Surgeons in ancient India could perform cataract, plastic surgery, says VP Venkaiah Naidu
Thiruvananthapuram, May 22: If you are yet to recover from the shock of "internet existed in the days of Mahabharata" infamously said by Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb a few weeks ago, here comes more gems from our "big leaders".
On Monday, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu once again left many cringing in their seats when he claimed that "surgeons in ancient India could perform cataract and plastic surgery" at an event in Kalady, around 45 km from Kerala's Kochi.
While addressing an audience after conferring awards at the Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology in Kerala's Kalady town, India's VP and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said, "We knew how to make steel alloys and smelt zinc. Our ancient surgeons could conduct many complicated surgeries, including plastic surgery and cataract surgery."
He added besides surgeons, many scientists, mathematicians, physicians, chemists, metallurgists, astronomers and a number of innovators in ancient India have significantly advanced human knowledge.
"One recalls a number of such illustrious names like Aryabhata, Pingala, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara, Varahamihira, Charaka and Sushrutha. India gave the concept of zero and the binary system to the world," he said.
While conferring the Adi Shankara Asianet News Young Scientist Awards 2018 at the institute, Naidu said the award was an eloquent testimony to the inquisitiveness, ingenuity and innovative initiative inherent in young India.
He said along with "gross national income", the focus must also be on how science and technology can foster greater happiness and better quality of life, as well as harmonious inclusive societies. "Knowledge must lead us to become wise and we must have the wisdom to use the knowledge we acquire for improving our lives," Naidu added.
The VP said one should draw inspiration from the best in Indian tradition, remove the "deadwood" accumulated over the years and revitalise the nation. Noting that nearly two-third of the country's population is aged below 35 years, Naidu said if youth can acquire the right mix of knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the 21st Century, the dividends to growth and development could be enormous.
"Advancement of human knowledge has occurred in our country because of the spirit of enquiry, the ability to question, the ability to research and the ability to arrive at the truth," he said.
The VP said three qualities were needed to achieve excellence, the first of which was willingness to learn from each and every person, institution and learning resource.
The second is the ability to probe, analyse and synthesise and the third, to search for out of the box solutions to the problems at hand, he added.
It is not for the first time that BJP leaders have waxed eloquent about scientific achievements during ancient India without furnishing any evidence. Back in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a lot of furore by stating that Lord Ganesha had "cosmetic surgery".