We have witnessed how leaders talk in public that the theory of evolution is wrong, that the first transplant and plastic surgery dates back to Ganesha, that the aeroplanes, missiles and cell phones too were sculpted on the temples from which the scientists across the world copied! Such misinformed talks in the guise of nationalism and religion are a serious threat to the scientific thinking. Promoting cow urine as a cure for any ailment including cancer, claiming herbal cure even for Covid-19 and claims of immunity boosters against Corona are glaring examples of how the public (literates and illiterates alike) is being misled in the name of ancient science. Sadly, the people in power, religious leaders, celebrities, the self proclaimed god-men and the so called scientists endorse these views for their own benefit causing a great irrevocable damage to the society and generation next. Quacks are having a field day with these.
Of late, there is a big wave of conspiracies and superstitions being promoted as legitimate science. Regrettably, these are being promoted as nationalistic thoughts and patriotic ideologies! Any person who talks in a scientific and rationalistic manner is being branded as traitor or anti-national. Further, the Hindutva tag is being added to such superstitious thoughts which triggers the right wing activists to propagandize these to every nook and corner of the country in as many ways as possible especially through the gross misuse of the social media. Galli to Dilli (Streets to Delhi) as it is popular these days, every so called leader started fostering pseudoscience which includes beliefs, theories, or practices that have been or are considered scientific, but have no basis in scientific fact. Science has taken a backseat even in the National Science Congress while the world is watching reflecting a shabby image of our great scientific community and has turned it into a laughing stock. Discussions on Hinduism, its lost glory with the advent of science and so called ancient science in religion have become the order of the day in several mainstream science forums.
It is weird and depressing that highly reputable institutions such as the IITs and some Universities have included courses on unscientific and irrational subjects such as Vaasthu, Astrology, Numerology and Palmistry. Self proclaimed experts in all these domains are encashing on the insanity by inducing fear in the minds of people and claiming magical remedies. Neither the government, nor the regulatory bodies prevent such persons / organizations from giving huge budgeted advertisements. If this trend continues, the day is not too far off in promoting occult practices as science through institutions! No religion preaches or promotes superstitions for sure. But, some people take advantage and exploiting in the semblance of religion to propagate such irrational customs which becomes a part of the culture of that region over a period of time and turns into a practice. Therefore, it’s time for the scientific community to take lead to build scientific temper in the society by conducting awareness programs and campaigns. Yes, the road ahead is not smooth as it only a minority group thinking rationally which has to face the challenges to change the majority.
Build Scientific Temper
The root cause for the acceptance of all such unscientific and pseudoscience theories and discussions lies in the manner children are being brainwashed and conditioned right from childhood. They are not given the freedom of thought and expression right from infancy. They are compelled to follow illogical customs and traditions without questioning why and how in a scientific manner. Initially snubbed by parents and grandparents at home, they are not allowed to question anything either at school or college too! This is followed by the community around which vilifies and labels the person who questions as anti-religious, anti-national, atheist, etc. In short, everything except scientific thinking. What a gory state of affairs!!
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