor killings and Mafiosi culture seems to be eerily similar to honor killings in Islam, I wonder if the Mafiosi culture there is a legacy of Islam in that part of Italy?
    Anyways, modern day Greeks and Romans are hardly the same as Greeks and Romans of old, although the Greek and Roman culture is the foundation of European civilization, later this takes a Christian character. Hindus today are also different from Hindus of old after a great deal of disruption of their civilization by Islam and later colonialism, they are unable to lead in thinking as they once did and have clearly degenerated in this respect, but at least Hindus still have their religion, which cannot be said for Europe…..and even Buddhism is an outgrowth of Indic civilization and did not develop in a vacuum and the Buddhist kingdoms in the Northwest were a part of Indic civilization, today they are lost to our civilization….
    Science in the modern sense of a mechanistic world view is European, or rather Cartesian….

  38. NASH
    December 14, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    to ava

    your quote //Well I think it foolish to have titles such as “is science western?\\

    i can get that there was interaction between greece and india,but not enough material to say the above.
    who was the lead in the knowledge generation,was it bharatha or greece?
    if a time period could be assigned for these interactions than that would be a start.

  39. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Well I think it foolish to have titles such as “is science western?”…. The Muslims took from a variety of cultures such as the Greeks, Persians, Hindus and Buddhists….The ancient world cultures interacted a great deal with one another than we realize and there was a great flow of knowledge from both sides…Everyone knows that Hindus and Greeks contributed a lot to philosophy and mathematics, in fact, in the ancient world, the only people who developed a rigorous system of metaphysics and logic were Greeks and Hindus….You do not find Metaphysics among the Chinese, they have Confucianism and other humanistic types of philosophies and later they absorbed a lot from Buddhism which interacted with Taoism and Confucianism….My understanding is that Islam interrupted the natural connection between East and West and the flow of knowledge, which again was opened up by colonial rule, however bad it was. India was intellectually isolated under Islamic rule, although parts of India such as the South and the hill regions were protected from it, unlike former Hindu intellectual centers like Bihar and UP which today have become the most wretched areas after centuries of Islamic domination and rule, in fact the most backward areas of India today is where Islam had the upper hand, and Islam produced no achievements in India apart from constructions of palaces and gardens and some court love poetry. Why do you think Europe no longer knew where India was in the Middle Ages and Columbus had to sail around the world to rediscover India when the Greeks were very frequent visitors there? In the Northwest especially, there was a great interaction between the Persian, Greek and Indic civilizations, and hence a great deal of flow and exchange of knowledge.. Things did not exist in a vacuum……Also one has to understand that Europe itself became very different when it absorbed the Abrahamic religions and became Christian….The Romans and Persians had much more in common than Christian Rome and Islamic Persia….In the Northwest, who was Persian, who was Indian? The distinction was not easy to draw as the boundaries of kingdoms were drawn and redrawn…Buddhist civilization which was Indic in character was the religion of a great part of the NorthWest before it fell to Islam, and Buddhism facilitated not only mass literacy but also the exchange of ideas as it developed along the ancient trade routes…..
    Perhaps we are returning again to that world now again with flow of information which has become open again through modern technology…….

  40. Tima
    December 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    ROFL. The book by jadunath is really hilarious. Full of contradictions like saying the marathas are cunning and then trying to praise their hard work.

    Typical fan memoir. The issue is one has to accept the reality that India was always a loose federation wherein different groups fought with one another on regular basis , trying to gain supremacy and as a result there was lot of treachery, parochial groupism etc. The bottom line being there was never any glory period or the kind which few dreamers here seem to fantasize about.

  41. moonclan
    December 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Also the pamphlet “Is Science Western in Origin?” is available on Kindle and makes up some really riveting reading.

    C K Raju argues very convincingly that much of the mathematics that today is attributed to Greeks and Europeans may indeed have an eastern (mostly Indian) origin. Salient points of his arguments are

    * Attribution of scientific priority to Greeks is a late phenomena occuring post-european reconquista of Spain. Arabic books (containing accumulated of the east ) were translated into latin thereby sparking of renascence and rationalism . Geopolitical constraints and theological bigotry prevent acknowledgement of thier enemies the Arabs( and anyone but Christians/Europeans) as sources of knowledge. The “theologically correct” thing to do is attribute it to thier “own” – Greeks.

    * Euclid and Ptolemy are not historical figures but concoctions arising from mis-translations from Arabic. There is no independent corroboration of the existence of a Euclid or a Ptolemy. Their discoveries and achievements have other more convincing antecedents.

