The Nobel Prize-winning scientist of Indian origin Venkatraman Ramakrishnan rightly dubbed the Indian Science Congress a “circus” after he had to sit and watch an audience applaud Narendra Modi‘s mantra of five “E’s” in Mysore three years ago.
Pseudo-science dressed up in ideology is in great demand at these gabfests of sycophancy, and at previous editions of the “circus”, all manner of claims have been made by jokers in all seriousness, and gone mostly unchallenged by the devout.
# In 2014, Modi himself led the BS brigade by claiming the elephant face of Lord Ganesha was evidence of the existence of plastic surgery in India in ancient times.
# In 2015, the world was told that an Indian sage had invented aeroplanes in the Vedic era.
# In 2019, a University VC said a story in Mahabharatha of a woman bearing 100 children was proof of stem-cell technology and in vitro fertilization.
# Another claimed Isaac Newton did not understand how gravity works. And that Albert Einstein‘s theory of relativity was a “big blunder” that had misled the world.
All this is obviously par for the course, or grass for the gaus, when a Union minister counters Charles Darwin and claims that monkeys didn’t turn into men because no one saw them do so.
Or, when the “science” minister asserts that Stephen Hawking believed the Vedas had a better theory than e=mc2.
Although there were no such eye-popping announcements, the 2020 edition of the “circus”, held in BJP-ruled Bangalore last weekend and presided over by a scientist booked for corruption just a fortnight earlier, was not without its moments.
The Kannada daily Praja Vani (above) reports that a participant on Sunday suggested that scientists should look at the influence of the divine and the devilish on man.
“Science is still in its infancy in understanding humankind. The influence of the physical and psychological on humans is known.
“Scientists must probe the influence of external forces, the divine and the devilish, the good and the evil, too. Yoga and meditation can help do that,” said H.R. Nagendra, of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYAS), a deemed University.
Freud and Jung would be over the moon to hear this. And maybe deeper psychoanalysis might explain a lot of things happening in India 2020.
Nagendra has impeccable credentials. A PhD from Indian Institute of Science, his Wikipedia page has NASA on it.
He was awarded the Padma Sri in 2016. And a 2015 New York Times interview described him as Narendra Modi’s yoga consultant from long before he became PM or CM.
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