Decolonisation: More responses

  1. My response to Wildavsky appeared in Global Higher Ed blog at http://globalhighered.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/decolonising-our-universities-time-for-change/
  2. The conversation in the Sun has been updated to 15 Sep 2011, at http://ckraju.net/blog/?p=61.
  3. The response to EPW appeared in EPW 46(34) 20 Aug 2011. This seriously modified my original response, which was as follows.

My talk at the Penang conference on “Decolonising our Universities” was misreported by Srinivas Ramani (Economic and Political Weekly, 23 July, 2011). Hard sciences are critical for the project of decolonisation: Macaulay pointed to them and, even today, it is the desire for science and technology (not Western social science) which is still used to promote Western education. Decolonisation, therefore, will not work if it is restricted to social sciences.

My point about the mathematics curriculum is reduced by Ramani to a simplistic agenda to restore Indian tradition, though I pointed to Indian traditions and Islam only to show the non-universality of Western metaphysics. This misreporting undermines the gravity of the matter. A pro-Christian religious bias in present-day formal mathematics means its teaching is unconstitutional both in secular countries like India, and in Muslim countries. So, the mathematics curriculum ought to be immediately changed in schools and universities across those countries. Concrete curriculum changes, backed by teaching experiments, detailed in my paper. I even explained the religious bias in the 2+2=4 of formal math, since pleading ignorance of math to refer these changes to Western-endorsed “experts” is a colonial trap, and also involves a conflict of interests. So the matter be decided by public debate.

False history of science helped Macaulay to institute indoctrination through colonial education. Therefore, the critical first step towards decolonisation is to pull down this false history of science, still in our school texts. This thesis about the systematic falsification of history and its use as an instrument of “soft power” to establish and maintain colonialism was misreported by Ramani as a series of personal attacks on individuals (some who don’t even exist).

The religious bias in Western math crept into physics thorough Newton’s metaphysical notion of time (arising from his misunderstanding of the Indian calculus imported to Europe), and my suggested curriculum change in physics was to teach functional differential equations, which arise when Newton’s mistake is corrected. Einstein never understood this point about relativity lifelong, though Poincare did. To avoid the colonial trap of banking on “expert” opinion, it is necessary to explain this to laypersons. That requires us to get into the issue of Einstein’s personal credibility, which is very thin. Further, my actual question was about the truth of the proposition E=F (Einstein=Fraud), but about the processby which its truth is decided (emphasis original). Colonial education ensures widespread scientific illiteracy so that people decide valid science by blind trust in Western scientific authority, which entails subservience. So, for decolonisation, it is necessary expose this authority, and a superb example of its persistent failure for a century is provided by its approval of Einstein’s mistake about functional differential equations. Thus, I made no ad hominem fallacy; instead, Ramani’s misunderstanding reflects a colonised mindset which fallaciously guesses that the West could not have made such a serious mistake. That mindset is what the conference aimed to change.

A fuller explanation, with references, is online at http://ckraju.net/papers/rejoinder-epw.html.

9 Responses to “Decolonisation: More responses”

  1. Sutikshan Says:

    Dear Sir,
    You might be aware about following:-
    http://www.khanacademy.org/
    Can we have math lectures given by you uploaded on YouTube. I want to it again.

  2. Cheryl Schwartz Says:

    Dear C.K. Raju,

    I am so happy to have found your website.

    Will your Calculus Without Limits be available for sale to individuals?

    Thank you,
    Cheryl

  3. Sutikshan Says:

    Hello Sir,
    Just thought of sharing this with you:-

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Markandey-Katju-What-is-India/articleshow/10994212.cms
    Above is link of article by justic Katju,
    and http://www.kgfindia.com/

  4. ckr Says:

    @Cheryl Scwhartz,

    Primary aim is to educate, not sell. So, I aim to put it in the regular syllabus. Will see what to do only if that does not happen.

    Thanks for your comment.

    CKR

  5. ckr Says:

    @Sutikshan,

    There is a video page on my website. But uploading to YouTube might require editing each video to make it shorter. This is a time consuming task for me. But you are free to download the the videos and put clips on YouTube.

    Best,

    CKR

  6. Halley Says:

    “Ramani’s misunderstanding reflects a colonised mindset which fallaciously guesses that the West could not have made such a serious mistake. That mindset is what the conference aimed to change”

    Sir,
    I am a passer-by who happened to read your article. Thanks for the post.
    I am just wondering about the efforts to change this mindset of “west could not have a mistake” in the general populace at large. As i understand the conference was targetted at intellectuals and researchers.

    But i think this mindset pervades the masses as well.Any pointers on existing efforts on changing this mindset beyond what you are trying to do via the conference will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Halley

  7. ckr Says:

    Well, first you might like to take a look at the extended conversation in the Sun, Malaysia, which is archived on this blog, along with other newspaper reports. This very much reflects a discussion at the level of the popular mindset.

    Then there are books, like “Is Science Western in Origin?” and the forthcoming “Euclid and Jesus”, which are aimed at a much broader audience.

    Take a look and see if that is helpful.

    Best,

    CKR

  8. ckr Says:

    Savan/fiza wrote

    Sir I came to know via your blog that you are changing the physics syllabus.
    I really can’t control my happiness because physics is very hard subject.I love physics.It is true that most of the answers are given by me in the tuition classes while teacher is teaching but when it come to study physics independently alone, I found it very hard to understand.I am in 11th class and I hate our syllabus which makes everything difficult.Vedic mathematics makes the calculation damn easy.

    I also came to know that ancient schools in India didn’t had exams.They apply knowledge to the physical world.

    My father always says that - ” India jaisi ghatiya country aur koi nhi. Yha ke log mehnat nhi krta.”

    He also says that - ” India ke log Chor hai. They stolen Aakaash tablet from China ”

    I know that India never steals but due to many engineers are going to foreign nobody is left on India to develop something.

    He don’t even know that mathematics was born in India because he believes in Nobel prize.

    When i heard ” India ke log Chor hai ” A bad feeling came to my mind and I feel shame on me that I cannot oppose him because I don’t know whether they have stolen or not Tablet ?

    Please Answer these question:
    1)Why Indians don’t win Nobel prize ?
    (Sir,go here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejIATf5WF0A )

    2)Why Jagdish Chandra bose is not noted as an inventor of wireless communication?

    3)Why Shivkur bapuji Talpade is not regarded as inventor of airplane ,who invented it much years before Wright Brothers ?

    PLEASE DON’T IGNORE THIS SIR.

    ——————

    Hello Fiza/Savan,

    1. Indians do win the Nobel prize, but why do you take that as the benchmark? My friend George Sudarshan was an Indian but did not get the Nobel prize, so what? Let us separate the politics of the prize from the work done which was of high standard. If the peace prize, literature prize, economics prize is full of politics, why do you think the science prizes are different?

    2. About Jagdish Chandra Bose, I fully agree that he invented the radio, and even Marconi’s son and IEEE agree on that now. The question to be asked is this: why didn’t this happen in his lifetime? And are our scientists today doing anything different? After all when Michael Atiyah, former President of Royal Society claimed credit for my ideas in physics, very few Indian scientists and mathematicians stood up for me.

    3. I have no first hand knowledge about Talpade and hence cannot comment on that.

    CKR

  9. Vedic Mathematics Says:

    Useful information shared. I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through.
    I appreciate this post.

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