Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Science in India

Today is National Science Day. What is the nature of science in India? Is it something that arose from our soil, or is it something grafted from outside? Here is my two cents on this.

I want to begin by pointing out that there is a clear distinction between science, technology, mathematics, and philosophy, which we Indians tend to forget when making tall claims about our great past. We were good in mathematics, and philosophy. Technology can often arise without necessarily adopting the scientific method. But science? Sorry. The scientific method did not arise here. We have to thank the Greeks for that. In that sense, modern Indian science is a case of grafting that has not gone too well, although there are some very honourable exceptions. I am of the firm opinion that India can become a truly great and powerful and prosperous country if we can somehow propagate the scientific method here.

Why only India? This would be true for any country.

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