?A new Asiatic society is the need of the hour?

CHENNAI: World renowned brain researcher has called for setting up a new Asiatic society on the lines of of Bengal (ASB) founded by William Jones in 1784 in Calcutta. ?I think it?s time for a new Asiatic society,? said Ramachandran, after contributing 2 lakh as initial funding to the proposed society.

?A new Asiatic society can help bring out fascinating history and spread awareness among people about our traditional knowledge. The society needs to be objective, a without political or religious beliefs influencing its activities and research,? said Ramachandran while delivering a special talk conducted as part of celebrating ten years of the Tamil Heritage Trust held at the Kalyana Nagar Association in RA Puram recently.

Speaking about the ASB, Ramachandran said it attracted scholars like English orientalist James Prinsep, who discovered the Brahmi script and decoded inscriptions of emperor Asoka, and others like historian and arts administrator EB Havell. But these genuine British scholars, according to Ramachandran, were replaced by prejudiced historians like John Stuart Mill, who are sadly better remembered even in India, while giants of historical research like Jones and Prinsep are forgotten. ?The laymen, and even school or college students, know about the common ancestry of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Persian, etc the Indo- European language family, but not about William Jones who discovered their commonality and the language family,? said Ramachandran, who is director of the Centre of Brain and Cognition in San Diego.

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