In a shocking act of twisting facts, the Kerala State Board has falsified facts about Indian contribution to the field of health and sciences by crediting Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahwari the ‘Father of Surgery‘ instead of Indian physician Sushruta.
Al-Zahwari was an Arab physician and chemist believed to have lived some time in the 10th century CE. Some historians claim that Al-Zahwari illustrated certain surgical tools and performed minor surgeries during his time. However, according to a widely-known fact, Sushruta, who lived much earlier than Al-Zahwari during the 8th century, is the ‘Father of Surgery’.
Sushruta in his book Sushruta Samhita has given information about medicine and surgery. The Sushruta Samhita or The Compendium of Susruta, documented the etiology of more than 1,100 diseases, the use of hundreds of medicinal plants, and instructions for performing scores of surgical procedures – including three types of skin grafts and reconstruction of the nose.
The Sushruta Samhita is one of the most important surviving ancient treatises on medicine and is considered a foundational text of Ayurveda. The treatise addresses all aspects of general medicine, but the impressive chapters on surgery have led to the false impression that this is its main topic. The translator G.D. Singhal dubbed Suśruta “the father of surgery” on account of these detailed accounts of surgery,and many scholars have repeated this cachet, usually as part of an provenance claim about the history of science.
The controversial content is printed on page 34 of a Class 9 social science textbook under the title great people and their contributions, reports Organiser.
The deliberate falsification of established facts by crediting one’s achievement to mythical individuals in an attempt to secularize education by the Kerala government has generated a massive controversy in Kerala. It is also being alleged that the Kerala government is knowingly using such distorted textbooks to teach to students and added that such acts can be a serious threat to the India’s civilization fabric, as students who learn these errors without verifying actual facts.