Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why Indian Astronomy got Screwed up ?

Yes, that's the big question "Why Indian Astronomy got Screwed up ?"  Any early thoughts in your mind ? Well, lets just analyze the situation.

Screwed up ? Oh, yeah, it really got screwed up. Let me give you a small example and I will then relate it to Indian Astronomy. "Imagine, there is a student who scored excellent marks till 10th class and after that the student starts failing in all the exams. Don't you call the student has screwed up his/her life ?" That's exactly thing happened with Indian Astronomy. Around 1500 years back, their were some remarkable discoveries done by "few noted" astronomers in India. Then suddenly, there was a huge null, and if you look at the scenario deeply, the null is still going on. What were the reasons for Indian Astronomy getting screwed up ?

1. Some might argue that Indians were under foreign rulers and it badly affected astronomy. This argument is absolutely incorrect. Astronomy doesn't require money, it requires ideas, persistent effort and will to understand the universe. The foreign rulers hardly had any role to play in declining the ideas of Indian Astronomers. In my opinion, Indian Astronomers failed to capitalize the situation. I mean, they had more chances of making their research global. They could have easily presented their ideas before wide audience. However, they totally failed.

2. One of the major reason for "Indian astronomy getting screwed up" is the "involvement of religious sentiments" in astronomy. One of the major hurdle before Indian Astronomers was to convince the people about wrong beliefs existing in their religions. Believe it or not, people in those days believed in all kind of strange stories, for example  "sun gets swallowed by a devil during solar eclipse". And it is even surprising to note that "there are still millions of people in India who believe in those stories". The astronomers were forced to give up their research by the religious heads. This situation was also faced by Galileo and other European Astronomers. However, the European astronomers succeeded in overcoming the religious powers and Indian astronomers failed. We have to accept this fact.

3. The next reason is "Lack of good talent". Yes, even though Indian has been a very populated country, there is huge scarcity of good talent here. Generally, Indians don't accept this fact but its true and they can't deny it. Indian never had a big pool of scientists, there were few big names but the number is too less for a large country. There were no Newtons, Einsteins born here and even if one such kind takes birth, the people will never recognize his/her efforts. If you find my statements odd, I can give you enough examples. Let me do that in future blogs.

4.  Internal conflicts such as Caste System was major hurdle before Indian Astronomers. Many sects of Indian people were not allowed to have basic education because they belonged to lower caste. This was the harsh reality of Indian society. In few regions of Indian, this situation still prevails. It is a great shame on the educated people of those times to have behaved in the above said manner.

5. Too much of belief in the past days of glory affected Indian astronomy badly. Past is past, people know you by what you are today and will be in future. Indians failed to understand this and paid a heavy price.  Even today I find many people who contribute nothing to future and sing slogans of past.

October 24 11:39 PM 2007

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