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Ancient manuscripts need to be translated and read: Debroy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) Chairman Bibek Debroy on Thursday said the country has a rich heritage of manuscripts on variety of subjects which need to be translated for the benefit of all.

Delivering a talk on 'The Relevance of Mahabharata for Our Times' at Observer Researcher Foundation (ORF) here, Debroy said the National Manuscript Mission has listed about 3.8 million manuscripts.

It has estimated that there are 40 million manuscripts in India, public and private collections.

To give a benchmark to this 40 million, he said as per the United Nations, 130 million books in different languages have been published since the invention of printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century.

Debroy said of the 40 million manuscripts, 95 per cent have still not been translated. Two-thirds of the manuscripts are in Sanskrit.

"We have no idea the kind of subjects on which these texts existed...It is high time these texts were translated. It is high time these texts were read," said Debroy, who has translated the unabridged version of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic.

Observing that Kautilya's Arthashastra is not the only text on governance, he said there are host of other 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 instances from Mahabharata.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 22 2019. 19:20 IST