Posted in All, Entertainment

Needham’s Grand Question applied to India

It is nonsense to say, as claimed in a paper read in the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai in 2015 that aircraft were invented in ancient India 9000 years ago, or that ancient Indians could do head transplants and knew genetic engineering, as claimed by Modi, or had internet and radar at the time of the Mahabharat, as claimed by the Tripura Chief Minister.
But it is true that in ancient India we discovered the decimal system and the concept of zero in mathematics, invented plastic surgery, and made advances in astronomy.
Indians were therefore ahead of the people living in Europe in ancient times. However, it cannot be denied that Europeans, Americans, Chinese, Japanese and Australians are today far ahead of us in science. How did this happen ? Why was our progress blocked and our society become stagnant over the centuries ? Why did we not have an Industrial Revolution, as it happened in Europe ?
Prof. Joseph Needham asked this question about China, which had at one time invented paper, gunpowder, the compass and made other advances, but later stagnated.
Needham’s Question applies to India too, and our intellectuals need to examine it.