(~ Taken from pg. 56 of Levy, Joel. Really useful : the origins of everyday things. Willowdale, Ont: Firefly Books, 2002.)
Most people might think that the toilet is some kind of a Western invention. Not quite. In fact, the toilet was invented by the Indus Valley civilization way back in 2500 B.C. Research indicates that this is the first civilization to have a highly advanced toilet and drainage system.
The wealthy citizens of the cities of Mohenjo-Daro had their own private toilets. These toilets were equipped with wooden seats drained by way of a brick based sewage system. The system was quite thorough and even included manholes.
That said…I must say one other thing – even though we Indians – Indian men anyway – have graduated from wooden seats to porcelain thrones, not too many of us have taken advantage of this. Perhaps this has to do with our agrarian roots. You see, I have seen many a man driving along a road, and then when a certain biological need occurs, he pulls over to the side of the road and does some farming.
Well. He either waters the plants or fertilizes the soil!
Other Jots and Tittles: The following also were invented in India, but never really took root there: Kung Fu, the Guitar, Zero (it was not the Arabs!) and Chess.
Finally – Given that civilized West eats with forks and the civilized East (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) eat with chopsticks and we Indians eat with our hands, are we uncivilized barbarians?
Just think of it this way.
Look at your hands. We Indians eat with 2 forks and 10 chopsticks!
The world has yet to catch up with us.