Stem cell research was invented in India. Or so we have been told by the great scholar, polymath and intellectual of the twenty-first century India, Shri Dinanath Batra.
In a 125-page supplementary textbook for school children, Dinanath Batra claims: "America wants to take the credit for the invention of stem cell research, but the truth is that India's Dr Balkrishna Ganpat Matapurkar has already got a patent for regenerating body parts."
Called Tejomay Bharat, the supplementary book teaches the primary and secondary school children in Gujarat that stem cell therapy originated from the birth of 100 Kauravas.
According to a report in India Today, the book goes on to explain the evolution of stem cell technology. "You would be surprised to know that this research is not new and that Dr Matapurkar was inspired by the Mahabharata. Kunti had a bright son like the Sun itself. When Gandhari, who had not been able to conceive for two years, learnt of this, she underwent an abortion. From her womb, a huge mass of flesh came out. (Rishi) Dwaipayan Vyas was called. He observed this hard mass of flesh and then he preserved it in a cold tank with specific medicines. He then divided the mass of flesh into 100 parts and kept them separately in 100 tanks full of ghee for two years. After two years, 100 Kauravas were born of it. On reading this, he (Matapurkar) realised that stem cell was not his invention. This was found in India thousands of years ago."
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The eminent author, who has served as the General Secretary of Vidya Bharati, a network of schools run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) goes on to make more such valuable interventions in the field of automobile technology. He tells the children that the motorcar, in fact, existed during the Vedic period and was called anashva rath. Referring to the Rig Veda, he says, “Usually a rath (chariot) is pulled by horses but an anashva rath means the one that runs without horses or yantra-rath, what is today a motorcar. The Rig Veda refers to this."
This is not the first time that the children in Gujarat have been made to learn alternative facts for history. Some of the incorrect details that they have been previously tutored upon claim: Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on October 30, 1948; Japan mounted a nuclear attack on the US during World War II; and that a country called Islamic Islamabad was formed after India's partition.
When contacted by the newspaper, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendra Singh Chudasama defended the content in the name of “supplementary reading”. "These are only reference books for children about Indian culture. They are not mandatory and not part of the syllabus." The minister insisted that there was no question of withdrawing the books since they are not mandatory.