‘India’ in the western world is seen as a poor, over-populated (true) governed by right wing Hinduvta leaning government with intolerance becoming rife towards the minority governments. Recently Bill Gates in one of his interviews said that one of his favourite books was “The better nature of our angels” which states that human violence has decreased than the previous eras. Sure want to get my hands on that book soon because my first thought was that the author certainly has not read about our Indian political extremist or fascist parties lashing out at one another in the name of religion. This of course triggered the protest by writers and authors of Indian origin who know better. Also he must not have heard of ‘ISIS’. Anyway, perhaps the good side is that there is no world war taking place.
Thinking positively and seeing the good side with a perception of non-violence always works for development and that is why we have made such huge strides in IT and telecom sector. The binary numbers on which computers are run today was created by us. Yes everyone knows that the “Zero” was created here. This contribution revolutionalised the number value system that mathematics as a subject was to gain later. Indian mathematician Brahmagupta is said to have used this numeral way back in 650 AD to formalize arithmetic equations which is unparallel or unmatched by any other nation.
Also, Algebra, trigonometry and calculus or even the value of Pi – India was in the forefront of this knowledge realm with names such as Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Mahavira, Brahmagupta.
Buddhisim was also born here. Though Buddha was born in the present day Lumbini Vana in Nepal, Buddhism that some parts of the world has embraced today, originated in India and spread its wings along the Ganges Valley. Buddhism is the most peace-loving religion, which has remained unaffected by the modern vagaries. Besides Indians, some Dalits, some of the greatest personalities including Aung San Suu Kyi, Richard Gere, Tina Turner and Tiger Woods have turned Buddhists. India was home for some of the finest games that involved usage of logic. Whether it was chess, (known as Shatranj); or Snakes and Ladders – known as Mokshapath, India was where they were born.
The basic tenets of the martial art Kalaripayatta called Karate, originated in India in the sultry spaces of southern states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu roughly 5000 years ago. Basic surgery originated in India way back in 600 BC, when Sushruta used it to treat his patients. He is the founding father of Surgery, as recounted by the world! The United Nations General Assembly has declared June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’. The Practice of yoga originated in India in Indus-Saraswati civilization 5000 years ago. It is still practiced in its pure form by many people in India, without altering its soul.
The inspiring winner Non-violence or Ahimsa has been India’s most significant contribution to the world at a time when in face of the most challenging times of this country it has helped us overcome many obstacles. So many authors may write about non-violence now, India was won by this philosophy by one man clad in a single cloth and shawl and we will always remember that.
Allka V Aswani