I have always admired how Indians seemed to have accepted and understood evolution better than most developed nations. I used to attribute it to Indian belief systems being more flexible and not as bound by scriptures.
But then the country’s education minister said this yesterday… “Nobody, including our ancestors, have said or written that they ever saw an ape turning into a human being.” and later called for removal of evolution theory from textbooks! #FacePalm
So thought of penning this quick note. Hope to soon enhance this piece or write a new detailed piece based on my understanding of evolution. Continue reading “Evolution, Science & Education in India”
Just finished reading “The Sceptical Patriot”, a book that examines the veracity of popular “India Facts” like Invented the zero, Sanskrit is the best language for computers, India never invaded another country, India was once the most prosperous nation, Plastic surgery was developed in India … The author deals with several such “facts” that gets bandied over email, facebook, dinner conversations and more. He deals with them in a layman-friendly and mildly-funny text of 200 odd pages.
The aim of the book and also this post is not to mock, belittle or ignore India’s past achievements but to take a realistic view based on the evidence available. Continue reading “Learning From History – At Peace With History (The Sceptical Patriot)”
Happy Gudhi Padwa! The new year day for many Marathi households and also the day when thousands of mango, neem trees and many other plants get ripped of their leaves and flowers for a symbolic Gudi decoration.
The leaves and flowers are supposed to make the Gudhi more appealing. but maybe it is time to consider if the leaves and flowers are better off ‘alive and well’ on the plant or ‘dead’ on the Gudhi? Maybe the tree could be your Gudhi (put a silver pot over it for a day the tree wont mind 🙂 Or even better, maybe we could welcome the new year by planting a sapling?
As students of science, shouldn’t we also be examining customs and beliefs in the light of the science of the day and with the context of the times we live in?
गुढी पाडवा आणि नवीन वर्षाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा !
Wish you a Goody Gudi Padwa 🙂
I have been volunteering for Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Maharashtra Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith), usually referred to as Anis, for over 3 years and was fortunate to be closely associated with Dr Dabholkar over that period. I write this in great shock, disbelief and sorrow.
For over two decades, Dr. Dabholkar fought against rampant superstitions in our society and for the cause of rationalism and humanism. While radicals and those with vested interests regularly tried to malign him and project him as someone opposed to religion, that was never the case. Continue reading “I Believe In Dr. Narendra Dabholkar”
For the past 6 months or so, I have been associated with Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANS), an organization that aims to promote rational thought in society and works for the elimination of superstitions, blind faith & customs. Many social movements tend to peak in about 3 years since inception and then tend to die out in another 3-5 years. However the ANS has been at work for a remarkable 20+ years. Continue reading “Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti – 20 Yr Convention”
The story begins many years back, on a beautiful sunny morning in 1997. I was playing cricket in the inter division cricket tournament in my college. I had bowled my quota of overs and we had kept the opposition down to a modest score. Later while batting we were within reach of the target with 10 runs to get and 8 balls to go. 8 balls 10 runs wasn’t easy but I did think we could make it. I took strike, the bowler bowled a delivery that rose to about waist height. I swung the bat in what is known as a pull shot, hoping to get a boundary. My bat moved, my chest and waist rotated in an attempt to generate max power, but my legs did not move. I heard and felt a snap / pop in my left knee and I was down in excruciating pain. I could not even think of getting up, let alone running. After a few minutes of agony, I was helped off the field. We later lost the match. Continue reading “An impatient’s guide to Knee Surgery – Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction and Meniscus Tear”
“The Key Selling Point Of The GodMen Is Their Talk About Things That Make No Sense”
Right from childhood, stories that had their foundation in magic and ‘chamatkars’ always appealed to me. I must have watched 10s of combinations of stories like – Ramu’s son is ill and no doctor is able to cure him; Ramu goes to a godman who whips up a magical powder; Ramu applies the powder on his son’s forehead and the kid is magically cured. As a child, I remember being in awe of the godman and thinking, “Wow! This man is amazing!”. Friends readily contributed their own stories of how the godman was indeed magical.
Continue reading “Magical Men Of 21st Century India”
I used to think that Amitabh Bachchan was a great role model for Indians. But his regular treks to temples across India are consistently eroding his stature in my eyes.
Ref- Bollywood’s Bachchan walks barefoot to pray
India is anyway full of religious fanatics and superstitious people who would believe and follow so called god men and waste their lives believing in some hocus pocus.
The biggest name in India acting in such fashion only makes things worse. I am sure thousands of Amitabh followers would soon imitate Amitabh and maybe even try to make the idols drink milk!
In today’s India it seems “Science” and “Scientific Temper” are topics meant only for speeches but never for actual implementation.