Use technology to access knowledge, says Kalam

A MOMENT TO CHERISH: The former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachalaiah presenting a `Mysore peta' to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at the `Mahabharath Utsav' in Bangalore on Monday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.  

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: One Bharat Ratna decorated President S. Radhakrishnan said of the eternal epic: "What is not in the Mahabharata is not to be found in the land of the Bharatas."

Today, another Bharat Ratna decorated President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, gave his own version of the enduring epic: How Lord Krishna persuaded Arjuna to vacillate no more and descend on the battlefield with his analogy of the garden full of birds and flowers that gave beauty and joy during the day, knowing when night falls, the flowers will shrivel and the birds fall silent.

Participating in the valedictory function of the Mahabharath Utsav, organised by the Mahabharata Samshodhana Pratishthanam, Dr. Kalam, who dedicated to the nation the state-of-the-art Digital Mobile Van for Digitisation of Manuscripts, said the objective of the mobile laboratory is a noble one to preserve for posterity the heritage manuscripts that are with millions of people all over the country.

He enthusiastically demonstrated his penchant for inquiry into science, philosophy and religion, urging the people engaged in the task of digitising old and precious manuscripts before they are destroyed, to use every kind of technology to access knowledge that India possessed for over 5,000 years. Nanotechnology is something he recommended strongly, saying in Western countries, a "nano-powder" is used to spray on manuscripts and even faded images. The Mahabharata Ratna was given posthumously to Bhima Bhat, and Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune.