-Dr. Rajeev Singh *
This article is based on my personal observations and the study thereupon. In this article, I have discussed about the necessity to modify the curriculum based on our prestigious ancient past.
The glory of our prestigious past is now not unknown. A lot of research had been done by many researchers and subsequently many books & research papers had been written on the ancient science & technologies, literatures and culture of our ancestors. From the late 18th centuary to beginning of 20th centuary, many good books like, The secreat doctorine, Lost Discoveries, History of India, Selections from Upnishads and many more had been been published by prominent publishers around the world. In the British era, many foreign and Indian researchers & authors as H.P Blavastaky, C.F. De La Fosse, F. Otto Schrader, J. Murdoch, S.N. Das Gupta, Gunakar Mule, Dharampal, Ananda Coomaraswamy, etc had focoused on the science & technologies used in ancient India. There are many books also available in Central Archaeology Library regarding this and a lot of researchers and authors had been working in this direction from past many decades. But, till now, these researches and books are not the part of syllabi of our education system in any level.
As a human kind, all of us have a unique mindset to accept, reject or analyse anything. This mindset is actually framed in our childhood which is totally based on the learnings from elders, things, events, education, etc at that time period. We grow with the mindset developed in that age and finally that mindset becomes the part of our life, habits, thinking levels, thinking capacities etc. For example, the way of thinking of a technical or science graduate will always be different from the arts graduate. Education either primary or higher always matters to shape the society and finally the future of any country. Obviously, we need different mind sets, levels, streams etc to develop the nation in all aspects. But the most important thing is that everyone must love our country and our cultures and this will come from our education. Now-a-days, there is a big problem in our country that some groups of people are forcing the patriotism on other groups of people while others are not ready to accept their patriotism. They have their own patriotic systems. This situation is not only in cities but in villages and town also and the worst thing is that the bitterness and unpleasantness is increasing day by day. I believe that one reseaon for this mishappening is the syllabii of our education running in the present time.
Now, the affection from our ancestors, our old culture etc are very less or almost nil among our students of schools, colleges, universities etc. The students are not ready to accept that our ancestors did any good things for the country or for the society even then they don’t know that many inventions and discoveries were made hundreds, thousands years before as mentioned in the ancient literatures and available in the form of old monuments. However, from our ancient literature, it is very difficult to extract any exact information due to lack of knowledge of language and our interest also. It is all about to our present half truth education. Basically we are facing two problems. First, in the present books, we are not studying about our ancient literature and culture which was really very great. For an example, the world’s famous “ancient scientists” are working on the mysteries of architecture, science & technology of our famous ‘Alora Temple’. They are telling that such kind of architecture was not possible in that time and it may be made by ‘Aliens’ with Alien machines/technologies. Because, till now, in entire world, there is instrument to search such a single stone for the construction that type of large building in very less time. But, unfortunately, in our education system, we are not studying about it and also not promoting our students to study these architectures, ancient science & technologies etc to enhance our knowledge. Another problem is not to read about our ancestors who fought for us against the enemies in and out of country from different parts of India.
The same thing to demolish our education system was being done from a long time back. In history, many names who had fought against foreign invaders as afghans, Turkish, Mughals or brithishers are not appeared in the books. For example, our generation don’t know about the bravery of ‘Rani Hadi, Mevar’, Rani Chenamma, the battle between Maharana Pratap and Bahlol Khan and many more. There is no need of such kind of explanations that how can the love and affection from our country be developed in new generation if they don’t know anything about our past? The present middle history is full of praise of Mughals with small explanation of their tortures. According to some history books, Auranggabe was very honest and God lover. But, what is the meaning of any honesty if that person was cruel and whose hands were full of the blood of innocent peoples. Such persons can not be truly God lover rather than sanctimonious. The cruel history of burning the ‘Nalanda’ and ‘Takshshila’ universities is almost absent in the present books. We are forgetting that education is the base of our society. Our generation is not aware with the bravery of our ancestors. Now, we are living in a technological era, so the modification is needed accordingly. Why, only the buildings made in Mughal periods became famous? It has no doubt that these buildings are really beautiful and we have to study them but what about our older buildings, structures as Kailash Temple, Alora; Water conservation Bawri, rajasthan; Chinna Keshav Temple, Karnataka; Brihdeshwar Temple, Tamilnadu, Kallanai Water Dam, Tamilnadu etc. These structures are not only beautiful but many surprising also. Many foreign researchers are working on our structures that how these big buildings and structures were built without the help of the modern equipments? But we, ourselves are not ready to read about these things. Because, these chapters are not the part of general history books. The study of the ancient technologies is not the part of our present education system. Our education policy makers did not focus on vedic sciences also. There are huge sciences in our ancient indian literatures but unfortunately we don’t know about it. Whenever, any person is taking about greatness of our ancient literatures and praising them then many persons are speaking against those persons and his/her talk seems full of foolishness, because we were very strong in science, technology, literatures but what about now? Suppose if any one is talking about the Stem Cell Technology used in the era of Mahabharata then many persons will tell that it is a fantacy only because no any scientific evidence is available. We can not glorify ourselves on the basis of some lines in any literature. There are no mathematical simulating models, written documents of calculations, technological tools, equipments etc to prove such kind of inventions/discoveries/events happened in our past. However, many literatures, tools, etc are already finished due to lack of knowledge of conservation of them and due to foreign invaders also. So, it is a highly demand of time to start work in this direction.
