Sunday, November 16, 2014


The still-fairly-new BJP government has managed to drop some rather interesting statements with respect to science and rationality. First, a person no less than the prime minister opined that ancient Indians invented plastic surgery and reproductive genetics, producing as clinching proof, the examples of Karan from the Mahabharata and the elephant-headed god, Ganesh. Later on, the home mister, Rajnath Singh decided to switch tracks from biology to physics and claim that Heisenberg's theory of uncertainty is based on the Vedas.

People occupying high government office and holding irrational views, however, is not something that India is totally unaccustomed to. Back in 1950, India was to be declared a republic on 26 January in order to commemorate the Congress' 1930 Purna Swaraj resolution. However, one person disagreed with the date: Rajendra Prasad, the current president of India. Prasad had been elected President with Patel's backing largely because of his conservative views (Nehru supported the liberal Rajaji but was outmanoeuvred by Patel). True to his conservatism, Prasad opposed the date because he thought it would be astrologically inauspicious.  Nehru, of course, ignored this line of reasoning and in reply shot off this caustic, withering letter.

Source: Jawaharlal Nehru Vol.2 1947-1956 By Sarvepall Gopal

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