All entries for Friday 21 October 2005

October 21, 2005

Asia Times Letters

The editors of Asia Times Online need to filter out repetitive rants in their Letters section. How on earth can Frank claim that his arguments have not been refuted, less so accepted? On the contrary, my constant portrayal of a markedly common past shared by India and China and the inherent hypocrisy underlying his arguments have been met with nothing but deafening silence. He argues in his [Oct 20] letter that India did not invent anything of substance. I quote Albert Einstein when he was awarded the Nobel Prize: "We owe a lot to the Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could be made." What about the path-breaking work in astronomy in ancient India by the likes of Aryabhatta and Brahmagupta, who showed through their mathematical models the Earth's rotation and revolution? This was many years before Galileo. What about Panini's grammar, which forms the basis of modern Indo-European grammar? What about Baudhayana's proving of the theorem that took centuries for Pythagoras to figure out? What about ayurveda? If Frank has heard of none of these, he must have heard of the Kama Sutra. I consider myself a "common Indian" – the one which Frank claims stays quiet, resigning himself to his fate. He'd be surprised at the high turnout rates in Indian elections, especially in the rural areas. Indians are empowered people living in a free society, and they know how to express their will. Just recall the 2004 elections. This discussion is fast sinking to the levels of pure mudslinging, treading dangerously on the line between argument and racism. I hope sanity prevails before the line is crossed, by Frank of course. This discussion belongs to The Edge and not Letters, which should be for discussing articles in the newspaper.

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