It’s time PM Modi consults a historian

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an incorrect statement while inaugurating a conference in Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence in New Delhi on September 29.

“Chanakya, Charak, Shushusru, Aryabhatt, Panini, Dhanvantari like scholars are products of Taxashila, Nalanda and Vikramshila Universities,” PM Modi had said.

We are sure he made this statement without fact-checking as it is a wrong statement.

Dhanvantari, whom he refers to as a product of ancient Indian universities, is considered the God of Ayurveda who appeared before Samudra Manthan (the churning of the oceans).

Charaka is quoted in the works of the famous Sanskrit grammarian Panini (520-460 BC) and Patanjali (circa 250 BC) while those suggesting later periods observe that Chinese Buddhist documents indicate that Charaka was a court physician to King Kanishka (1st and 2nd centuries AD).

However, this is not the first time that our PM had made such a goof-up. He has a history of goofing up with History and representing distorted facts in front of his audience.

While speaking on the 620th anniversary of Kabir in Uttar Pradesh’s Maghar yesterday, PM Modi said, “It is said that here, Saint Kabir, Guru Nankadeva and Baba Gorakhnath sat together and discussed spirituality”.

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Just to inform him, Baba Gorakhnath was born in the 11th century while Kabir, who lived for 120 years, was born at the end of the 14th century (1398 to 1518). Guru Nanak lived between the 15th and the 16th century (1469-1539).

Earlier in October 2013, Modi, while addressing a rally in Patna said, Takshashila was in Bihar; it is in Pakistan.

He also said Porus was defeated on the banks of the Ganges; that battle with Alexander never went beyond the Jhelum river in Pakistani Punjab.

In November 2013, he referred our Father of the Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as “Mohanlal Karamchand Gandhi”.

In Meerut in 2013, Modi argued that the Congress party had thoroughly devalued India’s first war of independence, which began in Meerut. For his information, the rebellion erupted in 1857 and the Congress Party was formed almost after three decades of the occurrence, in 1885.

It is high time PM Modi gets in touch with a historian who could help him understand history and give him good teachings on past dates and events.

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