Any study of classical Egypt, Greece or China would naturally include accomplishments in all those fields, so why are most of our Indian historians so shy of dealing with them? I believe plain ignorance of India's traditional knowledge systems is one factor; this attitude is largely a subconscious relic of the colonial era, which had decreed that India's literatures were vehicles of superstition rather than of any genuine knowledge. As a result, most scholars prefer to confine themselves to an overview of literature and the arts. Yet scientific and technological advances are of equal importance; ironically, we owe the first studies of them to a few fine European scholars of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Henry Thomas Colebrooke, G. Thibaut or Léon Rodet.
Indian scholars followed with major contributions, but Independent India did little to promote the field: no Indian university has a department of history of science. Search the Internet for a substantial resource on past Indian mathematicians and you will soon reach the website of Scotland's University of St. Andrews. Indeed, scholars from the U.S., France, Japan or New Zealand have in recent years contributed important studies to the field. On the other hand, most of their Indian colleagues — thankfully there have been quite a few and of a very high order — have worked with little or no institutional support. It is hard to understand why our educational system and intellectual circles have failed to realise the importance of history of science as a full-fledged academic discipline. And a very enriching one, too, for it deals not just with the evolution of scientific ideas but with the interface between many civilisations and cultures.
This lacuna is what needs to be addressed. The historians behind the recent IHC petition should realise that some of the blame for the distortions they object to lies at their own door. Their resolution is titled "In Defence of Scientific Method in History," but what is "scientific" about suppressing the genuine achievements of Indian science? If our students had substantial exposure to them, they would feel no need to let their imagination run wild.