While there are new scientific researches taken up every day, new discoveries and more progress being made in the tech world, there are still some sections of our society, or should we say some people, who just love to stay backward. When you are in the age of Higgs Boson research, irrational comments won’t fly. And, when they are made, they’ll be met with an intense backlash. The outcry on scientists claims was natural. A pretty good response to all the baseless opinions! But, the concern is why are they still being made in our country which has sent spacecraft to the moon and Mars? Seems like we need a deep introspection.
What Really Happened?
Reportedly, there were some facts twisted and morphed at an event of ISC (Indian Science Congress). Science took a little bashing, too. And, that was not done by some layman or a party member, but by two scientists at elevated posts. One of them is the Vice Chancellor of the reputed Andhra University, G Nageshwar Rao.
Some of the remarks were so ludicrous that you would wonder if you should laugh or pity them. For example, according to Rao, the test tube and stem cell technology were originated in India thousands of years ago. He cited the 100 Kauravas who were born through this technology rather than from a womb. They also claimed that Ravana had 24 varieties of aircraft and also has airports for them. And, there’s more. They also went on to claim that theories of Newton and Einstein were wrong.
Scientists these days!
When People Took to Streets
And, what was the result of all this? The huge protests, of course. Their statements were met with patent widespread ridicule and contempt. From common man to eminent researchers & scientists, everybody joined in the mass protest. Several held placards and silently protested outside the IISc Bengaluru with messages like “Don’t make Indians a laughing stock”, “Is Indian Science Congress for or against Science Progress?”, “Time to speak up for science” among others. Many from the Breakthrough Science Society (BSS) and members from Akhila Karnataka Vicharavadigala Vedike (a forum for Karnataka Rationalists) were also the main part of it.
The remarks didn’t go down well even with other members of the Indian Science Congress. They termed the whole episode as a ‘matter of serious concern’. And, soon what followed was complete denial from any association or support for those who delivered the dubious comments. Indian Scientific Congress Association’s general secretary Premendu P. Mathur stated that “We don’t subscribe to their views and distance ourselves from their comments. This is unfortunate.” The noted chemistry professor CNR Rao, too, implied his disgust stating that “I avoid attending sessions of the Congress. If I attend, it might appear as if I am endorsing these statements and claims.”
Bizarre Utterances Just Never Die
While the voice of those two scientists was overpowered by and large, the issue is not resolved, not in the least. Year after year, such claims are made which somehow either try to disprove (or look down upon) theoretical physics or try to show that the present-day technology was known to India for thousands of years.
In 2014, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, a known lawmaker, stated that astrology is the biggest science and the actual science is a dwarf in front of it. A research paper was also submitted at the Indian Science Congress only which claimed how God Brahma documented dinosaurs in the ancient scriptures after discovering them. And, there’s more, in 2017, the Rajasthan’s education minister said that cow is the only animal which exhales and inhales oxygen while trying to shed light on the mammal’s “scientific significance”.
A Final Note…
The love for the religion and tendency to incorporate it in everyday life is understandable, but challenging well-established and tested science principle is unacceptable. That too, when one has no concrete proof at all. There are legends and tales to every religion, but that doesn’t mean we start distorting facts. There’s Greek mythology which states that Apollo could take the form of a dolphin and Athena has a thousand eyes. But, we never see them coming up with assertions that try to refute scientific claims or claiming today’s technology as their own invention. There’s mythology, there’s religion, and then there’s science. It’s obvious, all these will not agree with one another at all the times. But, we don’t have to fight that. They all have separate spaces in our life. And, we can surely learn to live practising religion and accept science as the true guide of modern times we live in. At least we can try not to spread false information. That’s the least we can do.