    * Events like the inquisition prevent acknowledgment of non-christian sources while law of “Christian Discovery” provides a means for appropriation of other peoples knowledge. Wherever apparent this is conveniently labelled as having been “independently rediscovered” by European. Both invention of calculus by Liebnitz and Newton, and heliocentric model by Copernicus are a part of this dynamic..

    * Enlightenment, colonialism etc provide a further dynamic to refuse to acknowledge and in many instances erase the original sources. Europe establishes itself as rational while the rest of the world is irrational, unscientific and superstitious. This model when exported to non-european nations results in them internalizing this model and thinking of themselves as inherently inferior and lacking in scientific temper.

    I am interested in understanding this process in terms of what Rajiv Malhotra has described in “Being Different” as the “digestion” metaphor. Though Mr Malhotra and Mr Raju dont see eye to eye there are a lot of commonalities in their works. It is for the newer generation of scholars and lay thinkers to get a mature understanding of their works and work on many of these common threads that connect us to our haloed past.

    These processes of appropriation continue to this day.

  42. Tima
    December 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    The book by that Jadunath sarkar on Shivaji is like a fan writing a memoir of his mentor. He talks about ghats, soil, rain, movement of people to build up romanticism.

  43. moonclan
    December 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Nash

    I think the book goes by the name “This is Our History” and is published by a different agency for a much lesser price – however I have no way of corroborating this. Check this out for yourself

    http://www.bhavans.info/store/bookdetail.asp?bid=583&bauth=Prof.+V.+Lakshmikantham%2C+Prof.+S.+Leela%2C+Prof.+J.+Vasundhara+Devi

  44. NASH
    December 14, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    to moonclan

    The Origin of Mathematics by V. Lakshmikantham and S. Leela

    the above is expensive something like rs.2236/-,any other source to suggest.

  45. moonclan
    December 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Here is a short list of books that recast our understanding of Indian mathematics and astronomy :

    Is Science Western in Origin? by C K Raju
    The Eleven Pictures of Time by C K Raju
    Cultural Foundations of Mathematics by C K Raju

    The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics by George Gheverghese Joseph
    A Passage to Infinity: Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and Its Impact by George Gheverghese Joseph

    The Origin of Mathematics by V. Lakshmikantham and S. Leela

    The Origins of Astronomy, the Calendar. and Time by Kosla Vepa
    Astronomical Dating of Events & Select Vignettes from Indian history by Kosla Vepa

    History of Mathematics by Abraham Seidenberg (see section on Sulvasutras)

    Please note however that not all books are uniform in terms of scholastic research , readability or scope – however they offer important pointers and leads to others willing to research this further. Will post other book names as time permits.

  46. Tima
    December 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    @amit

    You seem to be in some grand delusion. All these fancy tales of shivaji or aryabhatta are flights of escapism.

  47. moonclan
    December 14, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    For those here interested in astronomy and Indian history (incidentally two of my favorite subjects) here is a link with some meager information about Samanta Chandrasekhar – one of the last great naked-eye astronomers of the the hoary astronomical tradition of India which has a history going as far back as the vedic period.

    http://nayagarh.nic.in/sonofsoil/eminent%20person.html

    Incidentally I came upon this link while researching another book on Indian mathematics and its antiquity – particularly

    The Origin Of Mathematics by V. Lakshmikantham and S. Leela

    One of the highlights of the book is that it determines the date of the great astronomer Aryabhatta I as 2765 BC instead of the now current 476 CE as affixed by colonial historians.

    In fact the study of Indian astronomy and mathematics and determination the relative dates of the various developments is of cardinal importance to the study of Indian history. Not only does this help us reclaim credit for numerous fundamental scientific developments and discoveries to our ancient forefathers – it also helps us reclaim the antiquity of Indian civilization that has been cruelly amputated by colonial historians – so as to bring all our major political, cultural, intellectual and scientific milestones safely after the greek and christian eras.

  48. Vinay
    December 14, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    @Amit

    you seem to like the word asinine very much, just like sandeep likes the word loath. Lets hope your sanskrit is as good as your english and you know as many fancy words in sanskrit as in english.

  49. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    Above Typo : on Shivaji not in….

  50. ava
    December 14, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Jadunath Sarkar is a good historian. He often rails against Brahmins….he he…but he is fair and a good historian though…..
    His book is well researched, even Indian historians wrote such good works back then…..the new book in Shivaji is Laine’s account which is thoroughly biased….

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