An assault on Science by a BJP central minister 

Earlier another worthy BJP Minister had wanted Ghalib and Tagore to be removed from the text books as they were not ‘nationalists’

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Chandrabhal Tripathi

A weird statement for removal of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution from the text books has been made by Satyapal Singh, former Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, now a BJP MP from western UP and Minister of State for Human Resource Development (an unfortunate nomenclature adopted by the then PM Rajiv Gandhi to substitute 'Education').

Earlier another worthy BJP Minister had wanted Ghalib and Tagore to be removed from the text books as they were not 'nationalists'. Singh says that nobody has seen apes turning into humans and so Darwin's theory of evolution is misleading and deserves to be removed from the text books. Singh claims to have a Ph.D. in Economics from Delhi University. I hope his degree is not fake like those of two of his Cabinet colleagues. If it is not fake, DU ought to consider the causes for deterioration of standards and how a Ph.D. degree was awarded to such an ignoramus. I would plead with PM Modi to grant Satyapal Singh leave for a couple of years to join BA classes in Anthropology to enable him to understand the 'mystery' of fossils, anthropoid apes, evolution, comparative anatomy, genetics, DNA, etc.

Satyapal Singh seems to be in the company of the new brand of Hindutvavadi scientists who believe that in ancient India, during the Vedic period and the Epic period, there were aeroplanes, TV, modern day type mansions, advanced stage of plastic surgery, etc. Surprisingly not only people like Narendra Modi and Praveen Togadia belong to this school of thought/jumlebaazi but even a person like Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi who taught Physics at Allahabad University and who, as Education Minister, wanted Vedic Mathematics and Vedic Physics to be taught in the Indian Universities, IITs, etc.

Such jokers are not a monopoly of the BJP or RSS. We had a President by the name of Gyani Zail Singh. I may narrate a true incident of his 'gyan'. He was visiting the Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, when Dr. SRK Chopra, Prof. & Head of the Department of Anthropology, tried to explain to the learned President the human evolution with the aid of charts and models of fossil types of anthropoid apes. Gyaniji was not convinced. Nor could he differentiate anthropoid apes from rhesus monkeys. He blurted out: "Dr. Sahab, monkeys might have been your ancestors but they were never my ancestors."

In response to Singh's comment, nearly 2,000 scientists across the country issued a statement that if we do away with Darwin's theory in school textbooks, Indian students will study wrong science. Dr Surendra Ghaskadbi, emeritus scientist and a development biologist at the Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, was one of the scientists who signed the letter. He gave a detailed interview to Syed Firdaus Ashraf that was carried by on January 23, 2018. I am afraid the learned scientist has wasted his precious time in trying to educate this Minister about fossils, DNA, etc. I am reminded of an old Hindi proverb: "Bhains ke aage been bajawai bhains tharh paguraaya."

I was delighted to read in this morning's press (January 24, 2018) that the senior Minister of HRD, Prakash Javdekar, has asked Satyapal Singh to keep his mouth shut.

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