Ancient manuscripts need to be translated and read: Debroy
New Delhi, August 22 () The president of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (EAC-PM), Bibek Debroy, said Thursday that the country has a rich heritage of manuscripts on a variety of topics that should be translated for the benefit of everyone.
In giving a talk about 'The relevance of Mahabharata for our times' at the Observer Researcher Foundation (ORF) here, Debroy said that the National Manuscript Mission has listed about 3.8 million manuscripts.
It has been estimated that there are 40 million manuscripts in India, public and private collections.
To give a reference point to these 40 million, he said according to the United Nations, 130 million books have been published in different languages since the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century.
Debroy said that of the 40 million manuscripts, 95 percent have not yet been translated. Two thirds of the manuscripts are in Sanskrit.
We have no idea of the type of topics on which these texts existed ... It is time for these texts to be translated. It is time for these texts to be read, said Debroy, who has translated the full version of Mahabharata, the great Indian Epic.
Noting that Kautilya's Arthashastra is not the only text on governance, he said there is a great deal of literature on the subject. Debroy also talked about Itihasa, Puranas, Ramayana, Sanskrit poetry, Dharma and the dilemma of what is morally right and wrong citing cases of Mahabharata. NKD CS ANU ANU