Talk:List of Indian inventions and discoveries

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Article scope[edit]

I'm still bothered by this article's supposed scope. In the lead it says that "The term "India" in this article refers to the Indian Sub-continent," which would by extension mean that the article should cover all inventions and discoveries made on the subcontinent. (And if "Indian discoveries" is the preferred name for an article detailing the inventions on the subcontinent, I don't see the logic, but so be it; that's not what I want to argue yet again.) But in 1947 the article does a bait-and-switch, and all later inventions discussed were made in the Republic of India. Other inventions and discoveries made on the subcontinent (including Abdul Salam's Nobel Prize-winning work on electroweak theory or the first MS-DOS boot sector virus released in the wild) aren't mentioned. How should we deal with that inconsistency? Simply add the missing inventions? Huon (talk) 20:06, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Nope - edit the incorrect line in the lead. Mdw0 (talk) 01:04, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
That gets more interesting. If the term "India" doesn't refer to the Indian subcontinent, what does it refer to? Huon (talk) 01:27, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Huon, you are fishing for an opening here. the article should contain discoveries and inventions made in what has been referred to as India. --CarTick (talk) 01:51, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Inventions and discoveries by people who were called "Indian" need to be included. That word does not refer only to citizens of "Republic of India'. just like the word "Chinese" does not refer just to citizens of People's Republic of China which came into existence only in 1949.--Wikireader41 (talk) 02:13, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
CarTick, you're aware that the History of India article you cite defines its topic as "the history of the Indian subcontinent prior to the partition of India in 1947"? That brings us back to the Indian subcontinent, a notion Mdw0 just rejected. I am also rather unhappy with your edits to the lead, which to me seem to imply that the Republic of India is the sole heir of ancient and medieval India. "People who were called Indian" also is a rather vague criterion. Called by whom? By themselves? By their contemporaries in Europe? By modern historians of science? If various sources use different meanings of the term "India", I don't think we should mix them all in the same article. Huon (talk) 02:49, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
that is just your POV Huon. Most people recognize the word Indian a lot better than you think. we can argue about the definition indefinitely just as we can argue about the definition of Pakistani, Chinese or American. The point is that the RM failed ( multiple times) and it is time to move on. That you are not happy with the article is quite obvious and it is not the purpose of WP to make each and every editor happy. Yes I see No problems with mixing all definitions of "Indian" in one article.--Wikireader41 (talk) 16:18, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
There is no implication that the current republic is an heir of ancient and medieval India - it IS an heir. Just not the only one. The History of India has been split from the modern history of the Republic of India to reinforce and remind everyone that this history is shared, which is fine, but it also pretends that a nation's history is not its own. Just because we are looking at this shared history and connecting it up to modern India, it does NOT mean we are implying that Pakistan and Bangladesh and other nations do not have similar rights to do the same. Also, you cant use other Wikipedia articles as references for any other article.Mdw0 (talk) 07:52, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

