Seventh-century mathematician Brahmagupta discovered the law of gravity a thousand years before English scientist Isaac Newton did, Rajasthan Education Minister Vasudev Devnani said on Monday. He also wondered why the education curriculum in India ignored this.
“We studied that Newton came up with the law of gravitation,” Devnani said, according to the Hindustan Times. “But if we delve deeper, we’ll find that it was Brahmagupta II who came up with the law of gravitation 1,000 years before that.”
Devnani is a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Ajmer North. He made the statement during the 72nd Foundation Day celebrations of the University of Rajasthan.
“Why don’t we include it in our curriculum?” he asked. “The mechanism was, of course, developed later by modern scientists. We’ll teach that, too, but such topics have to be made suitable for India.”
Physicists worldwide unanimously credit Newton with the law of gravity, which he published in 1686.
Since he took over Rajasthan’s Education Ministry in October 2014, Devnani has regularly made the headlines for restructuring the state’s education along Hindutva principles. In 2015, he said Mughal emperor Akbar would lose the tag of “the great” in school textbooks to his contemporary Maharana Pratap. Devnani also wanted to give greater importance to Indian scientists Aryabhatta and Bhaskaracharya than to the theories of Newton and Pythagoras.
In January 2017, the minister had claimed that the cow was the only animal that exhales oxygen and claimed he had read this on research websites.