Should we give credit to Issac Newton for gravitational laws when ancient Indian scriptures talked about it over 1,500 years ago?
Why should India, which gave the calendar system to the world, follow the Gregorian calendar?
These are the some of the questions which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wants the Indian youth to ponder.
RSS affiliate Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM), in association with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), will be holding a series of lectures in campuses across India, educating the youth about “Bharat Bodh” or the “Idea of India”, and asking them embrace the Vedic system of education.
The BSM holds the “anti-national education system” to be the root cause for the problems faced by the country, and endeavours to change the curriculum at all levels of education, based on the Indian knowledge tradition, where Vedas and ancient scriptures form the basis of education.
The first of the lecture series was held in the national capital on Monday, with Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, and IGNOU Vice-Chancellor Ravindra Kumar, among others, blaming the prevalent education system.
“Today we know more about the world, but have forgotten India, what are its values and what it stands for. This is because our textbooks don't talk about India's identity, the traditional arts and sciences for which it was known world over,” said Javadekar.
IGNOU V-C Kumar also blamed the education system for undermining valuable contributions of ancient India, and called for efforts to awaken the Indian youth about the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Learn about India first
Javadekar claimed that knowledge about Indian history was more important than world history, and cited Rajasthan as showing the right path.
“A student must learn about the history of the region and the state he belongs to, the country as a whole and then only about the world, like it is being done in Rajasthan,” said the minister.
BJP-ruled Rajasthan has made a host of changes in text books to inculcate the saffron brigade's narrative of history. The changes include dropping of foreign poets like John Keats and TS Eliot, and a history text book that actually claims Maharana Pratap defeated Mughal emperor Akbar in the Battle of Haldighati.
Back to the Vedas
Speaking on the occasion, HR Nagendra, vice-chancellor of the Bengaluru-based Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, said without Vedic sciences, India cannot become a superpower.
“You cannot become developed by building skyscrapers, or a superpower by building big weapons. Today we have gone haywire because our education doesn't include 'Bharatiyata'. Unless we get back to our roots, unless we follow the Vedas and their unending knowledge, we will not develop,” said Nagendra, a mechanical engineer and also the personal yoga consultant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The IITs are considered to be the most prestigious in India, but globally, they stand nowhere. This is because we don't teach 'Bharatiyata'. We have to adopt total science, where we don't just study physical science, but also spiritual science. Science is not complete unless students are taught about Vedic sciences,” he added.
BSM president Sachchidananda Joshi said it was the duty of the nation to educate the new generation about India's traditional arts and sciences.
“When we associate Newton with gravitation instead of the Vedas, which mentioned it hundreds of years ago, we undermine the idea of India. We follow the Gregorian calendar despite the fact that it is India which taught the world about the calendar. The question is, how long will we continue to move away from the idea of India?
“It is time that our young generation knew about traditional Indian art and science forms. It's time for them to learn about the Vedas, and it is our duty to spread this knowledge to them,” said Joshi, adding that the lecture series will play a crucial role in spreading this knowledge.