The first Nobel Prize should have gone to Shivkar Babuji Talpade. It’s no surprise that we haven’t heard of him. He, an Indian, flew the world’s first aircraft! In 1895, Mr. Talpade constructed the Mercury Ion Gyroscopic imploding and Expandnig Vortex Vimana, an unmanned flying machine, which flew for over 18 minutes at a height of about 1500 feet. Over 3000 people, including a few British witnessed the event. And in 2003, even the Deccan Herald reported, “A scholarly audience headed by a famous Indian judge and nationalist Mahadeva Govinda Ranade and His Highness Maharaja of Baroda Sri Sayaji Rao Gaikwad respectively, had the good fortune to see the unmanned aircraft take off.”
Mr. Talpade had used “Vaimanika Shastra”, a book written by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry (1866–1940) as his reference, which in turn has its references in the Vedic treatise YantraSarvasvam, a book on all kinds of machines, by Maharshi Bharadwaja. If in the Vedic period, Indians could construct and successfully operate anti gravity machines, which the ultra modern physics has not yet been able to do, it is definitely not irrational to be proud of the Ancient Indian Scientific Heritage.
The Vimana is just a small testimony to the vast abundance of Indian knowledge of the Vedic period. Since it has been proved that the so called “mythical Vimanas” were in fact a reality, and it is possible to reconstruct the same, terming those people who take pride in their ancestors’ inventions and discoveries as Hindu fanatics and ‘irrational’ is absurd and it exposes the vested interests of those confining to it.
Just to give another example, Maharshi Susrutha performed plastic surgery in 700 BC. We do not know whether plastic surgery existed even before in India. But we definitely know that it had existed at the time of Susrutha, for he had performed even nose transplant surgeries. Therefore, how can it be irrational to say that it existed even in the times of lord Ganesha, for no one definitely know when Ganesha lived?
It’s high time that we stop calling these as myth and wake up to the reality. I can’t understand why some people want to denigrate their own country by looking down upon the works of their own forefathers. We should not fall prey to the false propaganda that Indian contributions to the world of science is Shunya! Our forefathers – the great Mahsrshis, didn’t patent their woks, nor did they sell their rights to some international agency, instead they had selflessly passed it on to us. We have to revive the lost scriptures, many of whose manuscripts are now in foreign lands, and make maximum use of the priceless knowledge inscribed in them. Only then we will understand why Swami Vivekananda once said, “When the real history of India will be unearthed, it will be proved that, as in matters of religion, so in fine arts, India is the primal Guru of the whole world.”