Thursday, January 5, 2017

উপনিবেশ বিরোধী চর্চা - অষ্টাদশ শতে ভারতীয় কলনবিদ্যা চর্চা


বিদ্যাসাগর রামমোহন দ্বারকানাথ প্রভৃতি ব্রিটিশ রাজের সঙ্গে জুড়েছিলেন এ পোড়া দেশে জ্ঞান-বিজ্ঞানের পশ্চিমি প্রবাহিকে এনে 'সভ্য' করতে। অথচ সে সময় দক্ষণ ভারতে কলণবিদ্যার চর্চা হচ্ছে। তারা তা না জেনেই ভারতকে পিছিয়ে পড়া দাগিয়ে দিচ্ছেন অবলীলাক্রমে, দেশের জ্ঞানচর্চা, প্রযুক্তিচর্চা ধ্বংসে ব্রিটিশরাজকে মদত দিচ্ছেন চোখের পলক না ফেলেই।

তো চার্লস উইশ দেখেছিলেন ১৮৩৪ সাল নাগাদ দক্ষিণ ভারতে মাধবের কলণবিদ্যা পড়ানো হচ্ছে। তার লেখা প্রবন্ধের কথা লিখেছিলেন রাজাগোপাল ১৯৪৯ সালে প্রথম। সেটি আপনাদের জন্য তুলে দিলাম। 
 
তার সঙ্গে রামমূর্তির এবং ডেভিড পিঙ্গরির মন্তব্য।

... A little over a century has elapsed since the first attempt was made to mark on the map of modern scholarship this virgin continent [Hindu mathematics]. The person who sighted the unknown coast was, by an odd trick of time, an English civilian of the Hon East India Company, Charles M Whish by name. Whish's paper carrying the abbreviated title "On the Hindu Quadrature of the Circle", submitted to the 'Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland' on 15th December 1832, did not advertise his importance as the discoverer of a strange hinterland. There was little in the title of the paper to assure its readers that the material offered to them had with difficulty drawn from that stock of mixed mathematics which the children of Kerala had till then looked upon as its exclusive property; there was nothing in it which suggested that the author had overcome the exclusivism of the Keraliyas with the help of their pundits and princes - a help by no means easy to secure then, for, as we know today, the companions of our author in the civil service of the Hon East India Company were "fortune-hunting adventurers lost to all sense of public morality" who did much to alienate the sympathies of the natives.
সূত্রঃ K Mukunda Marar and C T Rajagopal, On the Hindu quadrature of the circle, J. Bombay Branch, Roy. Asiatic Soc. (N.S.) 20 (1944), 65-82.

এ প্রসঙ্গে M Ram Murty, Review: A Passage to Infinity: Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and its impact, by G G Joseph, Hardy-Ramanujan Journal 36 (2013), 43-46 লিখছেন, ... Earlier, due to scanty historical research, we had the impression that the Indian discoveries were sporadic and isolated. But the findings of the work of Madhava and his school changes all that. It seems that these findings first came to light in 1834 when Charles Whish published a paper in the 'Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society' entitled "On the Hindu quadrature of the circle and the infinite series of the proportion of the circumference to the diameter exhibited in the four sastras, the Tantrasangraham, Yukti Bhasha, Caruna Paddhati, and Sadratnamala". However, these findings did not seem to make it to the history books, largely because many did not read the Royal Asiatic Society Journal and partly because there was a European bias that fundamental notions of calculus could not have been discovered by an Indian. ... Moreover, Whish's paper appears at the height of colonial rule and consistent with the phenomenon of "orientalism" (as noted by the historian Edward Said), any contribution from a "subject nation" was deliberately ignored or undervalued. This applied equally to contributions from Africa or other Asiatic nations.

অথবা ডেভিড পিঙ্গরি(Pingree) , Hellenophilia versus the History of Science, Isis 83(4) (1992), 554-563তে লিখছেন. ... One example I can give you relates to the Indian Madhava's demonstration, in about 1400 A.D., of the infinite power series of trigonometrical functions using geometrical and algebraic arguments. When this was first described in English by Charles Matthew Whish, in the 1830s, it was heralded as the Indians' discovery of the calculus. This claim and Madhava's achievements were ignored by Western historians, presumably at first because they could not admit that an Indian discovered the calculus, but later because no one read anymore the 'Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society', in which Whish's article was published. The matter resurfaced in the 1950s, and now we have the Sanskrit texts properly edited, and we understand the clever way that Madhava derived the series without the calculus; but many historians still find it impossible to conceive of the problem and its solution in terms of anything other than the calculus and proclaim that the calculus is what Madhava found. In this case the elegance and brilliance of Madhava's mathematics are being distorted as they are buried under the current mathematical solution to a problem to which he discovered an alternate and powerful solution.
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