I am very reluctant to touch old smelly stuff, but I have to rant somewhere before I receive some more . Over the last five years, coinciding with the increased usage of email in India, some wellmeaning but clueless friends keep on forwarding a couple of emails to me to make feel 'proud' of the achievements of India. If there is anyone reading this, go read those letters first and then come back read my responses.
The first letter gives all those utterly useless crap *ahem* 'trivia'
Can't believe those guys are still falling for that fake email circulating as 'recent study.' It is one thing to be proud of our country but fallacies is not a good sign. This is not to discredit all the things India has achieved.
At the peak of Nalanda University, the world was limited to Japan on the East, and the meditteranean Roman Empire on the west. South was limited to Ceylon and possible Maldives and/or Madagascar. North of India, China was the only region known, not even our closest ally Russia was known at that time. Also remember that 'India' existed only as thousands of small warring kingdoms, so close to 90% of the 10000+ students would have been from within the subcontinent (@ an average of 10 students per country). People would have definitely come from far west and far east to take advantage of the excellent university, just like desi students fly to the western countries and down under.
Sanskrit is indeed the mother of all Modern European languages.
When they say Sanskrit is the most suitable for computers, they talk about the grammar (constructs) and them alone, not the script or vocabulary or stuff like that.
Indians have not invaded a country in 1000 years because they were not a single country then but thousands of kingdoms and a few republics (Yes, the oldest republic is from the sub-continent, that too in lawless Bihar.) It is false to say that 'Indians' never invaded another country. There were thousands of kingdoms were effectively thousands of nations and they were busy, what's the word here?, umm yeah, INVADING EACH OTHER. Ok, if we don't considering 'brothers' fighting as invasion of other countries, it is still false. Cholas were frequently invading and plundering Ceylon, and the Chola Navy invaded some Indonesian islands (Sumatra, I think) and spread Hinduism (and to some extent) Buddhism in S.E. Asia (though Buddhism is more popular there than Hinduism).
Proclaiming "Days are not far off when we Indians, whether in India or otherwise, will be a dominant force to reckon with if not already…. " is just vacant, empty, jingoistic rhetorics, like the rooster shouting from the top of a haystack. Mere feel-good words like these won't help achieve this, only actions.
The second is about India having found the largest diamonds in the world and became the richest country in the world
Jeeesus, what a load of crap! Alot of people had their heartiest laugh in their lifetime because of these guys. Isn't it enough that we have a very bad image outside? Do we need to appear so desperate to show our 'superiority' over the whiteys? The World Bank paying India in instalments? Why hasn't the the USA invaded us yet? The funny part is, I am still receiving this kind of bull. Friends realised this once explained, but some India-based mailing lists still transmit pooh like this.
The third and another funny one is that of a 12th standard student disproving Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
In short, there is no Dr. Massimo Martelli, President of IAP. There is no IQ-meter at the American Embassy in Delhi, There was no Prof. Carl Uppsala, Chairman of the Nobel sub-committee for physics reported in the Times of India. And I am still waiting for that Operating System superior to Microsoft Windows. An Indian scientist disproved Stephen Hawking about that black hole theory he had, but was disgraced first by his Indian colleagues and was kicked into oblivion.
I thought this craze ended by 2002, but it has been almost 2 years here and I am still receiving such 'be-proud-of-yourself' emails. Thankfully, they are making only quarterly appearances nowadays. I think the Indian companies themselves are sending them during their quarterly report time to divert attention from their pathetic performances by making the shareholders 'feel proud.'