Union Minister of Science Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan grabbed the occasion of 50th Founders’ Day celebrations on Thursday to call upon scientists at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to take India back to its past superior glory.
Speaking before the scientists of the premier ocean research institute, the Minister profusely quoted India’s epic scriptures and said that the time was to return to being a country which once led the world in innovation and discovery.
Quoting extensively from a book “Hindu superiority” written by Har Bilas Sarda, in pre-Independence India, Dr. Vardhan said “We have forgotten our glorious past. We have been a world leader in almost all the fields and can always be a world leader once again.”
The book ‘Hindu Superiority’, he said is a collection of Western references to the richness of India in its pre-colonial days. “In the history of medicine, whatever is being thought as Western medicine was actually Indian knowledge. In the 9th century the Caliph of Baghdad translated all the knowledge into Arabic and it was subsequently translated into European languages,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, while hastening to add that he did not mean to undermine the contribution of the West. But repeatedly emphasised that “we were a powerhouse of knowledge which could deliver in every field”, and asserted that “if India becomes powerful, world would be safe.”
Liberal in his praise for ocean scientists, he also referred to the ‘Samudra Manthan’ to laud the scientists.
“All of you are silent celebrities. Like the celestial figures (I won’t go into ‘Devas’ and ‘Asuras’) who participated in Samudra Manthan, you have plunged into the Indian Ocean and plumbed out valuable knowledge which has enhanced our understanding of not only of nature, but also contributed to India’s education industry and diplomatic leverage as a knowledge superpower,” the Minister said.
He even claimed that the “CSIR-NIO was conceived with Sri Devi in mind - the fabulous wealth that lies waiting if our pursuit is done with mankind’s good in mind.”
While speaking on the need to clean oceans clean, he touched upon Prime Minister’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” too saying it was relevant for our offshore areas in order to maintain the biodiversity of our life-sustaining waters.