With the announcement of the Presidential candidate, many reactions are doing rounds. But a prominent one from the Lutyen’s media is Modi failed everyone by not pulling out APJ-esque candidate. May be, may not be. Time will tell. But what did this cabal talk about APJ when Vajpayee announced him as a candidate . Read Away
“Science is tough “(2002)
Why’s the Great Indian Public thrilled about Bomb Daddy for president? Two answers. The first is obvious. We can’t help but feel a little relieved at the manner in which the Sangh has pulled off a cunning theft of secularism.
After Gujarat we are terrified about the Sangh’s plans for the future of India. We had visions of the hairy Sant Paramhans flying up Raisina on an udan khatola.
But in the midst of our fears… bang! Bomb Daddy explodes on the scene. He may be a token but at least he’s not ash-smeared with dreadlocks.
But there’s a second answer: Indians love Science. Science is beloved of the Indian middle-class and particularly of the Hindu patriarchs of the Sangh parivar. In India, Real Men all study Science. Boys are programmed from an early age to make Science their chief obsession. The IITs are shrines to a certain high Hindu male technological libido.
Atomic scientists, writes scientist Dhirendra Sharma, are a ‘super State’ within the State, comprising shadowy brahmanical scientists (mostly all Tam-Brahms and the occasional bawa like Bhabha) living antiseptic and secretive lives, loftily distant from the dirty masses.
They are pampered by the government, ferried back and forth to spotless fortified labs where they carry out incomprehensible expensive experiments. Atomic scientists are the extremely powerful but invisible brahmins of India. Scientism is, in fact, nothing but a version of Hindu brahminism.
Let’s carry out a survey. Murli Manohar Joshi is a physicist. So is NCERT Director J.S. Rajput. BP Singhal is an MSc. Pramod Mahajan is an MSc. Former RSS Sarsangchalak Rajju Bhaiyya taught physics at Allahabad University. Jaswant Singh is a BSc. KS Sudarshan is a telecommunications engineer. And what subject did MS Golwalkar study at Benares Hindu University? Science, of course!
Science, suggests Australian writer Dan Madigan, is particularly compatible with religious fundamentalism. The hard sciences, as opposed to the soft humanities, create an orthodox and extremist mentality. A technological education, Madigan writes, has a ‘can do’ approach. It believes that with the right design and the right materials you can build just about anything, including a technologically engineered history and a technologically controlled society.
The technological mind-set is profoundly impatient with the tentativeness, the ‘softness’ and the endless ‘may-be-may-not-be’ of the humanities. Guess what Osama bin Laden studied? Engineering, naturally. And Mohammad Atta? You got it. Also engineering.
For Indians the Humanities are considered the ‘soft’ option. The Humanities or Arts, the great subjects of Plato and Aristotle which as the name suggests keeps society ‘human’, are subjects like History, Literature and Politics. Yet, paradoxically, these are considered ‘soft’ subjects and are studied mostly by women. Women study Arts. But Men study Science. Science is ‘hard’, extremely macho but potentially insane.
Not that dear old Bomb Daddy has anything in common with fundamentalism. But as he embarks on his high office perhaps he might heed Nehru’s words: “Scientists can’t live in an ivory tower. If Science gets divorced from morality and ethics then it may be used for evil purposes. The scientific spirit must be essentially one of tolerance and the realisation that nobody has a monopoly on the truth.”
Thanks to OpIndia for the throwback 😀