Modi Baba Ramdev Pseudoscience

Right Wing Assault on Science

The political trend in many countries across the globe has seen a surge in right wing policies being championed by bigoted leaders under facades of romanticising the past, and false promises vowing to bring back the mythological ‘glorious days’. This trend can be seen across the globe be it the US or India. The so called leaders propagate twisted versions of history and use the mass media at their disposal to promote the same. In their pathetic attempt to glorify the past, these leaders have declared a silent war on the scientific community of the world. The developments that took place through tedious research and the lessons formulated from studying the previous blunders are belittled.

A best example of such a l(iar)eader has now become the president of United States. Its no secret that Donald Trump could easily be the most deceiving president in the history of the USA if not the entire world. Trump has been actively using social media platform to propagate his lies among the people and inturn lead a large number of people into believing that the nonsense he tweeted could actually be true. He suggested that vaccinating kids could cause autism and coined the term ‘doctor-infected autism’ dishonouring the years of research and hardwork people put in that profession. Trump in another instance claimed that wind turbines and energy efficient lightings are an environmental disaster. This constant lying and spreading false information among people eventually lead to the withdrawal of US from the Paris climate agreement and scrapping of EPA recommendations for coal projects. He restricted the science departments from publishing their works to the public and went a step further by cutting funds for various research programs.

A similar trend is being seen in India under Narendra Modi. Like his counterpart in the US, Modi also prefers to engage in propagating false stories and misinformation among the people rather than focussing on vital research projects that would help the billion plus population of this country. The Modi regime has been carrying out the saffronization of science in India, and this was evident in the Indian science association congress events, where a paper was presented on the health benefits of blowing the ‘sangha’ (a Horn used in Hindu rituals). The event received much backlash among the international science community, particularly from the Indian scientists working abroad. Modi’s regime has made it their government’s primary focus to establish the Hindu religious beliefs and myths as scientific facts and allotted huge sums of funds for carrying out such researches rather than focussing on much vital projects that could benefit the people of this country.

Probably the first project advertised in 2014 soon after the Modi regime came to power was the research project to revive a mythological holy river Saraswati’ described only in the Hindu religious scriptures. The government spent millions of rupees on research of a mythological water body that was claimed to have existed 4000 years ago. The area where the claimed ‘research’ took place, Rajasthan faced severe droughts and food shortages during the consequent years. Even slightest bit of interest in people’s welfare than their religious agenda would have greatly reduced the severity of the drought.

Beginning then, till date the current Modi regime has been constantly pushing & funding to prove religious beliefs as scientific proofs. Various research projects being pursued for religious benefits include, setting up of a government panel to study the role of cow urine (gomutra) & cow dung in curing diseases. A research panel at the Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) supposedly claimed that it has identified traces of gold in cow urine. The Agricultural Research Council sub-committee on basic science that reviewed the findings of the team led by Prof Balu Golakia and went to the extent of actually validating this ridiculous claim!

The Govt heeds only to claims by fraudulent researchers like Prof. Golakia, who can in turn be used to further their own agenda, than listening to honest reseachers that give unfavourable results to the government.

In addition to these projects, the government has funded & supported a private entity ‘Patanjali’ headed by the fraud yoga guru – Baba Ramdev with land and resources for developing and marketing commercial products like soaps and cosmetics based on Cow urine & dung. In addition to these the Modi regime is hell bent on pushing Yoga as a universal healing technique and has invested in developing it and attaching its roots to Hinduism.

As we have seen in both the cases (US & India) the right wing forces are constantly pushing their hidden agenda for their hate based politics and are deliberately preventing the masses from getting benefited by the advances in science and technology (by denying them resources). These forces are not only causing harm ideologically, but are actually ruining the social fabric and also the environment by pursuing their pseudo scientific agenda.

Naveen Angamuthu

Bangalore