Indian Science Congress Should Be Renamed Science Fiction Congress

Welcome to the 2019 edition of ‘ancient Hindu texts should be renamed Science 101’. Well, why not replace all science and medicine textbooks in colleges with the religious texts! After all, students will get good knowledge about origins of science – stem cell research, test tube babies, plastic surgery, all of it comes from our good old mythology.

Right? Well, that’s what some prominent speakers at the 106th Indian Science Congress like to believe.

To begin with, Andhra University Vice Chancellor (VC) G Nageshwar Rao claimed that Kauravas were born using stem cell technology and were test tube babies. Of course, the knowledge of stem cell research and test tube fertilisation came in thousands of years ago, from the Indian epic Mahabharata. What are these scientists today even researching for? Just go and read our ancient texts.

Also Read: From Hair to Flesh: Is Stem Cell Therapy a Hope to Treat Diseases?

"It happened a few thousand years ago. This was science in this country...Mahabharat says, 100 eggs were fertilised and put into 100 earthen pots. Are they not test tube babies? Stem cell research in this country was present thousands of years ago." - G Nageshwar Rao, Vice Chancellor, Andhra University

And you thought JK Rowling was the best fantasy fiction author of our times. Wait till you hear the other speakers at the conference through the years.

Science Got Nothing on Mahabharata

Wonder what the scientific community is so up in arms about – these are comments by a leading scientist and sitting vice chancellor of a state university. Not like it was India’s most prestigious gathering to promote the cause of science in the country, organised by India’s oldest science associations.

If the Prime Minister can claim plastic surgery was invented when Lord Ganesh’s elephant head was attached to his human torso, it’s only befitting for VC Rao to follow suit. And if the internet existed in times of Mahabharata, as Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb tells us, what’s the big deal about test tube babies.

Isn’t it common knowledge that genetic science existed in ancient times? How else do you think “Karna from Mahabharata could be born outside his mother’s womb”? (another one from the Prime Minister) Get with the times, people.

Scientists and researchers getting upset about Rao’s comments should understand that this totally does not belittle the years and years of work they’ve put in excelling areas like stem cell research or genetics.

Of Anti-Ageing Tiger Yoga and Gold-Producing Cows

Coming back to the Indian Science Congress. It’s not the first time that such illustrious claims have been made by speakers at the conference. Check these out. This is what happens when you force kids who love literature into pursuing science. They end up writing science fiction.

Anti-ageing miracle: At the 103rd Science Congress, one paper reportedly said if you sit on a tiger skin and do yoga, you don’t grow old or you can reverse the process of ageing. PETA alert!

The Alchemist: Another year, a speaker claimed that the holy cow carries a bacteria in its body which enables it to turn food into pure 24-carat gold.

Tip for Dr Salunkhe from CID: Another presentation said that autopsies were conducted in ancient days by leaving the dead body to float in water for three days.

Still Nobel winner Venkatraman Ramakrishnan called the forum a “circus”! Ah, such blasphemy.

Are you even a nationalist if you don’t believe all of this? Our ministers and their appointed scholars have tried so hard to point out the scientific achievements documented by ancient religious texts. Union Minister Mahesh Sharma reportedly headed a committee of scholars which got together to make the case that ancient Hindu scriptures are fact not myth.

There, you have it. Then how can the scientific miracles in these scriptures be anything but the founding stone of modern medical breakthroughs!

The government puts in so much effort to make the Science Congress a big event and even invite well-known scientists and Nobel laureates from abroad. If they don’t propagate their claims of ancient Hindu mastery of science here, where will they?

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