During the intervening night of 17-18 June 2014, Bimla Ji, my spouse passed away. One moment she was there and the next moment…..She kept my company for about 45 years. During these years she successfully bluffed me into silence by phrasing a parallel query whenever I asked her a question. Now I realize that unless you are privy to the sub-set of a whole truth, you can’t phrase a sensible question. By a sensible question I mean a question which is either pregnant with or guides to an answer. That is education! I miss her. Sometimes!
It all started with one innocuous remark made by a class 3 student, “I hate Mathematics!” Five years have gone by and I am here writing the 12th chapter of the Parallel School: surprisemajor.com. This platform was started by me in June 2016, with the idea that creating a pathway for facilitating traffic of ideas between the scholars of India and my inquisitive mind could help simplifying teaching mathematics at the basic levels. But that has not happened. I am sad but not disappointed.
My enthusiasm is not subservient to the slogan attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: Give me medals and I will win you wars! My enthusiasm is subservient to one dream: change, improve, and rise from lower levels to higher levels of thinking and being. The crisis of India lies in her obsession to weave cocoons of safety and kill dynamism. If 35% of our population have conquered poverty permanently then this huge power centre is both an asset but at the same time a liability. That is the paradox!
Bravery and heroism is not only for those who defend their countries from potential enemies. It is not the exclusive domain of men holding fire arms to perform heroics. Ask them! They do not relish the sight of blood falling on the ground. When knowledge was frugal and restricted to a minority in the antiquity, wars provided solutions to human survival which in its worst form became greed. But at the bottom of this human behaviour is the fear of uncertain future. Fear is the key! But why now when we are in a better position to produce, control, create and organise?
A hero need not be a He-Man. Physical proportions are not always required to perform heroically. Unusual, which happens every day challenges the sensitive people and if they rise up to the occasion become heroes. It is not an achievement which one can flaunt. It is a character one decorates his personality with! It enriches the nature of a person, modifies him and makes him more peaceful with himself.
Sometimes I feel that deep down I still possess the childlike enthusiasm where everything except logic can weave a tapestry of real world situation. My juvenile enthusiasm, unfettered, harvests more nuggets than can be recovered from oysters in the sea.
I have seen people, who come from plains to pay a visit to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, wonder when they see the hillocks. The juveniles become impatient to jump trains and climb up the mounds. At the bottom of this volition lies the latent desire of humans to conquer and discover that which lies concealed. I remember only some words of R W Emerson which I read 50 years ago “…….rend the rinds of finite and visible…”
Now imagine when the Indian sub-continent started pushing itself against Eu-Russian plate with such force that wave after wave of mountains were pushed up. A pure sine half- wave! Every rebound using depleted force hence lesser amplitude of the wave or in lay man’s language height of the mountain. So we have Himalayas and lesser Himalayas. The hugeness of natures’ capabilities should be experienced to be believed. One of my jobs, apart my usual duty was to keep the area of Patni Top Tourist area clear of snow in winter. I was in charge for two winters. One December night it snowed heavily. In the morning the operator fixed non-skid chains on the 4×4 jeep and we moved up the road. At Chenani the driver of the snow clearance machine was picked up. The BRO were clearing the highway but we were allowed to reach our destination. Within the tourist area the canopy of our machine was only visible! I had not seen so much of snow in my life in Kashmir. It was huge and frightening. But even bigger surprise was in store for me. In the month of March it again snowed with such a fury that the CRP camp at Natha Top was trapped. We had to send a heavier BL200 to clear the snow.
The quest for truth is never ending. The nature is so tricky and teasing that no sooner do we discover something another paradox appears. In the month of December I wanted to draft my critique of gravity. In one hour I prepared the scaffolding for structuring the draft. Although I had dealt with this subject in my main work but in view of some more inputs I wanted to weave the ideas into a new narrative. To cut a long story short I called both Newton and Einstein to witness box. The rush of words which followed surprised me. It was as if on some command words started filling in and kept on taking their rightful places. When I re-read it I was amazed by the beauty of the prose. Then it was the turn of Ramanujan-the great Indian Mathematician. One American Mathematician Cliff Pickover had tweeted about one equation of Ramanujan around 22nd December. When I looked at the equation I felt that something was wrong with this equation. So I set about verifying the veracity of the equation. It was a very tricky situation but I discovered three methods by which the equation could be disproved. And it was in this moment of absentmindedness I gave some wrong command to my computer and lo and behold! the entire draft was deleted. The title ‘Peel the Makeup’ remained: zero words, it says!
