India has always been judged by many myths and superstitions, which has characterized its culture and people. A nation whose people always thought that the other countries represent greener pastures for better education, employment and living. The notion that its people are insular, conservative and conventional and country itself is dependent on the others is not true. Freedom of thought and exploration was a special characteristic of ancient Indian culture. People were at liberty to express their view about the God, its existence, earth, man etc. Their thinking was such that if they hadn't accepted the new discoveries with open arms then they also hadn't rejected those. That is why the great man like Aryabhatta didn't meet the same fate as the Socrates and Galileo in their countries.
India was a great learning center having the universities Nalanda and Takshashila, metropolises like Pataliputra and Ujjaini, emperors like Chandragupta Maurya and Samrat Ashoka, scholars like Pannini, Aryabhatta and Kautilya. India has a fair share of enriching the world's culture with the techniques of algebra and algorithm, the concept of zero, the technique of surgery, the concepts of atoms and relativity, the game of chess etc.
Yuan Chawng and Tsing who resided as students at Nalanda give the description of the center of learning. They had described that Nalanda was the residential university with a population of 8500 students, 1501 teachers and other staff members. It provided food, clothing, bedding, tuition and even free medicine to the residents. It was supported by the liberal grants for this purpose by royal and private philanthropy. This gives some idea of the reputation of India as a learning center when there were no roads, transport to travel from one country to another.
The Arabs borrowed so much from India in the field of mathematics that even the subject of mathematics in Arabic came to known as 'Hindsa' which means 'from India'. Now although people of our nation has contributed a lot in each and every sphere of life but when it comes to the recognition then it is still considered as borrower of technologies.
Although modern images of India often show poverty and lack of development, India was the richest country on earth until the time of British in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by her wealth and was looking for route to India when he discovered American continent by mistake. According to the Gemological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source for diamonds to the world.
India was pioneer in inventing the Number System. Aryabhatta invented zero. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC. The World's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. Students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
In the field of medicine, again India was a head of others. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans. Charaka, the father of medicine aggregated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast regaining its rightful place in our civilization.
Budhayana first calculated the value of "pi", and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Sridharacharya propounded quadratic equations in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10*53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BC during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera: 10*12(10 to the power of 12). Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada) was reportedly invented in India.
So this is our country. Be proud to be an Indian.
By: Ramandeep Kaur