Science lesson from Gujarat: Stem cells in Mahabharata, cars in Veda

Tejomay Bharat is to be distributed along with eight books written by Dina Nath Batra.

Written by RITU SHARMA | Ahmedabad | Updated: July 27, 2014 1:35 pm
Tejomay Bharat’s “facts.” Source: Express photo Tejomay Bharat’s “facts.” (Source: Express photo)

Gujarat’s new compulsory reading list for government primary and secondary students doesn’t just seek to educate students on “facts” about India’s culture, history and geography. It also has its own take on science, particularly landmark inventions.

“…America wants to take the credit for invention of stem cell research, but the truth is that India’s Dr Balkrishna Ganpat Matapurkar has already got a patent for regenerating body parts…. You would be surprised to know that this research is not new and that Dr Matapurkar was inspired by the Mahabharata. Kunti had a bright son like the sun itself. When Gandhari, who had not been able to conceive for two years, learnt of this, she underwent an abortion. From her womb a huge mass of flesh came out. (Rishi) Dwaipayan Vyas was called. He observed this hard mass of flesh and then he preserved it in a cold tank with specific medicines. He then divided the mass of flesh into 100 parts and kept them separately in 100 tanks full of ghee for two years. After two years, 100 Kauravas were born of it. On reading this, he (Matapurkar) realised that stem cell was not his invention. This was found in India thousands of years ago.” — Page 92-93, Tejomay Bharat

“We know that television was invented by a priest from Scotland called John Logie Baird in 1926. But we want to take you to an even older Doordarshan… Indian rishis using their yog vidya would attain divya drishti. There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this… In Mahabharata, Sanjaya sitting inside a palace in Hastinapur and using his divya shakti would give a live telecast of the battle of Mahabharata… to the blind Dhritarashtra”. — Page 64

“What we know today as the motorcar existed during the Vedic period. It was called anashva rath. Usually a rath (chariot) is pulled by horses but an anashva rath means the one that runs without horses or yantra-rath, what is today a motorcar. The Rig Veda refers to this…” — Page 60

The 125-page book, Tejomay Bharat, that these passages are excerpted from was recently mandated as supplementary reading by the Gujarat government for all government primary and secondary schools.

Published by the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB), the book seeks to teach children “facts” about history, science, geography, religion and other “basics”.

Tejomay Bharat is to be distributed along with eight books written by Dina Nath Batra, a member of the national executive of Vidya Bharati, the educational wing of the RSS. Batra’s books, translated into Gujarati and published by the GSSTB, have also been mandated as supplementary reading by the state government.

Each of these books carries a customised message from Narendra Modi, as then chief minister, while Batra’s books praise him and the GSSTB. Tejomay Bharat carries a message from Modi praising the GSSTB for republishing the book.

The book has chapters such as Adhyatmik Bharat (spiritual India), Akhand Bharat (undivided India), Vigyanmay Bharat (scientific India), and Samarth Bharat (competent India). The book’s content advisor is Harshad Shah, vice-chancellor of Childrens’ University in Gandhinagar who was Gujarat chairman of Vidya Bharti till 2006. The review committee includes Ruta Parmar and Rekha Chudasama, both associated with Vidya Bharati.

Shah told The Sunday Express, “Tejomay Bharat gives an insight to students about our rich culture, heritage, spiritualism and patriotism. The language has been kept simple, which is apt for students. These are to be given free of cost to all schools, while 5,000 copies priced at Rs 73 have been prepared for those other than students.”

Asked how schools would reconcile the “facts” of Tejomay Bharat with the NCERT syllabus, the Deputy Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Ahmedabad region, P Dev Kumar, said, “Being a government servant, I am here to follow and implement government policies. Though we have not been told of any change in the NCERT curriculum for this academic session, if there is any for the next year, we have to wait and watch.”

Tejomay Bharat also objects to the country being called India. “We should not demean ourselves by calling our beloved Bharatbhoomi by the shudra (lowly) name ‘India’. What right had the British to change the name of this country?… We should not fall for this conspiracy and forget the soul of our country (Page 53).”