Are there hidden overseers who tell us so much and no more! ………Should I profane the secret of life and rob you of your dreams/ Should you inflame the candle of curiosity/ and rob me of my entire possession/ The enlightened darkness! Those are the concluding lines of my poem I haven’t seen for many years now.
Einstein tells us it is not possible to draw a straight line in space because the space is bent or something like that. But I hold that there are no co-ordinate which can tell us whether the line is bent or straight. Therefore I had to define a straight line, not as the shortest distance between two points as is in vogue at present. I defined it as a curve whose centre lies at infinity. I had to do so because I was tracking the curvature problems but brought this definition in relief while dismissing Newton’s attraction model of gravity. But Einstein when he had to prove curvature of space or heavenly bodies truncate the space, he started with the assumption that a ray of light is a straight line. And when it skims past the sun it bends. Now this is in contravention to the first assumption.
What is light? It is a dot of energy which is in tearing hurry to give up its energy. It acquires the geometrical shape of an expanding bubble- a sphere of light! Say if the pilot photon field is crowded – a point, it starts a spherical expansion. Maximum area to be covered in a fixed amount of time! The distance between the photons goes on increasing. It now represents an expanding stretchable spherical mesh till the 3600 space between any two photons becomes so large that an opaque body, if it has a smaller size never gets illuminated. The expanding light bubble is already curved. So no question of bending! If it bends, then by the stretch of imagination of Newton, the Sun is capable of swallowing the light of any star as it comes in its field of influence. And when we consider the magnetic field of the Sun it will either swallow it or bend it far away.
A man can’t create a shadow when standing on the deck of ship when it starts approaching a beach although he can clearly see the light of a lighthouse. So the ship is easily moving through the mesh of photons. Or is it!
No scientist has received so much adulation in the print media as has been received by Einstein. Every fortnight we are informed that Einstein has once again been proved correct. It appears as if a PR company has been put in place to distract people from doubting what Einstein has said or not said. Dr C K Raju (ckraju.net) argues that you cannot prove a person correct every other day. The only possibility is that you can, if you have discovered something new, prove him incorrect.
When I look at the mass energy equation: e = mc2, I am amazed by the smoothness with which the equation is retailed. Now compare this equation with KE= mv2. Both equations are dimensionally balanced. But the difference is that while v is a variable c is a constant. The trouble is that a constant can’t be squared or cubed. Have you heard something like g2 or π3!
Was Henry Cavendish an honourable physicist? He is credited with having verified the value of big G. While sitting in his lab how could he verify a numerical value which prima facie is the other form of the small g? We don’t create a new shirt when we turn it inside out! We are talking about the universality of a value. He tailored a machine which could stamp the assumption of Newton that the force is directly proportional as the product of masses & inversely proportional to square of distance between them. Faith became an integral part of physics when Cavendish did the unthinkable.
On the other hand Archimedes placed his helplessness before his contemporaries: Give me a place to stand upon and with a lever I will move the whole world. Honesty retains the glitter; refuses to be outshined.
Recently the media reported that seven Earth like planets have been discovered in deep space. The social media was abuzz with nuggets of scientific inputs. I re-tweeted somebody’s tweet: this information is not for you. It is actually sling-shot at the auditors. This improves the enhancement of next budgetary allocations! Star watching and deep space exploration have become vast empire for free loaders. But there is a deep conspiracy against the people. The state creates fear of apocalypse by overplaying the threat posed by the asteroids. So funds are diverted from the social sector to deep space exploration which needs sophisticated technology, artificial intelligence and support of satellites. The result is that the militaries of the West are equipping themselves with lethal instruments of killing courtesy deep space exploration. The drones are now capable of telling the command centres what is going on a particular latitude-longitude x-section. You can have actual visuals as vivid as if you are physically at the spot under observation. Our privacy is a thing of the past. We are in more vulnerable situations than our past generation was in the 20th century. If they can fine tune landings on other heavenly bodies with the help of artificial intelligence, they can also see what is cooking in your kitchen. That is scary. Isn’t it!
The fact of the matter is that this world is going to stay and is stable because the bodies in motion have no energies to lose. Newton was correct when he stated that the state of Rest and state of Uniform Motion was identical. The universe is there because it has arrived at the maximum entropy level. The only extraordinary incident can happen if two heavenly bodies are on a collision course. Otherwise you can forget about any apocalypse.
I am convinced that numbers don’t exist between 0 and 1. Now this is a very serious statement because it strikes at the foundation on which Mathematics based on number line has been conceived. I tried to simplify my objection at the very outset on the Home Page. But nobody took notice. Then some cryptic arrangement placed the equation of Ramanujan before me. While trying to prove/disprove it I was led into explaining my conviction that numbers can’t exist between 0&1.
