In Pragati: Book Review of A Passage to Infinity by George Gheverghese Joseph

An important problem in historiography is the politics of recognition. Which theory gets recognized and which doesn’t sometimes depends on who is saying it rather than what is right. Take for example, the Aryan Invasion Theory. Historians like A L Basham wrote convincingly about it and it was the widely accepted fact. Over a period […]

In Pragati: The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India by Jonardon Ganeri

Recently the Society of Biblical Literature published the book Neo-Babylonian Trial Records (Writings from the Ancient World) by Shalom E Holtz. According to the description of the book, “this collection of sixth-century B.C.E. Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, often dramatic, view of ancient courtroom encounters shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life” and […]

A Course on Mathematics in India (From Vedic Period to Modern Times)

In 662 CE, a Syrian bishop named Severus Sebokht wrote When Ibn Sina (980 – 1037 CE) was about ten years old, a group of missionaries belonging to an Islamic sect came to Bukhara from Egypt  and he writes that it is from them that he learned Indian arithmetic. This, George Gheverghese Joseph, writes in […]

Mathematics in India

Last year Communist ideologue P Govindapillai wrote an article in the Malayalam newspaper Mathrubumi about Eurocentrism and lamented that Europeans did not give sufficient credit to Muslim scientists. In the article Govindapillai conveniently left out mathematicians from his own state — the Kerala School of Mathematics — and their discoveries. This lead to an Op-Ed […]

The Kerala School and Lord of Guruvayoor

All Malayalees know Melpathur Narayana Bhattithiri (1559-1632 ) and his famous composition — Narayaneeyam — still sung in Guruvayoor temple. The immediate story that comes to mind is his tiff with his contemporary Poonthanam, whose judge turned out to be Guruvayoorappan While Melpathur was composing Narayaneeyam in Sanskrit, Poonthanam was writing Jnanapana in Malayalam. This […]

Op-Ed in Mail Today: Kerala Astronomers and Eurocentrism

(This op-ed was published in Jan 25, 2009 edition of Mail Today/ PDF) To commemorate the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, P Govinda Pillai, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) ideologue, in an article in the Malayalam newspaper Mathruboomi, examined the legacy of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. He also bought out an important topic […]