Indiana Jones and the Ancient Hindoo Nuclear Physicists
The BJP Government is really making it a habit of being terrible cranks on science and technology. Offering an in-depth analysis of their consistent crankery is beyond the realms of idiocy I’m willing to wander into at this unholy hour of the morning, so I’ll restrict myself to the latest- Smriti Irani proposing Sanskrit courses at the IITs to facilitate students into extracting advanced scientific knowledge from Ancient Hindoo texts.
I’m not a person who makes fun of Smriti Irani’s educational background, because I pretty much presume that you can be a good minister even without possessing a PhD from a hallowed intellectual ivory tower. However, her cancerous stupidity is deserving of ridicule and I have no intention of offering a ‘critique’ that would only serve to legitimise the idiocy and guile people into thinking that this is even debatable.
It’s a stupid fucking idea.
We already have language for the sciences that works goddamned well and it’s known as ‘mathematics’. My limited understanding of linguistics and syntactical structures and semantics therein doesn’t seem to lend any credence to the idea that Sanskrit is any better suited for expressing science than mathematics. Or makes for a better language to write programs in than say Python or FORTRAN or Haskell.
The other contention that Miss Irani and other acolytes of the Sangh like making is that there’s deep science hidden within the Vedas and other ancient Hindoo texts, apparently some hidden gem of a theorem in quantum field theory and general relativity that allows us to arrive at a theory of quantum gravity, because evidently, The Moste Wise and Anciente Hindoos knew something about physics we don’t or at least as much as we do- How else would they have use Australia as a nuclear test site? Or something to that effect… And of course, as the Mahabharata tells us, genetic engineering, cloning etc. were all the rage in the Subcontinent before the Moste Wise and Anciente Hindoos realised its potential for abuse and encoded all of it into Sacred Hindoo texts. Or perhaps it was Gautam Buddha and his merry band of pacifist Luddites who forced this to happen.
Soon, this knowledge that the Anciente Hindoos had locked away in their Sanskrit texts was forgotten, especially after the rise of bastardised languages derived from Sanskrit like Bengali, Tamil, Mandarin and Tagalog. And then came the attacks of the Muslims and Bloody Britishers. Unable to defend themselves due to forgetting the knowledge of the Moste Wise and Anciente Hindoos and not having access to that scientific weapon of mass destruction, the Brahmastra, which has the power of 10 Tsar Bombas- the Hindoos were subjected to genocide that was at a scale of 10⁵ times that of the Nazi Holocaust.
But it ends now… The IITians will learn Sanskrit and unlock of the secrets of the Moste Wise and Anciente Hindoos and rule the world as they were fated to- Bharatiya Hindoos are the Master Race! Unless… Indiana Jones gets there first…
Okay, so enough with my fanfiction. It’s a stupid fucking idea and a waste of public resources- there is no science to be found in religious texts.
If they were at all serious about languages, maybe they should funnel that money into teaching students a living Subcontinental language like Bengali or Tamil or Asomiya, especially given how nationalists areremarkably insensitive towards cultural identities. Or maybe they could use that money to reduce tuition. Or perhaps, they should use that money to ensure that the entrances are conducted in languages other than English and Hindi, given how a majority of Indians actually don’t speak either as their first language and would do better on tests if they were allowed to take it in their first languages.
It’s alright to temper your religious views with science, but when you think your religious views should inform science, you’re pretty much guaranteed to end up with a pile of horse manure and not a WMD.
Someone who’s made it his life’s work to study the sciences