Thought Box



by Satyabrata Ghosh May 30 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins, 18 secs

Satyabrata Ghosh juxtaposes the ritualistic inauguration of the new Parliament building in New Delhi on the 28th May 2023, with the convenient denial of science by a politics that thrives on keeping citizens of a nation in the dark.

The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the new Parliament building on Sunday. He walked inside the Parliament premises dressed in a crisp dhoti and kurta for religious ceremonies. Amid chanting of Vedic hymns, the Prime Minister performed the Ganapati Homam as part of the Vastu Pooja rituals, prostrated before the 'Sengol', the ceremonial sceptre that traces its tradition back to the Chola dynasty that took roots in the third century BCE. The high priests of 21 'adheenams' from Tamil Nadu consecrated the 'Sengol' and handed it over to the Prime Minister, who carried it in a ceremonial procession to the new Parliament building and installed it on the right side of the Lok Sabha Speaker's chair.

All-religion prayers were also held to mark the inauguration of the new parliament building. Spiritual strains of Shaivite hymns from the sacred Thevaram text set the tone for the ceremonial rituals. Priests from the Sringeri Math of Karnataka performed the ceremonial Vastu Pooja. Priests from the same Math had performed the rituals at the ground-breaking ceremony on December 10, 2020.

At least 20 opposition parties boycotted the inauguration of the new Parliament building, contending that the first woman Adivasi President, Droupadi Murmu, being the head of the state, should have done the honours and that the rituals being performed in what is called ‘the temple of democracy’ was alienating other religions that coexist with Hinduism, unsecular, autocratic and unconstitutional.

Who are the true victims of a regime, which thrives on nurturing God as the creator of mankind? Aren’t they the children studying in schools with an aspiration to make some substantive careers based on their education?

For a moment, just overlook the hordes of bhakts whose primary aim is to derive all material privileges by chanting Ram’s name. Time and again, a scene from Anand Patwardhan’s ‘Ram Ke Naam’ (1992) comes to mind where an inebriated karsevak while marching towards Ayodhya, submits to his basic instinct while pausing in his chanting. They, therefore, are not in concern here, since they are well aware that their assertions have neither historical nor scientific basis. But when it comes to children, who are yet to yearn for material gains other than the marks they secure in their examinations (if at all they are a yardstick of any material gain), the regime is hell-bent on brain-washing them.

The Minister of Human Resources defied Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in 2018. According to him, it’s a ‘myth’ that human beings have evolved from apes. If this was a personal statement of a gentleman who might genuinely feel the divinity, which made him what he was, one could have overlooked it. Scientists from the Indian National Science Academy New Delhi, Indian Academy of Sciences Bengaluru and National Academy of Sciences Allahabad (now Prayagraj) then rubbished the minister in a joint statement and clarified the obnoxiousness of his unscientific words.

Fact is, Charles Darwin only initiated a theoretical basis of human evolution after a period of long observation of apes in the Galapagos Islands before he published his book “Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” in 1859. His theory practically inspired scientists to augment the theory of evolution further. Now this is common knowledge, so it is obvious that one who had completed his school would know it well. The minister in question might have been an exception, but the chronology proved that he was not.

Instead of his ignorance, the minister was simply parroting words preached by a doctrine of bigotry, which today, finally identifies the enemy and has eliminated his works from the school syllabi. The students of Class IX and X will no longer learn the clues of human evolution. And those who choose Biology as a subject for their Class XI and XII will become aware of Physiology without ever having known of Charles Darwin!

But why is evolution considered so harmful that it has been kicked out from the Life Science books at the secondary level? Simply because the theory of evolution has decimated the well-constructed and widely preached sermon that humans are the greatest output of the heavenly creator. Even after the Renaissance in Europe during the 14th century, when humans were put at the centre of all creation, the Holy Bible stuck adamantly to the fact that defying divinity equated to blasphemy. Christianity, with all its strong arms, had assigned every attempt of human excellence over divinity to being a treachery. While Christianity was ruthlessly suppressing every voice of reason, Charles Darwin postulated his theory of human evolution. His scientific observations reinforced that life on Earth would not have been possible unless it had evolved with time. 

More importantly, his theory about the survival of species is contrary to the Biblical myth related to Noah’s Ark. He made it certain that the survival of life amid incessant struggle could only be assured when the species adapted itself to nature. So, he propounded his theory about the survival of the fittest, which, again according to him, is a natural law devoid of divinity. This idea of natural selection and its sound scientific basis put the theosophists and missionaries in a tight spot. Spreading the dated idea of divinity’s intervention among the enlightened ones has been a tough proposition ever since. 

Interestingly, the die-hard Muslims too, could not adapt their means of propagating the divine intervention in human lives. For them, Allah, is still the sole creator of the living universe, just as the die-hard Hindus are convinced that the universe took form out of the semen dropped by the hermits of mythical time. It was Nicholas Copernicus, who first propounded that Earth is a part of the large solar family. Since then, the theosophists had concentrated to disseminate the idea that human destiny is controlled by none other than divine power. Charles Darwin, with his theory of evolution, decimated the foundation of this divine intervention. 

With the active support of Thomas Henry Huxley, the esteemed biologist who specialized in comparative anatomy, Charles Darwin could escape the wrath of the theosophists who were eager to take action against his ‘blasphemy’. Once a Bishop in a London debate sarcastically asked Huxley, which side he was carrying the inheritance of ape – paternal or maternal, to which Huxley commented that he would rather prefer to inherit traits from the apes rather than those who keep suppressing the truth and their power of reasoning. 

Religious establishments have always been at the loggerhead with every progress that science has made over the century. Even Newton’s theory of gravitation had to face attacks based on everything but science. An American teacher was persecuted because he was teaching Darwinism to his students. Despite such a heavy-handed manner of theosophists to diminish science, the believers of divine existence have to surrender before the invincibility of science. 

Madhav Shiv Golwarkar, the second head of RSS denied the age of science, yet he suggested bringing in changes within the ambit of religion with the changing scenario where facts of science become the cornerstone of human civilization. But, to retain his position in the domain of his religion, he asserted that indulging in such changes would threaten the existence of religion. He was right, of course. Because science has always been the subject of attack when it has inspired people to think with reason. So, what remains unchanged over the centuries, across the globe, is to perpetrate attacks on science when it questions the blind faith, which helps religion to thrive. With all its might, the religion, therefore, has made attempts to silence scientific voices that question ‘faith’. 

The rampage continues by bringing in characters from epics to eclipse the harsh reality of day-to-day living. The Sengol being the latest concept, which was not given as much importance by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for obvious reasons. Would we have the IITs and AIIMS, the many institutions of science and discovery in India, if he governed the country on blind faith?

Instead of eliminating poverty and inequality that plague the country, mythical postulations are presented as pieces of evidence of Hindu supremacy in ‘scientific tradition’, which is to be zealously preserved. Therefore attempts are made repeatedly so that no one questions the supremacy of a particular breed of Hinduism that helps the powerful one to further his divide and rule.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.