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Ancient India: Been there, invented that

One has to say, this is the best time ever to be an Indian. Not counting, of course, how good it was 7,000,000 years ago, mainly because I can’t remember those days quite so well. It’s not just a question of my abysmal memory and my inability to trawl through so many generations of rebirths. It’s also because of everything that I have been force-fed by Marxists and the children of T B Macaulay for the past 50 years or so. I don’t literally mean the children of T B Macaulay, since I actually don’t know how many children he had and I can’t be bothered to go to Wikipedia to find out. I mean those who followed his teachings or pronouncements or orders or ideas on education. Something on those lines: Macaulay equals Bad; Ancient Indian equals Perfect. At any rate, Marx and Macaulay are to blame for the misinformation I have ever been fed.

“I can’t quite afford to rush to New York’s Madison Square Garden and stand outside it singing “I Love My India” yet, but am sure my time will come. That will be the pinnacle of my patriotism.” File pic/PTI
“I can’t quite afford to rush to New York’s Madison Square Garden and stand outside it singing “I Love My India” yet, but am sure my time will come. That will be the pinnacle of my patriotism.” File pic/PTI

Now I know better. I know that ancient Indians invented stem cell surgery and rocket science and aeroplanes. Or maybe I mean helicopters. Flying objects I think is the correct term. It is also true that ancient Indians and humanoids could also fly — on their own, I mean, minus a mechanical flying object.

I have now, only recently, learnt that we also invented plastic surgery. In fact, we even knew how to do entire head transplants in those ancient times but have since forgotten or lost the knack, obviously, because of the combined efforts of Messrs. Marx and Macaulay. The Lord Ganesha’s elephant head proves all this. We also knew about genetic science and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the days of the Mahabharata and now I understand why test tube babies are so popular in India, in spite of us having such healthy population figures from more natural and less scientific means. All Indians who opt for IVF are actually super-patriots doing nothing more than encouraging ancient Indian scientific methods.

I am still quite ashamed about my total lack of knowledge about India’s greatness, especially in the past. I know the present stuff, like the Mars Mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation. But I did not know that all this had also been done thousands of years in the past by Indians. But soon, I am sure, I will get to learn more and more and I cannot wait.

I don’t want to go by the blanket belief that “everything” was invented in India. I want to savour each announcement and pour over the scientific proof provided — like a speech by a prime minister or a line in an ancient epic poem.

I know that scientists and Marxists and intellectuals will counter all these facts. Luckily, the internet (is that made in India yet?) provides me with enough blogs that prove all this. Like I discovered that taking care of cows can cure infertility — human, that is. I am not still 100 per cent sure whether looking after cows in order to become fertile is correctly patriotic compared to those who are trying IVF to promote Indian scientific village industries, but I am sure I will soon find an “Ancient Indian Science Defence League” Twitter handle to set my confusions right.

But I must not delve so far into the future; I didn’t even have the privilege of studying in a university which offered Vedic Astrology as an Honours degree. Who knows how far I would have gone if I was not so old and so blighted by the damning presence of Messrs M and the other M?

In the meantime, I’m brushing up on my patriotism skills. All those leftover little national flags bought at traffic signals on Independence Day? I’ve pinned them to the curtains — not like you people who quietly throw them away. I can’t quite afford to rush to New York’s Madison Square Garden and stand outside it singing “I Love My India” yet, but am sure my time will come. That will be the pinnacle of my patriotism.

In other news, I turned the laptop on which I’ve written this upside down and round and round to check but it seems to be made in China. Blast.

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. You can follow her on twitter @ranjona

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