Here, in this article, I am trying to give some suggestions and ways to improve the knowledge about our ancient culture and science.
However, very great and respectable persons are working to improve the education system. They are designing the course curriculum in this direction. In the New Education Policy 2020, the concern about the promotion of our languages and cultures has already taken place. I also want to contribute in this great initiative taken by our Government, academicians and policy makers.
- Establishment of Research Center/University for ancient cultural studies
This is the most important step may be taken to setup research centres dedicated to study our ancient cultural, scientific and technological history. There will be all research departments/faculties such as history, archaeology, science, technology etc. Their work will be collaborative. Till now, the researches in history or discoveries made by archaeologists are not being read or understood by technologists due to lack of collaboration between archaeology departments and engineering institutions. Till now, if archaeology department is finding a new site then we are showing only the great things found on that site and pat our shoulders only that we were great. But we are not searching the science, technology, used tools, etc. For example, in Uttar Pradesh, a new site named ‘Ahichchhatra’ having pyramid shaped structure was found. The people working on this have searched its history based on the evidences found but we have not worked in the technical direction. So, if archaeology department will find any new site then history department will also search for old history and the linkup with the history written/recorded previously. In parallel, the full cultural study is also important for that site. But in the same time, the study of the technological tools, science, architecture are also important. They will work to find out the possibilities of available tools and scientific knowledge at that time. For example, the construction plans, tools, used in Allora cave temple, Chinna Keshav temple etc, till now we have not understood.
In this center, the department of language has very important. However, many points are already covered in NEP 2020 like the establishment and promotion of language institutions. The need is to extend this establishment towards other Departments also so that we will be able to collect the knowledge in our older literatures in all aspects. Collection of old information and translation in other language will be a task for the department of languages, so that the members of science and technology department can read and interpret the information correctly and scientifically. Till now, we can not extract the exact and whole scientific concepts from our ancient literature correctly due to misinterpretations and language problems. In the different parts of india, we have old literatures in different languages. So, the help, i.e. collaborations from the local persons/regional institutes also needed as mentioned in NEP. Many persons are working voluntarily themselves to explore our ancient culture/science & technology from across the country/globe. Therefore, the administration of this institute must ensure the inclusion of the works/persons working for the same motto by giving them the funded projects etc. It will help in our mission.
- Deputation of regional committees for revision of syllabi
The union and state governments are already doing in this direction continuously for regular modification of syllabi of our subjects in all levels according to the demand of time. In this regard, my suggestion is that government has to set up a national level committee under which state/region level committees should work. The work of regional/state level committees is to discover the names of our ancestors who fought against all the foreign invaders or who established the strong opposition against these invaders with a clear timeline, i.e. without time laps. The committee must ensure the validity of the stories which are popular in the society regarding our ancestors, their war methods, living styles etc. However, a lot of work had been done by our great archaeologists and many books are available with old inscriptions and records. The inclusion of such work may be decided by committee. Also, the committee must ensure the inclusion of the historical and scientific monuments like forts, temples etc made by our ancestors whatever the research work is going on these monuments or not.
After getting the information and recommendations from these committees within a given time period, these regional fights/wars/monuments must be included in the regional history/moral books running in state boards. Finally, the history changing fights/wars/resolutions must be included in national level syllabi as CBSE, ICSE etc as per recommendation of national level committee. The invaders/robbers should not be glorified that they were always best from us and we were always beaten by them. These invaders were also defeated many times from us. It must be emphasised. The focus must be on the fighting from our side not from their sides. For example, Sardar Bhagat Singh fought against the government at that time so according to brithishers, he was a terrorist. But he fought for us so he is not a terrorist. He is a national hero and freedom fighter for us. The chapters related with mughals must be shortened and the matters related with our glorious things must be highlighted. The invaders/robbers that were here to destroy our cultural backbone should never become great. However, we must study those things also which they did in favour of us. We have to see our whole history that what they have taken and in that respect what they have given. Apart from this, we have to study for those persons also who fought against the social evils encrypted in the society alongwith the reasons for development of these social evils in our society so that we will be able to stop these type of problems at their beginning itself in the future. Again, I am focusing that the syllabi and subject matters prescribed by these regional/state committees must be followed by entire state/region in the uniform manner either in government or in private institutions. The monitory committee, i.e. national level committee may give proper directions and time limits for its implementation.
In last, I want to say again that the works/suggestions given here are going on by very educated personalities with the help of our government. Being a responsible citizen and a teacher, I understand my duty to give suggestions for improvement of our education and our nation. I hope this article may be a help to our educationists working in this direction.
*Assistant Professor of Physics, Arignar Anna Govt Arts And Science College, Karaikal (UT of Puducherry) || Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org