your problem is the very definititon of India and its history and this article is not the place to redress your concerns. sorry. --CarTick (talk) 03:48, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Since the article requires a definition of India, we should better agree on one. I'm entirely content with the Indian subcontinent definition used in the History of India article - if we apply it consistently. What I'm unhappy with is deliberate ambiguity. Huon (talk) 03:56, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
no, we dont need to. a link to india and history of india is enough. you are complicating things. --CarTick (talk) 04:34, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
The desire to remove ambiguity is self-defeating. There is always going to be amiguity here because history is ambiguous. The area called India has changed over time and defining it is going to be less than perfect, just as defining an invention in ancient times with no patent office is going to be ambiguous at times. Mdw0 (talk) 07:52, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree with Huon. One continuing problem is the wholesale appropiation of the Indus Valley Civilization as "Indian", despite the fact that the IVC article strikingly avoids such a characterization. Obviously, we shouldn't predetermine here what obviously hasn't found acceptance in the main article. People who want the Bronze Age Indus civilization as outright Indian should first make their case – successfully – at the IVC article and then and only then come back here. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 23:28, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Moved all contents related to the IVC to List of inventions and discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilization. The main article Indus Valley Civilization does not qualify the IVC as Indian, hence the inclusion of its achievements here is WP:SYN and WP:OR. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 10:30, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
are you serious? one month after your last post which achieved nothing, you thought you could sneak in and remove contents YOU DONT LIKE. please get consensus. you are really being disruptive. --CarTick (talk) 12:21, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Gun Powder Ma waited a month for someone to voice opposition, and no one spoke up. How much longer should she have waited? For the record, I agree that removing the Indus Valley stuff from this list and linking to its separate list is a good idea. Whether or not the IVC is "Indian" seems in doubt, and this list is not the place to argue about that. Even if we came to the conclusion that the IVC is Indian, I'd still advocate a separate sub-list for its invention and a link from this one to the sub-list. Huon (talk) 13:23, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
the same discredited argument. saying it over and over again doesnt make it right. please provide some other sensible rationale. --CarTick (talk) 13:25, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Discredited where? Could you please provide a link? Anyway, no matter whether the Indus Valley Civilization is "Indian" or not, it's a sufficiently large set of inventions for a list of its own, and the IVC is culturally sufficiently different from later Indian civilizations that a separate article is worthwhile. Having one overly long list which for all intents and purposes is unsorted will be less of an aid to readers than having several separate sub-lists for distinct phases of Indian culture with links from this central list. If we decide the IVC is Indian, we could add a section and use {{main}} while not duplicating its inventions here, a la:
==Indus Valley Civilization==
{{Main|List of inventions and discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilization}}
I would advocate the same treatment for other culturally distinct phases with sufficiently many inventions to make a separate list worthwhile, for example the modern Republic of India or possibly the Mughal Empire - of course all with links from this central list. Huon (talk) 13:51, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Correct, Huon. There is also a separate list on Byzantine inventions, even though one could argue that it could be subsumed instead under either Roman or Greek. The thing is we have here enough space to dedicate separate lists to distinct cultures, so that we don't need to take the POV path of subsuming 5000 years under one big fuzzy umbrella of "India". Once people start to think more historical than political this should become clear. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 14:08, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Please give it up, CarTick. You have been opposed to every move proposed here and I am beginning to believe it is out of principle. Discredited is here only this njet policy to every change by people who otherwise don't do any editing work on the article.
The burden of proof that the IVC is to be referred to Indian rests squarely on you. The reality is the WP article does not refer to the IVC as Indian, so it is WP consensus and its achievements have no place here. If you want to change that, please go the IVC article and make your case there. Here we can only work on the basis of WP consensus. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 13:58, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Give it up gun Powder Ma. every single history of India includes IVC. this has been discussed again dont pretend that a consensus exists against it. dont hope some people will remove the article from their watchlist.--Wikireader41 (talk) 04:30, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this has been discussed and it has always been made sufficiently clear that if "Indian" is kept in the tile, then the IVC material is controversial and needs to be removed on the grounds that the links of this Bronze Age culture to later Indian culture are too tenuous to be claimed squarely as "Indian". This position has been shared at various points of time by Huon, Fowler & Fowler, Athenean, ashwinikalantri, S Seagal and others (see, for example here and here)
The article would improve a lot if you and CarTick would stop pretending you are here anything but a vocal minority which does demonstrably no work on the article but torpedos anything which goes against the Greater India political line. WP consensus is that the IVC is not sufficiently Indian. We expect you presenting your case to the contrary at the main article, with sound sources and a balanced view. Thanks. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 09:56, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but this is absurd, where is this consensus you're talking about? Tertiary sources including Britannica consider the Paleolitich period to the decline of the Indus civilization to be part of the History of India, as does Burton Stein's A History of India, Stanley Wolpert's A New History of India etc. Whether the name should be India vs South Asia is a reasonable argument, but removing something because our article doesn't call IVC as part of the historical definition of India is quite absurd. Please come up with reliable sources classifying this as something outside of the history of India/South Asia, not the opinion of a few editors here. —SpacemanSpiff 10:34, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
there was never any consensus to remove IVC from this article and I have been part of the discussions over last several months. Gun Powder Ma the article would improve a lot if you left it alone and gave it a chance. Like I said overwhelming majority of history books which discusses Indian history includes IVC in it. What CarTick or you or any other editor believes is immaterial. We have to give the RS the due weight whether we like it or not. so stop POV pushing here and take your absurdities somewhere else.--Wikireader41 (talk) 21:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
