The West just grabbed another piece of India’s ancient wisdom, honey

Experts from Oxford University's Medical School and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences recently made a discovery. Honey may be a better treatment for coughs and colds than over-the-counter medicines.

Abhijit Majumder August 23, 2020 10:20:40 IST
The West just grabbed another piece of India’s ancient wisdom, honey

Experts from Oxford University's Medical School and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences recently made a discovery. Honey may be a better treatment for coughs and colds than over-the-counter medicines.

This piece of news found its way through western publications like CNN, The Guardian and Live Science to Indians, most of whose jaws dropped in anti-climax.

You are telling us about honey being good for the cough and cold? Honey? Really?

Our parents and ancestors have wasted much breath over centuries to tell us precisely this, thanklessly. But along comes the West with this supposedly startling revelation, and suddenly we are discussing how bad over-the-counter antibiotics are.

Our often-invaded, colonised and wounded civilisation has developed such self-esteem issues that we let the West carry out a propaganda against ghee or coconut oil.

Even as recently as 2018, Harvard professor Karin Michels called coconut oil “pure poison”. Around the same time, Hachette India released The Cancer Revolution, in which the author, Dr Leigh Erin Connealy, calls coconut oil “a vital component of any anticancer food plan”. The founder and medical director of the Center for New Medicine and Cancer Center for Healing, California, also recommended the Indian practice of rinsing the mouth with coconut oil.

It is alarming how much we have allowed the West’s confusion or conceitedness to undermine our ancient wisdom, lost confidence to research and build on it, eventually allowing its vast appropriation.

What the British had done deliberately and brutally to Bengal’s weavers, we have unwittingly meted out to our own culture.

In The Guardian’s words: “For at least two centuries the handloom weavers of Bengal produced some of the world's most desirable fabrics, especially the fine muslins, light as ‘woven air’, that were in such demand for dressmaking and so cheap that Britain's own cloth manufacturers conspired to cut off the fingers of Bengali weavers and break their looms. Their import was ended… weavers became beggars.”

Those who spoke about plastic surgery in ancient India were endlessly mocked by the Left and so-called liberal cabal. Then Columbia University’s Inving Medical Centre came up with a study which said roots of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures go back 2,500 years in ancient India, when our doctors did skin grafts and nose jobs.

Suddenly, there was silence in the ‘liberal’ universe. Everything that our ancestors knew for eons about turmeric, yoga, moringa etc has to be validated by the West for them to take it seriously.

The main reason for this is Independent India’s decision to continue with colonial education for so long. The British-era education, honed thereafter by Leftist academicians and historians, succeeded in deracinating Indians, weakening their roots and break their confidence in their own heritage.

The new National Education Policy seeks to correct that by instilling pride in India’s “rich, diverse, ancient and modern culture and knowledge systems and traditions”. It emphasis on teaching subjects like Vedic mathematics.

“World-class institutions of ancient India such as Takshashila, Nalanda,Vikramshila, Vallabhi, set the highest standards of multidisciplinary teaching and research and hosted scholars and students from across backgrounds and countries,” the NEP says.

“The Indian education system produced great scholars such as Charaka, Susruta, Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Bhaskaracharya, Brahmagupta, Chanakya, Chakrapani Datta, Madhava, Panini, Patanjali, Nagarjuna, Gautama, Pingala, Sankardev, Maitreyi, Gargi and Thiruvalluvar, among numerous others, who made seminal contributions to world knowledge in diverse fields such as mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, medical science and surgery, civil engineering, architecture, shipbuilding and navigation, yoga, fine arts, chess, and more.”

One only hopes those words get translated into action. Otherwise, others will discredit our ancient wisdom, and then appropriate and sell our own legacy to us when it suits them.

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