Indian newspapers recently carried stories of the police allegedly using mumbo-jumbo tantriks to talk to the dead to solve murder mysteries. Soon after came stories of a reputed media house publishing a book that claimed to unravel the journey of the soul and life after death. Later a well-known computer scientist supported the police’s attempts to talk to the dead. A few months prior to this was the Unnao gold dig where archeologists started digging for gold based on a seer’s dream. These are just a few of the countless cases of irrational behaviour that are so blatant and mainstream in India.
Why is it that despite science being such a prized subject in schools and colleges, do Indians do so badly at adopting a scientific approach? Continue reading “Question the guru. Question the sanskars.”
A few months back came the shocking news of the Palkar family suicide in Pune, where Arun Palkar(40), a well off electrical contractor consumed sleeping pills along with his wife (37) and children aged 11 & 6. He did so because he believed that Shani (Saturn) and Mangal (Mars) were so unfavourably placed in his horoscope that irrespective of what he did, he & his family would never be happy. It is likely that he even planned the suicide so as to rescue his family from present & future suffering. Continue reading “Astrology vs Science & Reason | Which side are you on?”
I spoke about “Scientific Temper : The Forgotten Duty” at the Takshashila Shala held on 29th May 2011 in Pune, India.
Abstract: India’s constitution says that “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”. However the fact on the ground is that despite rising literacy rates, there are no signs of Indians adopting scientific temperament as a way of life. India actually seems to be heading the other way, with orthodoxy, superstitions & pseudo sciences becoming an integral part of an Indian’s life.
In this talk I look at what scientific temper entails, the evolution of the idea, what’s gone wrong & why there’s still hope that we can nurture analytical minds and pull India out of the quagmire of superstitions.
Vasant Vyakhanmala (Spring time Lecture series) is a most remarkable undertaking. It’s an annual event that was first held in 1875 in Pune by social reformer Justice Ranade and is being held every year since. Many of India’s top leaders & visionaries have spoken at the event and I am told that it was especially popular in the pre-independence era, with 1000s attending the lectures. Continue reading “Vasant Vyakhanmala (Spring-time Lecture Series), Pune, India – Since 1875!!!”
From the IndicThreads Education Press Release. You are welcome to link – share >>
IndicThreads, a technology media pioneer, creators of the IndicThreads.com software developer portal & the IndicThreads Technology Conferences, announces the launch of ‘IndicThreads Education‘ a novel initiative in business & technology education. The courses are path-breaking in their content & way ahead of their time as compared to curriculum of traditional education courses in India.
IndicThreads Education kicks off with three courses, all of which are a first for education in India – 1) Internet For Business & Development 2) Internet Entrepreneurship 3) Information Technology Security & Compliance
My presentation on ‘Internet For Business Development’ at Barcamp Pune, Nov 2009. The learning was part of my preparations while designing the Internet For Business Development & Internet Entrepreneurship course for IndicThreads Education.The session gives an overview of how the Internet has changed business and business development activities forever & how today’s entrepreneurs & business development professionals need to harness the power of technology and the Internet to deliver better sales, stronger brands & a larger customer base for the enterprise.
Continue reading “Internet For Business Development”
Every year lakhs of pilgrims walk for over 3 weeks to Pandharpur, driven solely by devotion and faith. A mass of humanity at one place at one time, however also offers a unique opportunity for the government as well as non-government organizations to get across social messages to the people at the grass roots, the ones who matter most for any long lasting social impact.
I was fortunate to be part of one such undertaking this year. Hariyali is an NGO that has been working actively in the field of eco-conservation for over a decade. Most of its work has been in the Thane area. However for the past 3 years it has been conducting a novel campaign of seed distribution amongst warkaris on the pilgrimage to Pandharpur.
The modus operandi of the campaign is quite simple. Mobilize school children in the city to collect seeds of various trees and to pack them into small brown paper packets, each packet carrying about a 100 seeds. Next, utilize the services of volunteers and school children in towns on the pilgrimage route, to spread awareness amongst the warkaris and to distribute the seed packets….
(Cont…Click the scanned article image on the left). Published as part of my column for the Maharashtra Herald that’s published on alternate Saturdays.
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