By Sahana Sundar
After 75 years of Indian independence, would you say, are we still colonized in our minds? Do we still feel inferior to the British? British, when they came to India, was fascinated by the education in India and the value system that we followed. They wanted to somehow break this and make us feel inferior to them. It was Macaulay, a British who said that he will break the Indian education system and make Indians feel that English education is superior in all aspects. He said, “A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia," Macaulay wrote in his minutes that he envisaged creating "a class of persons, Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect". Thus the British hammered inferiority complex in Indian minds. Even today we have not come out of that influence. Many Indians are English in taste. We patronized Justin Beiner and welcomed him but Indian classical singers played to the walls. There was no audience for the Kathak dancers. Kathak is the dance form that belonged to the 4th century BC. saw a downfall. What explains this gap? We disregard our Indian culture and are obsessed with the West. This obsession has become synonymous with modernity and advancement in living.
Indians were the first in inventions and discoveries. They were pioneers in research and development. They were artists, scientists, and historians. Let us know the strength of Indian education. Here are a few examples-
The Baudhāyana Śulbasûtra is noted for containing several early mathematical results, including an approximation of the square root of 2 and the statement of the Pythagorean theorem.
Hemachandra, following the earlier Gopala, described the Fibonacci sequence in around 1150, about fifty years before Fibonacci (1202). He was considering the number of cadences of length n and showed that these could be formed by adding a short syllable to a cadence of length n − 1, or a long syllable to one of n − 2.
Aryabhata was an Indian mathematician and astronomer of the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. He flourished in the Gupta Era and produced works such as the Aryabhatiya and the Arya-Siddhanta. He was the one who found out Zero is well known as the circle of life. He also was the founder of decimal systems. He knew the diameter of the moon and earth.
Plastic surgery and cataract surgery were known to Indians a long time back. It is well endorsed in Sushruta Samhita.
West has played again and again to its advantage. Turmeric was used in kitchens of Indian houses for ages. They knew the healing properties of turmeric quite well. But we never patented turmeric. Similarly neem. But the British have patented both turmeric and neem. All this is because of India’s broad-minded ideology. It never went offensive.
There is a lesson to learn from these stories -we should stop believing in the Eurocentric theories and stop feeling that we are inferior to them. We have to prove Macaulay wrong. Let us stop looking westwards and start looking inwards