Letters to the Editor: Ancient glory

We Indians seem to bask in a sense of past achievement.

By: Express News Service | Published: January 16, 2015 12:00 am

It is cause for alarm that campaigns backed by the Sangh Parivar, touting largely imaginary scientific achievements from ancient India, are being aided and abetted by scientists and educationists, either through silence or active endorsement (‘Incredible Indians’ by Shobhit Mahajan, IE, January 15). Of course, there were those in ancient India who broke new ground in medicine, math and astronomy, but so did the Greeks, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Arabs, Chinese and Peruvians. Instead of building on these foundations, we Indians seem to bask in a sense of past achievement. We might as well wear Vedic t-shirts and strut around saying, “My forefathers did all that 3,000 years ago, you know, so I needn’t do anything more”. — R.P. Subramanian, Delhi

Opposition who?
Former top cop Kiran Bedi joining the BJP was expected but Jaya Prada switching camp from the Samajwadi Party was a surprise (‘Ready to be BJP’s Delhi chief minister candidate, says Kiran Bedi’, IE, January 15). Everybody wants to be with the ruling party and the Modi wave has swept up several opposition leaders in its wake. This is opportunistic politics, with no moral base. The same leaders were opposing Narendra Modi and his party not very long ago. Nobody wants to be in the Opposition, which is bad for Indian politics. People should weigh the worth of candidates and not just be swayed by the Modi euphoria. Leaders must be judged on their own performance.
— S.N. Kabra, Mumbai

Listen to Bhagwati
This refers to the editorial ‘Bhagwati, not Bhagwat’ (IE, January 15). I agree with Jagdish Bhagwati’s cautionary note to the prime minister, advising him to urgently hold back the Hindu chauvinist elements that are undermining his development strategy. These frequent distractions have caused embarrassment to his government. His reformist agenda is getting a needless beating, too. One really wonders why PM Modi is not clearing the air. His studied silence on the furore over religious conversions and other inflammatory rhetoric has raised several eyebrows. He must listen carefully to some “sane” voices emerging in parallel. — S. Kumar, Delhi

Based on its current projections, the BJP cannot be called a secular party. There is too much brandishing of Vedic literature, ancient science and the Mahabharata, not to mention Sushma Swaraj’s suggestion that the Bhagwad Gita be turned into national scripture. The BJP and its allies have carefully skirted the theory that the Aryans migrated from Central Asia, displacing the older inhabitants of India. They would rather tag the Muslim rulers of medieval India as “foreigners”. Such an ideology contradicts Modi’s slogan of “sabka sath, sabka vikas”.

— Ajeet Kumar, Kanpur

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