The point is that claiming the IVC as part of India's history is not an exclusive claim. More than one modern nation has links to the IVC, that much is obvious. Whichever region or country has a claim to the IVC as part of its technological and cultural history has the right to express that claim. Is there anyone with any evidence to say India has no right at all to claim the IVC as part of its history? Mdw0 (talk) 22:43, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
What is definitely clear is that the burden of proof rests on those who argue for inclusion of material. Hence, it is time that somebody defines the temporal beginnings of "India". If the IVC is "Indian" what keeps us from adding material to this article another 1000, 2000, 5000, 10.000 earlier? Where is the line? Without this line the article will never aspire to be more than a heap of wildly collected based on a POV not outright non-existing definition.
And now please don't start get philosophical about the vagueness of all definitions. In the end you have to provide one of the space and time of "Indian" civilization, however rough. You don't do that, the article remains the failure it is and the tag is the only appropiate way to show this. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 12:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Further replying to Mdw0, I'd say that the we should not claim the IVC as part of any modern nation's history, at all. While it certainly is part of the history of that region, there's no cultural connection, no continuity between the IVC and any modern country. As it is currently defined, the article's scope is the Indian subcontinent before 1947 and the Republic of India afterwards. The IVC clearly satisfies the first criterion - it is on the subcontinent. That should be our inclusion criterion, though I'd still say that removing the duplication and having a separate list linked to from this one would improve clarity. What I'm more concerned about is the other end of the timeline: Why should the scope of the article shift in 1947? Huon (talk) 12:57, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
If this is about inventions on the Indian sub-continent, the article's title should make that clear and not be capable of confusion with modern India. If this is about modern India, then it should start in 1947. It seems as simple as that to me. I think the practical thing is to go for the geographical name. I agree that the IVC is part of the history of India, but that's a separate issue. India to almost all readers means the area of the modern nation of India. Dougweller (talk) 13:42, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Huon, I think that's the main point that needs to be made. I'd brought it up on my first posting on this page, we need to treat this article like the set on History of India set where "India" is used to refer to the "historical entity" while "Republic of India" is used to refer to the current political entity. —SpacemanSpiff 13:45, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Seriously? "there's no cultural connection, no continuity between the IVC and any modern country"?? How about a technological connection, as evidenced by the continued use of the inventions of that culture? After all, its the technolgical history we are dealing with in this article. The fact remains that the scope of this article is necessarily more fluid than most, because the definition of India through history is more fluid than most. Like most nation's histories, India's history has a geographical scope broader than just its modern boundaries. The scope shifts because the definition and scope of India shifts. For most of India's history it was not a nation, but a collection of varied states, with shifting borders, so accurately defining what counts as India's history is problematic. That doesnt make the article a failure, it just means that the people who want a concrete definition throughout history will never be satisfied, and neither will those people what want to deny India its history. It doesnt mean that just because using 'India' as a geographical notion is a bit fluid you turn around and promote some other term as the definition which is equally fluid and undefined such as 'South Asia' or 'Indian subcontinent.' The upshot of this scope which changes over time is that each invention mentioned needs to be examined on its merits. The question 'Was this invention created in India?' needs to be assessed in terms of geography BOTH current and contemporary. Referring the actual list - Is there an invention in the list that should not be there because it fails the geographical test? I'd say because the IVC occurred in areas that are currently part of modern India, the IVC inventions should be included. However, I wouldnt reccommend removing them because connecting them with a link would fail to pacify those who dont believe India has a history, because its not about the accuracy of the inventions list for them - its about a crusade to remove the term India from history.
As an aside, you cant use a Wikipedia article as a reference for information in another article, so be careful when relying on WP consensus on any point from another article. Also, an English grammar issue - both the India as historical entity and the Republic of India use the same adjective - Indian - so that means the term Indian inventions applies to both. Mdw0 (talk) 00:36, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure I buy the 'technological connection' unless you are saying that the inventions were continually used (ie not lost'/abandoned and found/reinvented in the area and that they were used nowhere else. Dougweller (talk) 05:41, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Thats's exactly what I'm saying - that the inventions were used and developed from the IVC. They dont need to be used nowhere else to be included in this list. If you've got an ancient technology invented by a culture that existed in the current Indian geographical area, then you've got an Indian invention. Its just that without an proof of exactly where or who invented it, then you dont have an exclusively Indian invention. Other lists may claim it. The difference between sharing this one and, say, a more modern invention invented by an Indian emigre is that the IVC was in the correct geographical area, and the criteria for inclusion of ancient inventions is necessarily less strict than modern times where patents exist. Mdw0 (talk) 07:39, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
If I understand Mdw0 correcttly, he basically starts with modern India and then goes back and includes whatever may be seen as a historical predecessor of the modern country. I'd say that's the wrong way to approach the subject, and one that actually supports omitting the IVC due to its lack of a connection to modern India. (I'm not convinced by his reaoning of "continued use"; we wouldn't include Byzantine inventions in a list of Turkish inventions despite continued use.) Regarding the vagueness of inclusion criteria like "Indian subcontinent": I have yet to see better criteria for the pre-1947 scope, and Mwd0 explicitly made that the scope of the article himself. I see two possible solutions to the 1947 inconsistency: Either add modern Pakistani inventions to this list (which would probably necessitate renaming it, lest the Pakistani nationalists become angry), or follow the example of the History of India article, stop at 1947 and have separate lists for the later inventions. I'd prefer the latter approach. (I am also extremely sceptical of the "grammatical" line of reasoning. That's all the more reason to disambiguate, not an excuse to mix different meanings of the term "Indian" in one article. Otherwise I'd be sorely tempted to add "cultivation of maize" to the list, with academic sources attributing it to "Indians"...) Huon (talk) 10:15, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Obviously maize is a 'United States of America invention', but everyone knows that. :-) Of your two possibilities, I think I prefer the second, but if not then we have to go with your first suggestion. Dougweller (talk) 10:59, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
