Religious Beliefs Must Not Impinge on Sceintific TemperReligion and religious texts contain many references that border on miracles. These miracles have no basis in modern science. It is upon the belief of the adherents of that particular religion as to what spirit they take that miraculous reference in. Noah parted the Red Sea and Lord Rama came to Ayodhya from Lanka in a vaayu yaan. One can either take Noah to be the greatest engineer who could do the impossible or treat the event as Gods miracle. One can believe that Indians invented the aircraft or think that the vaayu yaan route was again a miracle of God. But if one were to strictly believe that all things mentioned in religious or mythological texts actually happened, one is definitely not a believer in science and logical thinking backed by evidence.
By Sunil Garodia
Yet, as per Article 51A(h) of the Indian Constitution, it is the duty of all citizens to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. The present government, starting from the Prime Minister downward, has shown that it is not adhering to this duty when various ministers and other members of the ruling class keep making references to mythological events to claim that this or that existed in ancient India. The Prime Minister claimed that supplanting of an elephants head on Lord Ganesha proved that plastic surgery existed in India at that time. Obviously then, maharishis and sages of ancient India ran infertility clinics (where sex determination of the fetus was not banned) as they frequently used to give out assorted fruits to barren queens that led to them conceiving a handsome prince in no time at all.
As it is, the state of education, research and development and innovation is woeful in India. What is the government now trying to do? Is it trying to push our people into believing that mythology is superior to science? Is it asking people to believe everything written in ancient texts without developing the spirit of enquiry and reform? The government has to recognize that religion and science are separate entities and cannot be merged. Children must be educated according to modern scientific thought. Religious texts can at best be the subject of religious education that can be imparted in ashrams and not in schools. This government is keeping a strict watch on madrasas on the plea that they are converting boys and girls into terrorists by imparting religious education of a skewed kind. But by making our children believe that religious miracles actually took place and by giving them a scientific backing, are we not trying to build a generation who will be devoid of scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of enquiry and reform? That would be the first step in turning them into terrorists. Why cant we be deeply religious and scientifically modern at the same time?