By Pervez Bari
New Delhi: The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has described the 106th Indian National Science Congress, held at Phagwara in Jalandhar, Punjab recently, as the theatre of the absurd. It can also be correctly said “Indian Science Circus”, the party said.
SDPI national general secretary Abdul Majeed in a statement said that Indian Science Congress is nothing but a Mela (fair) if not a Circus as a Scientist noted. It is high time it is closed and a new organization purely Scientific is formed with least interference from Government.
Abdul Majeed said the atrocious claim made by Andhra University VC Nageswara Rao at the Indian National Science Congress that the Kauravas of Mahabharata were born out of stem cell research and test tube fertilization process and that Raavana had more than 24 types of aircraft, the Pushpaka Vimana just one among them, has left the scientific community stunned.
Abdul Majeed sad that in one fell swoop, AU’s VC, Mr. Nageswara Rao has outdone Narendra Modi who once claimed that India was advanced in years of yore that Indian scientists transplanted an elephant’s head on a human body which happens to be Lord Ganesh worshipped by Hindus. He has also pulled ahead of Home Minister and physics Lecturer Rajnath Singh who is also renowned for such preposterous statements as Heisenberg Uncertainty principle is based on Vedas. So, VC Nageswara Rao is in good company!
He has hailed the joint letter signed by 37 distinguished science academics and communicators who were appalled by such statements against the “unscientific claims” made at the Indian Science Congress this year. The letter was sent to the general president of the Indian Science Congress Association expressing their deep shock and agony that false claims, based on confusing episodes in mythology as science. They lamented that scientific presentations made to the Children Science Congress wherein such claims tarnish the image of Indian science globally, and also undermine the credibility of the genuine contributions of the great science personalities of yore, that too, in front of young and impressionable minds.
He said that a Vice Chancellor talking like this in a Science Congress is absolutely ludicrous. Who lets this clown mix mythology with Science? There are lots of great Scientists in India and allowing this type of non-scientific nonsense is just horrible. The problem is with people like the AU’s VC who hold positions of responsibility and influence, but whose beliefs are blinded with their passion for upholding Hindu mythology and asserting the fantastical bits as highly advanced scientific achievements of the ancients. The pity is that the numbers of such naive, irrational and unintelligent individuals seem to grow rapidly.
He said if this opinion had been expressed by a peon of the Andhra University, it would have been lamentable but perhaps excusable. If the VC of a university holds and expresses such an opinion-and that too at the meeting of a science conference–there is no hope for higher education, no hope for science or technology in India. Does it raise serious questions–who appointed him as the VC? On what basis are VCs appointed at a University?
Abdul Majeed suggested the Indian Science Congress should seriously evaluate the speakers who it invites to speak at its meetings. It should not become a laughing stock of Indian academia. Pity the students of Andhra University who will have his signature on their diplomas.