One way to create a history is to go back from the present, yes. There's nothing in your comment to say why that's not a reasonable approach. Fact is, what constitutes India has changed many times over the centuries, and the 1947 change isnt so spectacularly different or important that it constitutes a total break with the past and such a dramatic change in scope that means Indian history is no longer Indian. It might be a convenient break in an article as big and broad as History of India, but in the inventions list, you'd end up with one article with less than ten items and the other virtually unchanged. I cant imagine anyone who cares about improving the article could advocate such a split and think it would improve anything. Also, if you reproduce the example set by the History of India article, then IVC is included. I think splitting this article would be pointless, as would be renaming the article to something equally vague over time such as South Asian. If you truly believe there's no connection between the IVC to modern India, there's also no connection to modern Pakistan either and it would need its own list, but using that logic would mean no modern country can include in its history anything where there's no clear and dominant cultural connection even if it happened on the same geography. That would be like saying the Egyptians have no connection to the Pharaohs or the Alexandrian Greeks, or the Italians having no connection to the ancient Romans, or that Australian history cant include anything that happened prior to 1788. Its a tough sell. Mdw0 (talk) 08:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
and Qin Dynasty had no connection to China. Like I have said before overwhelming majority of textbooks which covers "History of India" includes IVC. whether editors here think that is right or wrong is immaterial per WP:TRUTH. we need to follow what the RS say.--Wikireader41 (talk) 20:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
The dynasty that made the first attempt at building the Great Wall of China, established the first Chinese Empire and even gave us the name "China" itself has no connection to China? I beg to differ. Similarly, the ancient Romans and (to a lesser degree) the Egyptians are culturally connected to the modern states - it's not as if people forgot who built the Great Pyramids or the Colosseum. The IVC, on the other hand, managed to vanish entirely from collective memory, and not even myths of its very existence remained until archaeologists unearthed its remains. And just for the record, I do believe there's no connection between the IVC and Pakistan either, and that it should not be subsumed in a Pakistani list but rather have its own. Now I can understand the reasoning for the geographic standard of inclusion - but I'd say then we should be consistent, name the list for the geographic scope we choose, and not change that scope at some intermediate point - basically, rename this list and include the Pakistani post-independence inventions. The worst we could do, though, is to retroactively inflict the current political borders on the historical entity and only include inventions made in what is nowadays the Republic of India irrespective of cultural and historical context - and I have seen a similar suggestion on Talk:List of Pakistani inventions and discoveries. (Re-reading that discussion makes me wonder about Wikireader41's line of reasoning - there he argued that nothing before 1947 should be included in the Pakistani list because there was no "ancient Pakistan", and here he seems intent on blurring the distinction between ancient India and the modern Republic of India.) Huon (talk) 22:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
yes glad we could agree on something Huon Qin dynasty is as Chinese as IVC is Indian. The term Pakistan was created a few years prior to 1947 and for the vast history of the subcontinent it did not exist. The term India & Indian existed a lot longer both in peoples thoughts and in history books though. and there in lies the crux of the matter. Though like most other countries the political borders of India have changed over the millenia. It would help Huon if you could provide a single respectable textbook of history of India that does not include IVC in its text. So far you have provided Zero, Nada, None.--Wikireader41 (talk) 22:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree that the Qin Dynasty is "as Chinese as IVC is Indian" - as I pointed out, it is vastly more Chinese. And if the Republic of India had chosen a different name for itself, you would argue for removing its inventions from this list? Really? I almost hope those who renamed Mumbai and Chennai go on and rename the Republic of India to something pre-Colonial; that would solve all our problems... And the "political borders of India" are an anachronism - for most of India's history there was no single Indian state whose borders we could be talking about. Finally, If I were to find such a textbook excluding the IVC, how would that help? Would you change your mind? Or would I just have done some useless work? Huon (talk) 23:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I know you dont agree and will never agree. most of the textbooks of History of India include IVC and hence it is Indian. If they did not think IVC was Indian why would they include them in there???? This logic is not that difficult to understand. so start thinking. People's Republic of China of China is also not Chinese according to your argument. I have been told that the "real" Chinese live in Taiwan by some. If you can find ANY RS that says IVC was not Indian I will at least begin to see your point. Otherwise you as well as Gunpowder Ma are doing pure unadulterated Original Research when you say IVC was not Indian. per WP:OR this is strictly forbidden. And you still haven't provided a single source from RS that says IVC is not part of Indian history ( perhaps because you too have figured out that their are no RS to backup what you are saying). If you think that IVC is not Indian get that Original thought published in some RS and then come back here to argue about the merits of that position. In the end it is all about what RS say and not what you and me think.--Wikireader41 (talk) 00:09, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
The arguments against using IVC are reasonable, but there is obviously a prevailing counter argument that means there is no consensus to remove the IVC inventions. You cant have a list purely of Republic inventions because there's less than ten items in the whole list. To then rename the article to something equally as vague and shifting over time such as South Asia would achieve nothing, except to comfort some political zealot's subjective notion of Indianness and non-Indianness. Such a subjective idea will never acheive any consensus. Are the inventions made in India prior to 1947 still Indian? Yes, they are. So if they're Indian, why rename the list? I think the only way to split the list would be to research at least another ten or so inventions from modern India and then do an ancient/modern split around the time of the creation of the first united India under the British Raj. That split would be more even, but the shift in geography in 1947 would still be apparent. Such a split would not pacify the political zealots who are totally oppositional to the current Republic's links with its own history and want to claim the India pre-1947 didnt exist as India. Mdw0 (talk) 00:43, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I did some reading for Wikireader41. My local library carried three easily obtainable recent texts which I considered relevant.

