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Algebra, Pythagoras' theorem origin: Tharoor backs Vardhan'd views
Sunday January 4, 2015 9:20 PM, IANS

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has come out in support of Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan's remarks at the Indian Science Congress that algebra and the Pythagoras' theorem originated in India.

Tharoor in a tweet said: "Modernists sneering at @drharshvardhan should know he was right, as I pointed out in 2003."

He posted two of his articles published that year in an English daily on the advances of Indian science in ancient India.

"To mock the credulous exaggerations of the Hindutva brigade, you don't need to debunk the genuine accomplishments of ancient Indian science!" Tharoor added.

Harsh Vardhan had said ancient Indian scientists discovered the Pythagoras' theorem but the credit is given to the Greeks.

He said Indians knew 'beejganit' or algebra "much before the Arabs, but very selflessly we allowed it to be called Algebra. This is the base the Indian scientific community has maintained".

He said Indians have never used their scientific knowledge for negative purposes.

Tharoor, remarking on the controversy over right-wing groups linking mythology with scientific exploits, tweeted: "Ganesha plastic surgery theory is absurd, except as a metaphor. But Susruta was world's 1st surgeon."

The reference to plastic surgery was to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments on the subject in Mumbai in October last year.

Modi, during a speech at the inauguration of the Reliance hospital, had said ancient Indian civilisation must have been aware of plastic surgery and cited the example of elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha.

He had said that according to the Mahabharata, Karna, one of the main characters, was not born out of his mother's womb and suggested that it meant that ancient India was aware of genetic science.

Tharoor was dropped as Congress spokesperson in October after he came out in praise of Modi.

In an article in the Huffington Post, Tharoor had written that Modi remodelled himself from a "hate figure" to an "avatar of modernity and progress" and that it would be "churlish" of the Congress to ignore his "inclusive and accommodative" outreach.



 

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