*Descent into an era of darkness!*
*In so many ways!*

In the (very justified) outrage and din over the (so very absurd) deletion
of Mughal rule over very large parts of this land from the history textbook
of the NCERT and such others, the shocking assault on (modern) "science"
proper has gone rather unnoticed.

Now it'd be systematically drilled into young minds and they would be
schooled to unquestioningly and uncritically accept that it is Lord Shiva
who had (originally) employed "plastic surgery" (not even "organ
transplant"!) to produce the elephant-headed god Lord Ganesha!
(Ref.: <

It's precisely in this context, a somewhat recent observation of an eminent
and illustrious public intellectual from the subcontinent turns out to be
so very tellingly prophetic:

"(T)here are paradoxes and contradictions that Hindutva cannot escape as it
seeks to banish Nehru. All Indians, including right-wingers, take great
pride in their country’s scientific achievements. But imagine for a moment
that Narendra Modi, not Jawaharlal Nehru, had been India’s prime minister
in 1947. What might have today’s India looked like in scientific terms?

"Instead of being noted for its exceptional space programme (Mangalyaan!)
and brilliant string theorists (Ashoke Sen!), India would have become a
garbage dump for every kind of crackpot science. Medical research would
have concentrated on medicines made from cow urine and cow dung, the
celibacy of peacocks would be under intense scrutiny, astrology would be
taught in place of astronomy, and instead of teaching actual mathematics
there would be Vedic mathematics. *As in Pakistan, Darwinian evolution
would be considered heretical and destructive of religious faith* [emphasis
added now].

"Nehru’s stamp upon Indian science can be seen across the length and
breadth of India in the form of dozens of scientific institutes and
universities that owe to him. India is probably the world’s only country
whose constitution explicitly declares commitment to the “scientific
temper” — a quintessential Nehruvian notion formulated during his years in
prison. Briefly: only reason and science, not holy scriptures, provide us
reliable knowledge of the physical world."

(Excerpted from 'What India owes to Nehru' by Parvez Hoodbhoy at <

"Knowledge and understanding of evolutionary biology is important not just
to any subfield of biology, but is also key to understanding the world
around us. Evolutionary biology is an area of science with a huge impact on
how we choose to deal with an array of problems we face as societies and
nations from medicine and drug discovery, epidemiology, ecology and
environment, to psychology, and it also addresses our understanding of
humans and their place in the tapestry of life. Although many of us do not
explicitly realise, the principles of natural selection help us understand
how any pandemic progresses or why certain species go extinct, among many
other critical issues.

"*An understanding of the process of evolution is also crucial in building
a scientific temper and a rational worldview. The way Darwin’s painstaking
observations and his keen insights led him to the theory of natural
selection educates students about the process of science and the importance
of critical thinking. Depriving students, who do not go on to study biology
after the 10th standard, of any exposure to this vitally important field is
a travesty of education*. [Emphasis added now.]

"We, the undersigned scientists, science teachers, educators, science
popularisers and concerned citizens disagree with such dangerous changes in
school science education and demand to restore the theory of Darwinian
evolution in secondary education."

(Excerpted from the report below.)

*NCERT Books: 1,800 scientists, researchers demand restoration of Darwin’s
evolution theory*

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