  • The most comprehensive was Hermann Kulke's Indische Geschichte bis 1750 (Munich 2010, Indian history until 1750). The book details the Harappan culture, and while it asserts that some aspects of that culture survived its decline, notably its system of weights and measurements, it does argue for the Vedic Aryans as "initializing" Indian culture. The author seems extremely knowledgeable about the state of the scientific debate, often giving references for various competing theories and detailing the consensus (or lack thereof) at specific conferences.
  • More specialized was James Heitzman's The city in South Asia (London 2008); the book details Harappan urban centres and like Kulke argues that some cultural specifics survived their decline, but it never calls the culture "Indian" but "South Asian". It also states that the second wave of urbanization was independent of the IVC.
  • The library also had Gyan Swarup Gupta's India: from Indus valley civilisation to Mauryas (New Delhi 1999), which argued not only for a cultural continuity from the IVC to later Indian cultures, but that the Vedic Aryans were the IVC. It seemed rather unscientific in style, with major parts unreferenced or just referenced to the Vedas, and I'd say Gupta's claim that practically anything else (including Judaism, for example) is an outgrowth of the IVC puts him on the fringe of the debate. I was unsurprised to read that Gupta himself is not an academic and has had no formal training as a historian; especially compared to Kulke, he seemed woefully unaware of the state of the scientific debate. Kulke refers to the likes of Gupta as "nationalist historiography" and says it should be seen in the context of modern Indian politics; that school of thought apparently has little or no traction outside India.
  • Finally, I'd like to point out The History and culture of the Indian People, edited by R.C. Majumdar (Bombay and London, 1951-1970s), a series of eleven volumes. Kulke mentions this work because it was among the first to reject the European-style division of Indian history into "ancient", "medieval" and "modern" periods. I haven't read it because it may be a little more difficult to obtain (possibly it needs to be retrieved from the library's magazine, which is quite bureaucratic and might take days), but if the first volume's title, The Vedic age, is an indication, it does not cover the IVC (which would have been well-known when it was written).