“It is better to die for one’s religion. An alien religion is a source of sorrow,” the book says on Page 118. “Guru Gobind Singh had four sons — Ajit Singh, Juzar Singh, Zoravar Singh and Fateh Singh… King’s men tried hard to convince them, but they courageously replied, ‘Our grandfather Guru Tegh Bahadur gave his head for saving Hindu religion and we will also give our lives but will never leave our religion’.”

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  1. R
    Raghu Panjala
    Feb 5, 2016 at 6:52 am
    Lowly shudra India, sums it all . We might think that these RSS wadis are pro national. They never forget to call shudras lowly. They havent changed a bit. In one book they god sinned by creating negros. If this is the moral education then god save us. Why is that they keep pn blaming congress for ignoring India's great past. Never has congress ingored it. You can see all out textboosk glorifying our past and ofcourse some criticism along with it too. whats new with RSS is that we only preach mythology. If they want hindus to learn mythology, why dont they create seperate textbooks and make them compulsory?
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      Aditya
      Jan 1, 2015 at 5:12 am
      Do your research and then give a comment. Search in youtube and you will find number of talks by western scholars on research on Veda.
      Reply
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        Aditya
        Jan 1, 2015 at 4:47 am
        Don't try to throw one word you know Mmrithi? Do you know the historical reasons for it? Did that doesn't exist in Egypt, Sumeria, Roman and Chinese and even in the modern world in form of cles?
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          Aditya
          Jan 1, 2015 at 5:17 am
          Gujarat is already way ahead of you guys. Hope you don't run into J&K type of situation where 500,000 Kashmiri Pundits had to live Kashmir valley within a week as per the deadline given by Islam Militants. I am sure you don't know about them! Please search google and then please read for your knowledge, While the North East is converted to all Christianity and now nobody even knows their original culture - including God and Goddesses within 70 years.
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            Aditya
            Jan 1, 2015 at 4:44 am
            How about Muslims killed millions - How do we compare this to Holocast?
            Reply
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              Aditya
              Jan 1, 2015 at 4:59 am
              Wow did you know that Roman European empire of Antiquity that ended about 1800 years ago was ahead of medieval Europe till Renaissance between 14th to 17th AD. After the fall of Roman Empire in Europe to Renaissance about 1200 years Europe went back in knowledge and technologies and it is called as dark ages. Part was due to spread of Christianity where anything said contrary to bible was considered crime. e.g. Earth is flat, Sun goes around the earth, no evolution God Created Man and Earth in 5 days. If any person said anything else would be called heretic and could burnt alive on stake, Some scholars said that European Dark Ages was even made worst by Muslim invasion of Europe. Do search in youtube for European Dark Ages. Impact of Muslim invasion in Europe We definitely know muslim invasion destro education, universities such as Nalanda and many more. Before Muslim invasion people from form east Asia used to come to India to study. There are number of books by Chinese and east Asians who visited india that survived muslim invasion talk about India as center of learning. The Buddhism spread in east because of it. There is also second thinking that end of Ice Age 10,000 years ago destro potion in coastal regions. e.g. drowning of Dwarka, Altantis, Noah's Ark and so on - every old civilization talks about it. Lastly some think great battle of Mahabharata had a role in it too. e.g. the skeletons found in Indus Valley civilization are one of the most radioactive of all. Nobody know why?
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                Aditya
                Jan 1, 2015 at 4:42 am
                Wow! Check the Christian conversion when they come to talk to you. How they talk about old India. Not only this if you go out of India - Very few people compared India to China or Egypt of Iran/Irag. Before we got into IT - India was called land of snake charmers not of any research value
                Reply
                1. G
                  Gumnam
                  Nov 15, 2015 at 3:33 am
                  I just cannot understand one thing. In 1947, Muslims were promised good life in stan, and it seemed too. But Muslims do not left India. In 1984, after severe macre of Sikh in Delhi, Sikh never left Delhi. In 1980's, even after Operation Blue Star etc, Sikh never left Punjab. Then, Why these people in Kashmir left their homeland, just by hearing warning. Also, what was Indian Army doing? Please no abuse. Just need to know the reasons.
                  Reply
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