INDIA, November 29, 2018 (New Indian Express, by Michel Danino): Launched with great fanfare in 2005, India's National Knowledge Commission claimed to work "towards a Knowledge Society," an objective which Dr. Manmohan Singh, then prime minister, repeated on many public platforms. It sounded quite noble, but few noticed how it implied that India was not yet a "knowledge society," and perhaps never was one. Paradoxically, such a statement reflects a profound ignorance of the cult of -- almost obsession for -- knowledge in pre-modern India. Indeed, India is the only ancient civilisation where knowledge was deified, with the honor going to Sarasvati.
An estimates of the number of manuscripts available in Indian libraries, repositories or private collections runs into millions, with the U.S. scholar David Pingree once reaching an educated guess of 30 million. This figure is but a tiny fraction of the mass of production over the last three millenniums. These manuscripts deal with every topic under the Indian sun: philosophies, systems of yoga, grammar, language, logic, debate, poetics, aesthetics, cosmology, mythology, ethics, literature of all genres from poetry to historical tradition, performing and non-performing arts, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, chemistry, metallurgy, botany, zoology, geology, medical systems, governance, administration, water management, town planning, civil engineering, ship making, agriculture, polity, martial arts, games, brain teasers, omens, ghosts, accounting, and much more.
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