So in summary, I have one source which probably does not cover the IVC as part of Indian history at all, another which does not use the term "Indian" in connection with the IVC, a third one which argues that the later Vedic Aryans formed the foundation of Indian culture, not the earlier IVC, and finally a nationalist. These are the sources available to me. Now show me the sources arguing for a cultural continuity from the IVC to later Indian cultures. Huon (talk) 16:55, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

well it is easy to call anybody nationalistic. even in the handful of sources you cherry picked out of 100s that are available all of them include IVC as part of history. now please read WP:DUE section of WP:NPOV. as you will see the theory that IVC was not part Of Indian history is a WP:FRINGE view which does not belong in WP except as perhaps a brief mention somewhere in the body of an article. to quote Burton Stein [1] Politically the consideration of Indian state formation must reach back very far in time since Indian states are nearly as old as any in the world." he goes on to discuss Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. Kulke also includes IVC in history of India as you point out. John Keay clearly includes harappan world in his popular history of India.[2]. Kenneth Pletcher in his more recent book also likewise includes IVC prominentls [3] likewise William J. Duiker in his classic on World History starts the section on India with Harappa[4] No matter where you look the majority of the siources will say that IVC is included in history of India. we could argue endlessly about culturally how much continuity is there ( and how much is required ? who sets the standard) but that is beside the point. The fundamental fact remains that vast majority of RS include IVC as part of India in the historical context. So should we. again we should refrain from publishing OR and also stop promoting Fringe theories on WP a blatant attempt of which is being made here.--Wikireader41 (talk) 19:32, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Why am I not surprised by this wholesale dismissal of my effort? First, the "cherry picking". I did my best to find relevant books I could access in a library. I reported all I found, including the rather bizarre book by Gupta, and detailed the extent to which those books support not only mine, but also your position. Accusing me of cherry picking thus is an unfounded personal attack which I empathically reject. Next, the nationalism. That is indeed a label easily thrown about, but in this case it's used by Kulke who as recipient of the Padma Shri should be above suspicions of anti-Indian bias. Now, cultural continuity is a more relevant criterion than inclusion in history books because the history of science is a part of cultural history, not just the history of a certain region. Analogously, books on the history of Turkey are likely to include the history of ancient Anatolia, but that does not mean Hittite inventions somehow become Turkish inventions. I also have to note that books on the history of Pakistan may also include the Delhi Sultanate, the IVC or anything else in that region (see table of contents) - yet there you seem to measure by a different standard. Mdw0 is more consistent and, in his "back from the present" view of history, would argue in favor of duplication.
If you so much insist on reliable sources and verifiability, please go ahead and provide reliable sources which actually describe the Indus Valley inventions as Indian inventions - but please take care not to violate WP:SYN, which would prohibit you from combining one source which assigns these inventions to the IVC and another which calls the IVC Indian (though better sources to the latter effect would be a good start - what you provided above is lacking in that regard). Huon (talk) 21:39, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Right and you don't get to provide any sources which explicitly state that IVC inventions are not Indian?? The sources I provided include IVC in its entirety as part of Indian history. I think the onus is on you to prove that a part of IVC ( the inventions during that period) are not Indian while rest everything is considered Indian by RS. The discussion whether IVC may also be included in Pakistan"s history is a separate discussion which can take place on that articles talk page. The big difference between India and Pakistan is that India as a term & country existed for much longer than Pakistan ( either as a term or as a country). why are you trying to confuse the 2 related but separate issues. The history of Pakistan prior to 1947 was included in history of India as it was included in India of the day which was British India. If I may note the problem of Pakistanis downplaying their pre islamic history is the problem. you might find the article Pakistani textbooks controversy interesting. well again why is it so hard for you to understand that the RS support the view that IVC was integral part of Indian history and that is all I am saying. if you provide some RS that explicitly say that IVC is not Indian I will definitely reconsider my position. so far all you have provided are your "personal thoughts" why IVC is not Indian and no references that say the same. why do you say that hittite inventions are not Turkish inventions and that is not considered Integral part of history of turks??? Is that also an original thought or something supported by sources ???--Wikireader41 (talk) 23:33, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
If you want an entry included, the onus is on you to provide the relevant sources; see WP:BURDEN. While the books on Indian history you provided do cover the IVC, that's not the same as calling the IVC "Indian". Only one of your sources actually does so, based on 1952 scholarship. Two others argue that maybe there is a cultural connection, maybe not. The fourth is pretty empathic in denying the connection and warning against the "pick-and-preach approach of many nationalist historians". Oops! That one is pretty much saying that the IVC, while geographically Indian, culturally wasn't so. Given Kulke's remarks on the Vedic Aryans as the origin of Indian culture, he would probably agree, though he does not explicitly say that the IVC isn't Indian. Regarding "India as a country": I doubt that. At most, India as a country would date back to the beginning of the British Raj; no earlier empire ruled all of India, though the Mughals came close (and they didn't call themselves Indians, either). The term "India" was used by Europeans to refer to the subcontinent; it's not the name historical Indians used for themselves (see Names of India). In effect, you are arguing that "Indian is what the Europeans called Indian". Huon (talk) 00:24, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
if you read the books they all agree that IVC was Indian. why does Kulke Includes IVC in his history does he not??? Mughal's did not call themselves Indian ?? take a look at The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period. And may I remind you about Faxians trip to India. It is clear from your comments that you have little if any knowledge of what was called India.[5]. I believe that I have said all I had to . I will not continue this discussion in light of your comments above which show a complete lack of understanding of what India is and was. Even Herodotus talked about India way back when.[6]. If some new editors show up and raise some new sensible valid points I will be happy to answer them. what is the relevance of "Indian is what the Europeans called Indian" comment ??? this is english WP and we are talking about the English name of India. How did Qin become China??? the nonsense that no India existed prior to 1947 is a myth spread by some POV pushers who read the official Pakistan Studies curriculum and come and vomit what they read here and expect others to believe that. Most people in Pakistan don't believe that either.--Wikireader41 (talk) 01:10, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
The argument that the Indians didnt call themselves Indian and there was no nation or people called Indian throughout most of the history we're talking about is a reasonable one. Unfortunately that fact also applies to any other modern name we might apply to the article that might make any sense to a modern reader of English. The term Indian might have its inaccuracies and be geographically fluid over time, but its the best we've got. The argument that there is no cultural history linking the IVC to modern India is also reasonable, and the sources for that view are there, but the prevailing view is that the IVC is part of the history of India, and the sources supporting that view are extensive. There is no way to get enough of a consensus to have the IVC items removed. However, the view that it is the cultural history of a nation that provides the best backdrop to our technological list, rather than a simple geographical notion is interesting. Is there anyone who would deny a strong cultural link between the India of the Republic and the India of pre-1947? Mdw0 (talk) 01:22, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Huon, it does not come as a surprise that those who argue for inclusion of the IVC have not specified when Indian history began. And you can be sure that they will continue to fail so, some preferring to digress about vagueness, bias and what not instead of answering a straightforward question in a straightforward manner — symptomatic of an article which cannot define its temporal and spatial limits. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 21:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you seriously looking for a black and white accurate definition to a cultural boundary thousands of years ago? If so, you might need to adjust your unrealistic expectations.Mdw0 (talk) 23:51, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Gun Powder, Indian history began when the RS say it began. not when you think it began or it should have began. take a look at some of the links I have provided to authoritative textbooks of Indian history aqll of which include IVC as an integral part of Indian history. you need to stop your OR here. you are not an expert on when Indian history began so your views count for nothing. please read WP:OR and learn to respect what RS say when Indian history began and what is included in it.--Wikireader41 (talk) 01:49, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
There was no such thing as the Republic of India before 1947. You have to be really delusional if that's what you're trying to rant here; Mar4d (talk) 05:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, we're not - so we're not. India existed prior to that, just not exactly the same India. Mdw0 (talk) 07:42, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Mar4d before you make any further idiotic comments please read what I have written and learn to check the Facts. I have been talking about "India" NOT "Republic of India". India existed over the millenia and even Herodotus talked about it. Neither "Pakistan" nor Islamic Republic of Pakistan existed before 1947 either as a country or even as a word. So stop willfully ignoring what RS say. See Government of India Act 1858 . even the Brits called the subcontinent "India" not "British India" when they officially took it over from BEIC.[7] they certainly had not even heard the term Pakistan that time. At independence "India" was divided into two not British India. here it is straight from the horses mouth.[8]--Wikireader41 (talk) 14:43, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is a prime example of what I call deliberate ambiguity. The word "India" has several meanings, and unless that meaning is obvious from the context, we should always point out which we refer to. Claiming that the "India" that was divided in 1947 wasn't British India is an attempt at creating ambiguity where none need exist - what was divided surely wasn't India, was it? Herodotus is rather irrelevant; while he was important in promoting the word "India" (and its predecessors) in the West, that's what the Greeks in Persia called the lands to their east and not necessarily what the Indians, either then or later, called themselves (for example, the Mughal self-designation was "Gūrkānī", from Timur's relation to Genghis Khan's family). This is again the argument from what Europeans believed, not the argument from Indian history. I really am curious: Did the Indians, throughout the ages, see themselves as part of a greater whole, even if they spoke different languages and lived in different states which might be at war? I don't know either way. The deliberate ambiguity is what irks me most, and it was best expressed when one editor said: "X is commonly called "Indian", and Y is also commonly called Indian, so the list should be about both X and Y per WP:COMMONNAME." Not so, that's getting WP:COMMONNAME backwards - or need I again refer to my maize-growing "Indians"? I can produce academic sources for that...

