Sunday, November 2, 2014

From myths toward mathematics

Courtesy: The Hindu

11 – 10 = ½ = 0.5

The equation on the blackboard baffled me as I walked into a classroom where I was given an exam duty.  Somebody had rubbed out something, I thought.  My mind started playing its usual game.  Come on, change it, said my mind.

This is how I changed it:  11 – 10 = 1

I erased two figures mentally, the denominator 2 and the final decimal part of the equation.  Such a simplistic solution failed to satisfy me especially since I had a lot of free time in the exam room.  Seeing my solution, Sherlock Holmes would have said, “Elementary, Mr Matheikal.”

My mind made the following equation:

(11 - 10 ) ÷ 2 = ½ = 0.5

That was neat, said my mind.  I had added a denominator 2 to the first part of the equation.    

11 – 10 = 1 = 0.5 x 2

What I did was to transpose the denominator 2 to the RHS (right hand side) of the equation.

One could go on.  How far you go with it depends on your capacity to work with numbers as well as your aptitude for it. 

An Albert Einstein would have touched infinity with it.

A Narendra Modi would take us far on the left side of zero on the number line.  Regression.

When our Prime Minister was inaugurating the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre last Saturday, he said, “It is said in the Mahabharata that Karna was not born from his mother’s womb.  This means in the times in which the epic was written genetic science was very much present.  We all worship Lord Ganesha; for sure there must have been some plastic surgeon at that time, to fit an elephant’s head on the body of a human being.” [as translated from Hindi by Karan Thapar]


Mr Modi is taking the nation backward on the number line of history.  He reportedly took the state of Gujarat forward to economic development while taking it backward to a lot of other myths by meddling with academics.  For example, he introduced the books of Dinanath Batra in the schools.  Batra’s books contain the kind of views spoken by the Prime Minister above.

The Prime Minister is playing a dangerous game with history.  He has already kidnapped Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and added them to the Parivar pantheon.  The entire history of India aka Hindustan is going to be rewritten under the benign dictator’s command. 

Mr Modi should learn to play with equations.  Not political playing.  Real visionary games that befits a good leader.  Then he will realise that truths are layered.  Sherlock Holmes would have said, “Elementary, Mr Prime Minister,” had he heard the Prime Minister’s speeches.

Mr Prime Minister, India is a great country and we are proud to be its citizens.  But we are not fools to think that myths are scientific truths.  Please educate yourself before tinkering with history and academics.  Please learn to play with your brain in a creative way.  Take us toward infinity and not to myths. 


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8 comments:

  1. Rightly said Tomichan, I also read about this in The Hindu last night. You seem to bring out same view in your style. Nicely written..

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    1. True, the Hindu article inspired me. I've also given the link to the article.

      I just happened to have a conversation with a senior reporter from The Hindu a few minutes back. He said that Mr Modi is very convinced about what he said. He really believes such things as the ancient "science" of India!

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  2. I loved the analysis of the equations :-)

    And yes, people shouldnt confuse myths, facts and history!

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    1. I love playing with numbers.

      The confusion between myth and facts arises from ignorance, I think.

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  3. Point taken sir, but what to do in India none of us (I mean the larger part of the society) doesn't like bland food and so even our prime minister is forced to add a LOT of or should I say an overdose of mirch masala to get his point through. I feel that he has so many smart heads IAS guys and so on around him that he should have come out with more facts than so much masala and then leave all of us with acidity.

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    1. The PM has a lot of smart guys as advisers, Athena. But he likes to do it on his own and impromptu because he thinks he is the best orator in the world. He also seems to believe that words can create reality. Amusingly, he also believes that myths were indeed science and history!

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    2. The PM has a lot of smart guys as advisers, Athena. But he likes to do it on his own and impromptu because he thinks he is the best orator in the world. He also seems to believe that words can create reality. Amusingly, he also believes that myths were indeed science and history!

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    3. I would like to add to your point, our PM is a good orator and often what is almost always impromptu when he is in India but at the UN meeting and while meeting big-shots in US he chose to read from a paper. Just shows he too knows who needs facts and figures and of-course people like us and the gentlemen mentioned in the next post can easily be tricked with myths and fiction.

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