Lack of Scientific Temper In New India

We live in a country where politicians are voted to power based on tall promises which they hardly ever fulfil and yet they are voted back to power every few years.

In the ‘new India’ we live, the syllabus of many subjects has been curtailed but nothing explains the dishonor that the politicians of this country have brought to the discipline of science and scientific temperament.

It appears that we live in an age where the boundaries between science and fiction have been diluted. Myths and superstitions are spread with impunity in ‘New India’.

In this post, we look at the propagation of this ‘scientific distemper’ through a collusion of politicians, public personalities and media. Here are some of the examples of foot in the mouth statements that our politicians have spoken in the recent times.

BJP MP announced that cow milk has traces of gold

Dilip Gosh made this remark while addressing a group of people and when asked about the veracity of his claim, he refused to withdraw his remarks alleging that ‘fools don’t understand the importance of cow’.

In a rather humorous turn of events, a farmer went to ask for a loan while offering cow milk as a collateral. Ghosh is not alone when it comes to making statements which can hardly be backed by facts. Sambit Patra had once remarked that cow dung is worth more than Kohinoor!

BJP MP claims to have treated cancer with help of cow urine

Sadhvi Pragya, never to be left behind in making unscientific statements, claimed to have treated her cancer through cow urine and other cow products including its dung.

Her doctors later clarified that she had three surgeries during her cancer treatment. New India is plagued by folks in public life uttering alternative facts which can’t be sustained on logic and then doubling down on them with impunity.

Rajasthan High Court judge says that peacock is lifelong celibate

Mahesh Sharma, a now retired judge of the Rajasthan High court courted controversy with his comments that peahen get pregnant by drinking the tears of peacock and the peacock is a lifelong celibate. He made these comments while equating peacock with cow and asking for recommendations that killing a cow should be punished with a life term.

Tripura CM says ‘Sanjay saw the war’ through internet

Biplab Deb while interacting with the media noted that Sanjay could see the war in Mahabharta because of the internet. He didn’t stop there. He went on to say that that was only possible due to the presence of satellites during that time. He said that India had all the technology to make it happen then and we should be proud of our technology. It may be the technology of West today but it was first ours.

Test tube babies and high-tech planes in bygone times

G Nageswara Rao, Vice Chancellor of Andhra University claimed during the Indian National Congress that India possessed the technology of test tube babies and Kauravas were exactly that. He also went on to claim that Ravana had twenty four different kinds of planes and various airports inside Lanka. Apparently this is what real research looks like- cooking up stories made to misled and misguide!

Prime Minister’s cloud radar theory

PM Modi in an interview claimed that he gave the go ahead for Balakot air strike despite the bad weather and in his ‘raw wisdom’ noted that clouds can in fact help Indian pilots with stealthing themselves from radars. His theory courted controversy with many experts saying this is utterly false and unscientific.

Summing up

Those were just a few examples of defying science and logic in public discourse by politicians in India. Piyush Goyal once remarked that ‘Don’t get into this Maths. Maths didn’t help Einstein discover gravity’ when asked about India’s falling GDP.

Satyapal Singh, another minister discarded Darwin’s theory of evolution and said that Humans didn’t evolve from chimpanzees but rather existed as Homo Sapiens since the dawn of history. Education minister claimed in Parliament that astrology was superior to science!

The government of New India has little data on job crisis, migrant deaths, farmer suicides, healthcare staff deaths. Probably, this is what New India needs: unscientific temper to hide data and entirely remove facts and logic from public discourse and change it with misinformation and sycophancy.

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