It seems if it is Congress, no matter whether it is political or scientific, will pose a tough challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party. For, even as the Opposition Congress was causing embarrassment to the ruling party over Rafale deal and other issues in Parliament, the 106th Indian Science Congress at Punjab’s Lovely Professional University has brewed a fresh controversy, due to the claims made by a few right wing scholars which have triggered a wave of protests.
Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G Nageswara, in his address Friday at the event, made statements such as Kauravas were test tube babies, Ravana had 24 types of aircraft including Pushpak Viman and Sudarshana Chakra is an example of guided missile technology. Another speaker Kannan Krishnan claimed that theories of ace stalwarts like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking were wrong. While mentioning that Einstein and Newton misled the world, he went on to add that gravitational waves will be renamed ‘Narendra Modi waves’.
These remarks have been condemned by various quarters and activists including IT professionals, teachers, students and members of the scientific community staged a protest Sunday in front of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. In a statement, Breakthrough Science Society said, ‘Puranic verses and epics are poetic, enjoyable, contain moral elements and rich in imagination, but not scientifically constructed or validated theories. It is absolutely distressing that these claims were made in the Children Science Congress section of Indian Science Congress (ISC) where the audience largely comprised teachers and young students.’ Science in ancient India was certainly advanced when compared to other parts of the world of the time. But these claims, which don’t have scientific backing, need better vetting.