On the other hand, I haven't seen anybody argue that there is no history of India prior to the Republic. Geographic India - the subcontinent - has a history reaching back to the paleolithic, and Indian culture seems to be commonly seen to have begun with the Vedic Aryans - there are sources dating it back to the IVC, but those we've seen so far were either more than half a century old or from a nationalist without academic credentials.

I thought a lot about Mdw0's view on the article scope, and I must agree that it's indeed a rather consistent way of going about things - starting with the modern Republic of India and including its historical predecessors. I still think it's not the best way, for two reasons:

  1. It will lead to needless duplication. Pre-1947, India's predecessors and Pakistan's (and, if that ever becomes relevant, Bangladesh's) coincide, and we would have to create multiple lists which agree on 90% or so of their content.
  2. It suffers from recentism. If there was a (rather unlikely) outbreak of love and understanding, and the Republic of India and Pakistan decided to re-unite, we would have to re-designate some past inventions "Indian" that we now consider "not Indian". While that's extremely unlikely to become a problem during our lives, our scheme should not allow such changes as a matter of principle.

I hope this clarifies my stance. Huon (talk) 16:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I have always said that my view on the scope would lead to some duplication, as the modern nations of the subcontinent share certain aspects of their history, and that each invention in our list should have its Indianness considered at both a current and a contemporary definition of India for its inclusion/exclusion. This a necessary duplication, not a needless one. I dont think it would have perfect co-incidence pre-1947 though. Pakistan couldnt claim anything invented outside its modern borders. The emphasis placed on modern boundaries could be called recentism, but then Wikipedia itself is recent, so current definitions have a certain relevance that need to be dealt with - also most critics come at the issue from a recent POV because the other ones are all dead. However, it doesn't place recent events at the forefront just because they're recent - it refuses to agree that the most recent shifts in the historical concept of India are more important than all the others. Its certainly less than perfect, but I'm yet to see a better one presented. Mdw0 (talk) 00:35, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I have removed all the discoveries related to sri lanka from this article, Please adjust the referencing to the updated article. I will break it down for you, here is the definition of india, events that took place after 1947, prior to this it was British raj, sri lanka came under neither definition, it didn't make sense to have those discoveries/ invention on there. Any and all discoveries/ invention prior to 1947, should all be discontinued from this article. Thank you Distributor108 (talk) 13:03, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

You haven't edited the article, and there currently are no uniquely Sri Lankan inventions included in the list. We once had hospitals, first built in Sri Lanka, but they were removed long ago. Huon (talk) 15:14, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry I forgot to mention I did this a while ago. I distinctly remember removing 3 -4 items. One was regarding wind power other high carbon steel manufacturing, and some other things. However I forgot to mention it here. If you take a look at the references page there are still 2 references for the word "sri lanka"
  • Juleff, G. (1996). An ancient wind powered iron smelting technology in Sri Lanka. Nature 379 (3): 60–63.
  • ^ a b G. Juleff, "An ancient wind powered iron smelting technology in Sri Lanka", Nature 379 (3), 60–63 (January, 1996)

Further more, I think this article needs a clean up, their are several references to invention that pre dates India (1947); These should be removed. such as " Button, ornamental: Buttons—made from seashell—were used in the Indus Valley Civilization for ornamental purposes by 2000 BCE" "Calico: Calico had originated in the subcontinent by the 11th century and found mention in Indian literature by the 12th when writer Hemacandra mentioned calico fabric prints done in a lotus design." "The earliest evidence for using bow-instruments for carding comes from India (2nd century CE)" and many more. Thank you Distributor108 (talk) 10:53, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Thea article currently covers the Republic of India and its historical predecessors - British India, the Mughal Empire and so on. With the possible exception of the Indus Valley Civilization, they are culturally clearly Indian. While I tend to agree that it would be an improvement to split the list in 1947, proposals to that effect have repeatedly failed to achieve a consensus.
Regarding Sri Lanka: The Juleff source is about the details of the smelting process; other sources argue that it was indeed a South Indian invention. I don't think we need to avoid any mention of the name "Sri Lanka" as long as we have reliable sources stating that the inventions themselves are Indian, not Sri Lankan. Huon (talk) 11:42, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Here is what the reference is to.; the location in question is " Samanalawewa, Sri Lanka" here is the coordinates of that location Lat: 6.664392; Long: 80.784702. I suggest you consult the United Nation charter and ask them if this location lies in south india or sri lanka.
Regarding your first point, cannot go from India to British raj. But you can define the events that took place in india as progression from British raj but not the other way round. British raj, accounts for india, pakistan, bangladesh, and several other present day countries. You cannot say the events that took place within British raj as history of india, because its completely wrong to say that. British raj > india. indian history begins 1947. British raj begins 1757, this is completely different geographically to what India is. prior to that it did not like a single country. Also
Thirdly, several invention claimed to be indian are actually listed here, this introduces lot of confusion to readers. Are these indian inventions? or pakistani invention? when they are actually neither. As the events took place good several 1000 years before creation of either countries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Distributor108 (talkcontribs) 12:42, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Jagadish Chandra Bose[edit]

