Traditional vs Modern Education
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Caught in an eddy of modern technologies, several communities have started to witness a bellicose between traditional and modern knowledge. Rational belief is considered to be the opposite of traditional knowledge by many. However, modern education is only an evolution of traditional indigeneous knowledge. For example, modern trigonometry had not evolved in a single day or due to the efforts of an individual. Its origin can be traced right form the time of Varamihira. He (Varamihira) also explained the concept of zero in detail propounded by Aryabhatta.
Charaka’s works explained the process of determination of the sex of a child. He also explained the concept of blood circulation in the human body.
Sushruta’s works provide information on more than 1,100 diseases 700 medicinal preparations from herbs, 64 medicinal preparations from minerals and 57 medicinal preparations from animals. His works list out five different types of surgeries for various purposes such as treatment of hemorrhage, removal of metabolic wastes and tissues, tooth extraction, etc. He also mentions in detail the methods to train surgeons to increase their speed and precision. He stresses the use of dead animals to teach surgeons the art of puncturing veins and the use of vegetables for practicing incision and excision. His works also speaks of psychology and plastic surgery.
However all the knowledge of these great men put together would only be the tip of the iceberg. India is blessed with more than 15000 varieties of medicinal plants of which more than 8000 are used in our traditional system of medicine.
Proper care must be taken to ensure that we incorporate the traditional knowledge that might have been omitted due the introduction of the curriculum of education which is completely based on the current inventions.
It might not be a wrong suggestion to have a positive and open-minded approach with regard to the application of traditional knowledge in the current scenario.