India: Modi’s War on Science – By Pittamber Kaushik

2019 was a mixed year for Indian Science and Technology. The bittersweet Chandrayaan-2 Mission was a partial failure in the absolute sense, but a success in the relative sense. The PSLV-C44, Kalam SAT, Microsat-R, CARTOSAT and Mission Shakti were major leaps in aerospace engineering. India also became the world’s third-largest producer of Scientific articles, according to NSF statistics. However, there were several steps back as far as the scientific temperament of the Political circles is concerned.

The incumbent regime of India helmed by the majority BJP Party has long cherished the idea of Hindu resurgence, mocked modernisation as ‘westernisation’, and accused the West of robbing India of its heritage, wealth and intellectual capital. Since its inception, the BJP has championed the cause of Hindutva, a quasi-martial Hindu-nationalist ideology disregarding and unfounded in the core tenets of Hinduism but claiming to be based in it.…

With the assumption of its reins by Narendra Modi however, rationality has waned further, as patronisation runs rampant, threatening to drive India to a post-truth society and redirecting the mainstream narrative to suit its ideological mould. In order to serve its partisan interests, the BJP has attempted to rewrite history, belittle and trivialise scientific progress, and take alternative epistemic narratives to the forefront.

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