L435534l is proposing the following entry:

  • Radio Science: IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) named Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose as one of the fathers of radio science. He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent. He was the first person from the Indian subcontinent to receive a US patent, in 1904.

According to the Bose article, Nikola Tesla demonstrated radio communication before Bose did, and Maxwell, Lodge and Hertz had laid the theoretical and experimental foundations. "Radio science" was not invented by Bose, although he of course remains one of the important early researchers. We already mention Bose's contributions to plant science in the entry on the Crescograph (where it belongs), and getting a US patent is hardly an Indian invention. For these reasons I have once again removed L435534l's proposed paragraph. Huon (talk) 19:56, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Left out Inventions[edit]

Tetracycline antibiotic was invented by Yellapragada Subbarao. Water Buffaloes were first domesticated by Indus Valley Civilization. Concept of Infinity is also an Indian idea.Rajesh Kumar69 (talk) 05:44, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

This section should read Inventions Without Citations, otherwise they would already be in the list, no? Mdw0 (talk) 23:49, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Quote from Albert Einstein and opening sentence[edit]

The quote I have posted is legit. I feel that the opening sentence should hold good regardless of whether it has been referenced or not. It is common sense. Can the administrator please step in? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not an admin (and admins do not have greater powers in content disputes anyway), but I don't think the Einstein quote and the number system changes are an improvement. Firstly, the opening sentence should describe what this list is all about, and that is done much better by the sentence "This list of Indian inventions and discoveries details ...". Secondly, the Einstein quote would require a reference (so it is verifiable), and Einstein is not a historian of science anyway; his opinion on the relative importance of Indian vs., say, Egyptian number systems is largely irrelevant. Thirdly, while the Indian number system was an important improvement, it was not the first number system - that would probably be the Babylonian system with base 60. Therefore we should not claim that "Indians invented number systems" without qualifications. (Also, this makes Einstein's claim about Indians "showing us how to count" wrong.) Huon (talk) 17:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I reverted the addition from '', and agree with Huron's points. Quotes must have citations, and 'common sense' is not a justification for adding uncited material. Dialectric (talk) 17:48, 27 April 2012 (UTC)


Please learn some history. Educate yourself. Zero and the number system originated in India. You can play with words all you want. The Babylonians did not discover the number system. Indians did. I can give you a few more quotes from eminent historical figures. here is another one. Save the BS for someone else. And btw, Einstein was a physicist, so his quote should be more than enough proof!

"It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by the means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position, as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit, but its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions, and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest minds produced by antiquity." - Pierre-Simon Laplace

And also, my opening sentence was an excellent way of beginning the article. (talk) 19:01, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

According to Thomas Heath's Manual of Greek Mathematics, the Babylonian positional number systems dates back to 2300 BC; I've read much earlier claims, but cannot right now find a reliable source for them. The Indian number system dates back to 2000-1500 BC according to this list, which unfortunately lacks a source. The Babylonians clearly predate the Indians.
Einstein was indeed a brilliant physicist. So was Laplace. How does that qualify them to speak on the history of mathematics? Not very much, and Laplace in particular is much too early to have known much about the archaeological evidence for early Indian (or Babylonian) mathematics. He didn't even know the Indus Valles Civilization existed. This list is a list of inventions, not a list of quotes by famous men about inventions.
I also disagree that your opening sentence was an improvement. It highlights a few specific inventions instead of summarizing the breadth of the article. According to the manual of style, it is thus a worse introduction: "The article should begin with a declarative sentence telling the nonspecialist reader what (or who) the subject is." I have therefore reverted it. Huon (talk) 20:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

According to MOST mathematicians, historians and experts, it was India that gave the world zero and the number system. Indians were the first to consolidate the whole system. If you want to be more precise, Early Man used his fingers to keep track of his inventory of sticks and stones, does that mean that we credit the "Early Man" with the number system? You are an embarrassment to Wikipedia! And if I am not mistaken, the Indian numeral system pre-dates the Babylonian one! I can show you tons of books that prove empirically that India was the source of the number system! So relax, settle down and move on! Stop vandalizing the page. (talk) 20:43, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Read page 2 of this book. read the last paragraph:

I am reverting the edit. (talk) 21:01, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Is it ok if I revert the edit???? (talk) 21:14, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Note - IP '' has been blocked for a month, so it seems that this discussion is resolved. Dialectric (talk) 21:21, 27 April 2012 (UTC)