New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur professor who conceptualised the 2022 calendar from the institute has responded to its critics by saying the critics have a “colonial hangover”.
The IIT Kharagpur calendar for 2022 challenges the ‘Aryan invasion theory’ of ancient Indian history through various pieces of evidence “embedded in the Vedas” and seeks to debunk ‘colonial’ and “Western teachings”.
The concept and research for the calendar, titled ‘Recovery of the Foundations of Indian Knowledge Systems’, is by Professor Joy Sen, chairperson of IIT Kharagpur’s Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge Systems. Sen is also chairperson of IIT Kharagpur’s Nehru Museum of Science and Technology.
The Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Centre was set up recently, with Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announcing it in November 2020.
The aim of the IKS centre is to encourage research in domains like Indian history, advanced archaeological exploration, Indian language systems, Indian systems of geometry and mathematics, cosmology, positional astronomy, and “Indian constructs of ecological and working ethics”.
The calendar says it’s a “joint production” of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur’s Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge Systems and the Nehru Museum of Science & Technology.
Divided opinion on Twitter
Images of the 2022 calendar from IIT Khargapur drew both criticism and praise on Twitter.
@prasanto said, “Extraordinary. IIT-Kharagpur has issued a 2022 calendar that is full of pseudoscience mumbo-jumbo, ostensibly to ‘debunk the Aryan invasion theory’. Whatever happened to real science and research, which IIT-Kh and its alumni have done so much of?”
Extraordinary. IIT-Kharagpur has issued a 2022 calendar that is full of pseudoscience mumbo-jumbo, ostensibly to 'debunk the Aryan invasion theory'. Whatever happened to real science and research, which IIT-Kh and its alumni have done so much of? pic.twitter.com/YgZhkgAtwQ
— PKR | প্রশান্ত | پرشانتو (@prasanto) December 25, 2021
@parrysingh responded to the above tweet by saying, “OMG! This is completely puerile and unscientific. Is it confirmed this has been released by IIT-K?”
OMG! This is completely puerile and unscientific. Is it confirmed this has been released by IIT-K?
— Parminder Singh (@parrysingh) December 25, 2021
Another user, @Indian10000000, responded to the first tweet mentioned here by saying, “There are so many glaring mistakes here that I don’t know where to start….”
There are so many glaring mistakes here that I don't know where to start
Prototype of Shiva was found in Indus Valley but that predates Aryans. There was no Aryan invasion but there was migration
Perhaps this is what "merit" does to them – blurs their reasoning !
— Katyusha (@Indian10000000) December 26, 2021
However other users on Twitter welcomed the calendar.
@bhramangatha tweeted pictures of the calendar saying, “Amazing calendar by IIT Kharagpur. Do check out full pdf online”
Amazing calendar by IIT Kharagpur. Do check out full pdf online pic.twitter.com/V5MpVrqiml
— मी. कुणी एक (@bhramangatha) December 26, 2021
Another user, @KarunaGopal1, called the calendar “extraordinary” and “awesome”.
How many of you have seen this extraordinary calendar 2022 of IIT Kharagpur ? It’s awesome ✊ pic.twitter.com/tuYnF1DcZ8
— Karuna Gopal (@KarunaGopal1) December 25, 2021
‘Challenging Western teachings’
Sen told ThePrint that over a hundred requests for copies of the 2022 calendar have come in the last 24 hours from educational institutes and individuals from across the world, ranging from California’s Bay Area to Japan.
“This indicates people around the world welcome the calendar’s concept”, Sen said.
“Those who are criticising the 2022 calendar are those who have a colonial hangover. The content presented in the calendar hit right at the core of the colonial mindset that has been coded into our minds through Western ideas presented in textbooks,” he added.
“Western teachings have for a long time misinterpreted and corrupted the teachings of our Vedas, and now to be confronted with a calendar challenging those Western teachings is hard to digest for some,” Sen continued.
Sen further said that the calendar’s aim was to prove that there was no Aryan invasion. The calendar does so based on extractions from “deep ecological sciences over race and genetics”.
The calendar is created so that each of the 12 months detail 12 pieces of evidence to challenge the Aryan invasion theory.
“In the first eight pieces of evidence of the 2022 calendar, you see the cosmic and ecological sciences of space, time and causation as embedded in the Vedas. The last four portray the mishandling of that science by colonial-mindedness (and how) that led to deaths in the world war, through a super Aryan-Caucasus race theory,” Sen explained.
“In the Vedas, the term ‘Aryan’ means someone with a heart of assimilation and altruism. But, in colonial terms, ‘Aryan’ means one with racial superiority and aggression,” Sen said.
“The two definitions do not match, as the calendar has pointed out with 12 pieces of evidence. This the critics have carefully evaded. The fallacy of the Aryan Invasion Myth is a matter for disapproval and rejection now. It is the need of the hour and that is what the 2022 IKS, IITKGP (IIT Kharagpur) calendar does,” he added.
(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)