Pseudo-science and religious loonies: Modi needs to purge the riff-raff he attracts

Narendra Modi’s new BJP government in India has been a breath of fresh air after the stagnant, smelly and stale environment in which the previous Congress government had got itself stuck in. It is still early days yet but Narendra Modi will need to get to grips with his idiot fringe before they leach away all his gains. The loony, religious Hindu right feel empowered and and are making fools of themselves. The sad part is that they elevate bigotry and prejudice and religious violence as being justified for their “holy cause”.

The idiot fringe consists  – among others – of supposedly pious people (men and women) who claim that “goodness” is implicit in being a “Hindu”. They bask in the reflected glory of the supposedly great days of Rama but their grasp of history is a little less than zero and is mostly imagined. Their use of pseudoscience and their interpretation of ancient scriptures sounds like those who manage to read every current event into the soothsayings of Nostradamus. They threaten to make Modi’s government a laughing stock. Before too long Modi will need to purge the BJP of the lunatic fringe.

They usually make up history whenever – and wherever – they lack knowledge. They have started a campaign of reconverting people they claim were converted to Islam or Christianity in the first place. They are not averse to using violence in their self-defined “just causes”.  They include idiots who are Members of Parliament calling for every good Hindu woman to have 5 children each! The same MP called Gandhi’s assassin a “patriot”. They also tend to be the same people who inculcate the culture of feudal fiefdoms and accord themselves and their followers the right of “droit du seigneur”. The so-called “god-men” are perhaps the worst sexual predators around.  They not only allow but they sanctify the rape culture that is endemic in all of urban India.

They also include those who would claim that ancient Hindu culture was responsible for all the major inventions and discoveries of the last 2,000 years. This has led to a wave of pseudo-science which is perceived by the loony right as being “politically correct” and fashionable under the new government. Unfortunately many academics are too cowed down by their own perceptions of career and government patronage to resist the nonsense. Even the Indian Science Congress currently going on feels that it must give space to the the pseudo-scientists and the charlatans. Allowing pseudo-science is academic misconduct which is just as bad as faking data.

One entire session of the current program (Indian Science Congress 2015 program) is devoted to “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit”.

Pseudo-science at the Indian Science Congress 2015

Pseudo-science at the Indian Science Congress 2015

The nonsense claims range from the origin of hominids being in India to Vedic nanoscience and elephant urine as fuel for powered flight.

Indian Express: The paper on aviation is part of a symposium on “ancient Indian sciences through Sanskrit”, and will be presented by Captain Anand Bodas, retired principal of a pilot training centre, and Ameya Jadhav, lecturer at Mumbai’s Swami Vivekanand International School and Junior College. ……. The abstract of the Bodas-Jadhav paper says: “Aviation technology in ancient India is not a tale of mythology, but it is a total historical document giving technical details and specifications. Ancient Sanskrit literature is full of descriptions of flying machines, Vimanas. “From the many documents found, it is evident that the scientist-sages Agastya and Bharadwaja had developed the lore of aircraft construction. Aeronautics or Vaimaanikashastra is a part of Yantra Sarvasva of Bharadwaja. This is also known as Brihadvimaana Shastra. Vaimaanikashastra deals with aeronautics, including the design of aircraft, the way they can be used for transportation and other applications, in detail.” According to the abstract, the knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3000 slokas. “Great sage Bharadwaja explained the construction of aircraft and way to fly it in air, on land, on water and use the same aircraft like a submarine,” the abstract says.

“He also described the construction of war planes and fighter aircraft. This paper will deal with manufacturing an alloy for making aeroplanes, the specialised dress material being virus proof, waterproof and shock proof for the pilots. This was given by Bhardwaja sage in Brihatvimanshashtra. He had mentioned 97 reference books for aviation.”

According to the abstract, the paper will provide a short account of the special diet for aviators, and on “emergency food” for times when regular “fooding facility was not available or possible”, as recommended in the Aharadhikaran. “Bharadwaja has considered the climatic changes in the atmospheric levels while considering the dressing of the pilot. He has mentioned 25 types of viruses in the atmosphere which attack the human skin, bones and the body… In Vastradhikaran, he has given the reason for special clothing and the process of making fabric. After studying all above points, which are mentioned in Brihatvimanshashtra, we came to know that ancient Indian sciences and specially aviation technology was so advanced. The most interesting thing about the Indian science of aeronautics and Bharadwaja’s research was that they were successfully tested in actual practice by an Indian over hundred years ago. In 21st century, we should study and spread the achievements of our sages,” says the abstract.

Basking in a past and imagined glory!

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