Tharoor backs Harsh Vardhan’s Pythagoras remarks

January 04, 2015 04:15 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

Even as remarks made by Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan about the origins of algebra and Pythagorean theorem being in India invited ridicule, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor came to the Minister’s rescue.

In a series of tweets, referring to articles written by him in The Hindu in 2003, Mr. Tharoor said, “Modernists sneering at @drharshvardhan should know he was right.”

In one of these articles, citing Dick Teresi’s book Lost Discoveries , Mr. Tharoor had written that the Rig Veda mentioned gravitation “24 centuries before the apple fell on Newton’s head” and the “Vedic civilisation subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth at a time when everyone else, even the Greeks, assumed the earth was flat.”

In the same article, he wrote “the Sulba Sutras, composed between 800 and 500 B.C., demonstrate that India had Pythagorean theorem before the great Greek was born,” lending to Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s remarks at the Indian Science Congress.

While admitting that “Ganesha plastic surgery theory is absurd, except as a metaphor,” he tweeted on Sunday that “Susruta was world’s 1st surgeon.”

“To mock the credulous exaggerations of the Hindutva brigade, you don’t need to debunk the genuine accomplishments of ancient Indian science!” he said.

In his second article, Mr. Tharoor said “for a nation still obsessed by astrology, it is ironic that Indians established the field of planetary astronomy … and figured out that the moon was nearer to the earth than the sun.”

He quoted from Mr. Teresi’s book: “Two hundred years before Pythagoras, philosophers in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive object, had to be at its centre.”

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