Sanjeev Sanyal, Member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister, said efforts were on to revive the ancient ‘stitched ship technology’ practised by Indians to build ships centuries ago.
He was speaking at the national Dhara event – ‘Samudramanthan’ to focus on Odisha’s glorious seafaring history and create the vision document on maritime traditions – 2047 which kicked off here on Tuesday.
Sanyal highlighted India’s ancient maritime exploits saying it was the only country after which an ocean had been named.
“India wielded enormous influence in South East Asia through its trade, culture and geo-politics during that time”, he said, adding that efforts were on to revive the ancient ‘stitched ship technology’ practised by Indians to build ships centuries ago.
Speaking to PTI, Sanyal said India’s maritime history is unfortunately not fully appreciated, its Indian Ocean and much of this history of the coast is unfortunately drowned out.
“I have tried to do through my books and research to bring back this maritime history back into conversation, back into consciousness and we are hoping one way we can do it is by reconstructing a stitch ship from 2000 years ago and hopefully sail all the way from Odisha to Bali,” he said.
“Some of you may know there is an existing popular festival called ‘Balijatra’ which happens on Kartik Purnima. This commemorates what better way to relive and commemorate it than to build a real instant design ship and to sail on those ancient routes,” Sanyal said.
The Dhara events held so far, Sanyal said, included India’s contribution to the field of mathematics, India’s calendar system, astrophysics and astronomy, ayurveda and martial arts. The programme on maritime tradition was planned in Odisha because of the state’s glorious tradition in the field, he said Prof G S Murthy of Indian Knowledge System Division of Ministry of Education said: “Samudramanthan was part of the Dhara series of events which focused on India’s past history and achievements while endeavouring to connect the same with the present and prepare an action plan for the next 25 years.”