Ghalib places this unseen help- arrangement, in these words (my translation):
The themes arrive from sources cryptic/Ghalib! My sibilant pen rehearses only the fresh song of the occult. [aatay hain gaiab say yeh mazameen khayal main/Ghalib sareer-e-khama nawaye sarosh hai!]
Mathematics is not a very difficult subject. It is also not the ultimate subject which demands higher learning skills of students. What has happened that while drafting the stages involved in imparting math education one vital step has been ignored? I call it mathematicians’ misstep. So a longer pathway was popularised. This in turn weaved confusion. What is multiplication? No two definitions match. What is division? That is more complicated. If p/q is a number then defining division is impossible. If ever scholars think of leading the present knowledge pool through a process of catharsis then they should try to discover the step which escaped the attention of the mathematicians.
I have very recently made a discovery that the NCERT has corrupted the concept of ratio & proportion to such an extent that the difference between an equation and ratio and proportion concept vanishes. Ratio and Proportion is Mathematics because it works on the concept of a field having unit field value. I think entire Arithmetic can be explained in this one field concept. I have yet to come to terms with the outright absurdity that p/q can be represented as p:q. Atrocious!
Every year Research Papers/Theses are accepted and candidates decorated. But why none of this research finds a place in school/college books? The fact of the matter is that no genuine research is done in India. Even after 70 years we wail: Bihar education is in a shambles! Students of 5th class can’t write their own names. Have the universities abandoned the mass population? What ails our primary education can be a socially useful research subject at the university level. I challenged Math scholarship of NCERT. They ignored. It took Napier 19 years to construct Log Tables. I cracked the code in three months. Nobody is interested. I drafted the mathematical model of the Solar system, yet no reaction. Bertrand Russell never agreed with the model of the Solar System as is being followed at present. This was one of the trigger which made me draft the mathematical model with the same data as is available in public. In Persian language we have a proverb: Mon tura haji begoyam, Tu mura haji bego! You call me a Haji I will also address you as a Haji. Quid pro Quo! A river of cash, fed by the central and State governments besides inundated by parents-rich and poor flows in our economy eternally! And this money is up for grabs. So we have clubs within clubs, publishers, con writers who devise out of box solutions. They popularise them through premier private schools and others pick up.
So money flows and a definite number of people take it home. But only a very small percentage of the student population get their monies worth. This is the tragedy of India’s education programme.
I believe that about 95% of knowledge pool available to us at present has been contributed by Chemistry in all its avatars. From inorganic to biological it is all chemistry! If God pursues a profession then He is a chemist, a blacksmith and a geometrician – a three in one expert. Fine arts are our creation!
I wonder what more has a student who having graduated in the English literature from DU has to learn at the PG level. Studies in fine arts and languages, even mathematics should be capped at graduation level. The resources thus saved should be routed to improving infrastructure for studies of various disciplines of chemistry.
Secularisation of education has yet to start in India. The Muslim kids have been abandoned by the states on one pretext or the other. So the Muslims create their own primitive wells of ignorance. This has created a large population- ‘the other men’ who cannot merge with the Indian milieu. Pragmatism tells us that all Madrassas should be taken over by the state. The students should be clad in uniforms, given secular education. In order to impart religious education to kids, Moulvis and Pundits should be appointed. This model was put in motion in the J&K state by Maharaja Pratap Singh from 1917 onwards. Kashmiryat is the love child of that wise and honest application of mind. The basic education should command quality and should be sumptuous.
A new buzz was generated when the concept of smart cities was placed in public domain. Nobody challenged the idea by way of presenting a better idea. Now we know that not all farmers are poor. There is a huge farmer population who generate a sizable surplus which they spend on luxurious items. This rural surplus is not taxed. But we can put this locked up capital to re-energize the rural economy. Now think: if we can design one market for say, five Panchayats, we can simultaneously design a new city with all facilities, both rural and urban. This experiment will not displace rural population. It will bring consumer near to production centres. This can, if implemented wisely change the whole rural landscape in which investment will flow from left and right. Thinking is what makes us human. Realisation of potential of thinking is what makes us wise!
The post-modern education should start with the basic idea: Not all that we teach in schools and colleges is correct and accurate. The curricula should go through stages of purgation and only filtered knowledge retailed in the educational institutes.
Keeping kids away from streets is the noble national assignment. Let us take up this assignment with renewed vigour and enthusiasm!