Sanjeev Sanyal, Infra News, ET Infra

Sanjeev Sanyalmember of the Economic Advisory Board of the Prime Minister, said efforts were underway to revive the ancient “stitched ship technology” practiced by Indians to build ships centuries ago.

He spoke at the national Dhara event – ‘Samudramanthan’ to focus on Odishaglorious maritime history and create the vision document on maritime traditions – 2047 which started here on Tuesday.

Sanyal highlighted India’s ancient maritime exploits by saying it was the only country after which an ocean was named.

“India has wielded enormous influence over South East Asia through its trade, culture and geopolitics at that time,” he said, adding that efforts were underway to revive the ancient “sewn ship technology” practiced by the Indians to build ships he centuries ago.

Speaking to PTI, Sanyal said India’s maritime history is sadly not fully appreciated, its Indian Ocean and much of that coast history is sadly drowned out.

“I have tried to do through my books and my research to bring this maritime history back into the conversation, into the consciousness and hopefully one way to do that is to reconstruct a sewing ship from 2000 years ago and I hope navigate all the way from Odisha to Bali,” he said.

“Some of you may know that there is a popular festival called ‘Balijatra’ which takes place on Kartik Purnima. It commemorates what better way to relive it and commemorate it than to build a real ship of instant design and to navigate these ancient routes,” Sanyal said.

Dhara events held so far, Sanyal said, included India’s contribution in the field of mathematics, Indian calendar system, astrophysics and astronomy, Ayurveda and martial arts. The maritime tradition program was planned in Odisha because of the state’s glorious tradition in the field, he said.

Professor GS Murthy from the Indian Knowledge System Division of the Ministry of Education said: “Samudramanthan was part of the Dhara series of events which focused on India’s history and past achievements while s striving to connect with the present and prepare an action plan for the next 25 years.”

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