VISAKHAPATNAM: Grave misconceptions still prevail about India’s contribution to global civilisation and there is a need for eminent scholars to present a realistic and historic account on this aspect, Union minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu has felt.
During the inaugural of the 38th Indian Social Science Congress in Visakhapatnam Sunday, the Union minister also emphasised the need for making younger generation familiar with the continuity and relevance of the Indian civilisation and tradition, which had been acknowledged as unique. He opined that the assumption that modern science was an exclusively European victory is untrue and that India’s own contributions and influence on the aspect is being neglected.
“India has had great ancient traditions of knowledge in the domains of mathematics, science, engineering, metallurgy, etc. But, the history of science does not highlight that. The British colonisers could never accept the fact that Indians were highly civilised even in the third millennium BC, when the British were still in a barbarian stage,” he said.
He stated that the acknowledgement of Indian civilisation would have been detrimental to the civilising mission of Europe, which was the intellectual premise for colonisation. He alleged that a new history of India was fabricated to ensure that the present and future generations of people would believe in the inherent inferiority of their own traditional knowledge and the superiority of the colonisers’ modern knowledge.
“Unfortunately, many in India’s intellectual elite continue to promote the notion that pre-colonial India was feudalistic, pre-rational, and by implication in need of being invaded for its own benefit,” he added.
Venkaiah Naidu asserted that India was strictly not a developing country but a ‘redeveloping’ nation, as it was once a developed nation and the ancient knowledge of Indian traditions was destroyed during various stages of invasions. Stressing the need for a new national consensus on building a resurgent India, he urged all stakeholders including people, political parties, elected representatives of the people, technocrats, experts, economists and investors to play their due role in this collective endeavour of rebuilding India.