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In Defence of Indian Science

Posted on 2016/10/27 19:14:44 ( 233 reads )


INDIA, October 13, 2016 (New Indian Express by Michel Danino): Studies of India's ancient scientific accomplishments have seen two extremes: At one end of the spectrum, daydreamers fancy that the Vedas knew everything from electricity to interplanetary travel, that vimanas crisscrossed Indian skies millenniums ago, or that Aryabhata invented all mathematics. At the other end, gainsayers bristle at the thought that some science might not have emerged from the "Greek miracle:" Indian scientific advances can only be borrowed or derivative, its imperfections and errors alone being original contributions, while its rational elements ultimately stem from contact with the Greeks; Indian savants knew no experimental science, followed no proper axiomatic method, and in any case ended up in stagnation, while Europe galloped forth triumphantly and gave us the boon of "modern science."

These two scenarios are repeated decade after decade, while serious scholars -- both Indian and Western -- quietly and patiently generate solid material which, in a normal world, should suffice to dismiss dreamers and gainsayers alike to the obscurity they deserve. Indeed, ridiculing the former is easy. Exposing the latter, however, is less commonly done, as they often conceal their biases or ignorance behind academic posts and imposing jargon. A recent case in point is Meera Nanda, who has been for some years on a self-appointed mission to expose all claims to knowledge by Hindu enthusiasts, nationalists, right-wingers or Hindutva activists. I will confine myself to discussing the considerable distortions in her two case studies of Indian mathematics: the case for early Indian knowledge of the Pythagoras theorem, and India's claim to be "the birthplace of the sunya, or zero."

Meera Nanda is no doubt entitled to her opinions and prejudices, but disregarding or concealing all material that runs counter to one's choices is poor scholarship. Worse, misleading the lay public into believing that the genuine accomplishments of early and classical Indian mathematics and astronomy are no more than Hindutva-created fictions reflects a jaundiced view of the whole field.

Danino continues his rebuttal at "source" above and part II, a continuation of the article, is available at:
http://www.newindianexpress.com/opini ... n-science-1527846--1.html

One-In-Five U.S. Adults Were Raised in Religiously Mixed Homes

Posted on 2016/10/27 19:14:34 ( 182 reads )


WASHINGTON, D.C. October 26, 2016 (Pew Forum): Although the majority of U.S. adults report that they were raised in families with a single religious faith, roughly one-in-five (21%) say they were raised by parents who came from different religious traditions, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

The study helps outline the changing religious landscape in the United States, where about one-in-ten adults (9%) say they were raised by two people, both of whom were religiously affiliated but with different religious backgrounds. An additional 12% say they were raised by one person who was religiously affiliated (with, for example, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism or another religion) and another person who was religiously unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular").

Religiously mixed backgrounds remain the exception in America. Roughly eight-in-ten U.S. adults (79%) say they were raised within a single religion, either by two parents who had the same faith or by a single parent. But the number of Americans raised in religiously mixed homes appears to be growing. Fully one-quarter of young adults in the Millennial generation (27%) say they were raised in a religiously mixed family. The religious backgrounds of young adults also stand out in other ways. For example, nearly one-quarter of Millennials (24%) say they were raised by at least one parent who was a religious "none" (religiously unaffiliated).

Read the full report at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/27 19:14:24 ( 137 reads )


Being upset reflects the lack of a strategy.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland Almost Entirely Christian

Posted on 2016/10/25 19:27:45 ( 418 reads )


INDIA, October 18, 2018 (Centre for Policy Studies by Dr. J.K. Bajaj): The thirty-first note on the Religion Data of Census 2011 concerns the nearly complete Christianisation of the numerous tribes with their diverse geographies, diverse faiths and diverse ways of being that inhabit Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. All that social diversity seems to have been extinguished. The share of Hindus in all three States has declined rapidly among both the Scheduled Tribe and non-Scheduled Tribe communities.

In each of the three States, there are a very large number of diverse tribes often inhabiting geographical distinct districts or regions. All this diversity of beliefs, practices and ways of life has now been reduced to the uniformity of Christianity. Only a few followers of the Heraka faith remain among the Kabui of Manipur and the Zeliang of Nagaland as reminders and remnants of that diversity.

With the level of Christianity among the Scheduled Tribes having reached saturation levels, the direction of conversion seems to have shifted towards the non-Scheduled Tribes populations. In the last two decades, the share of Christians in the non-ST population of Mizoram has increased from 4.7 to 37.7 percent and that of Nagaland from 9.3 to 22.1 percent. In Manipur, it is the share of the ORPs rather than Christians that has recorded extraordinary increase from nearly nil to 13 percent in these two decades. The ORPs, as we have seen, are often a half-way house between Hinduism and Christianity. The share of Hindus in the non-ST population has declined everywhere, from 72.3 to 39.7 in Mizoram, from 87.7 to 69.5 percent in Manipur and from 74.5 to 59 percent in Nagaland.

More at "source" above.

Video: Freeing Hindu Temples from Government Control

Posted on 2016/10/25 19:27:35 ( 317 reads )


INDIA, October 24, 2016 (Hindu Human Rights by J. Sai Deepak): A closer look at today's political and social arena clearly reveals how Hindu institutions and Hinduism in India are unfairly targeted by a combination of vote bank politics and unscrupulous politicians and businessmen. Particularly alarming is the destruction of Hindu institutions and the illegal mass conversions by other religions.

In a recorded talk by J. Sai Deepak he helps us understand the constitutional limits on State intervention in Hindu religious institutions, the need to free Hindu religious institutions from the stranglehold of the Government, the extent to which Courts have recognised and facilitated Statist intervention in Hindu religious institutions and the alternative to State management of Hindu religious institutions.

Detailed video at "source" above.

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