ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Return to Faith-Based Systems


D Parthasarthy and Rowena Robinson (Science, Astrology and Democratic Society, EPW, August 18) make extremely valuable points about the science as it is practised, the nature of scientific establishment and the misuse of these by vested interests in the present set up. What is missing is, as to why under the dispensation of Murli Manohar Joshi, a RSS swayamsevak, moves have been actually undertaken to actively promote such faith based knowledge systems. It should be noted in passing here that initially astrology was intended to be introduced as a science discipline and later, probably after much criticism from the scientific community, it has been ‘shifted’ to the arts stream, giving the signal that arts faculty may be used as the dumping ground for all that is needed to supplement the politics of Sangh parivar (SP).

It needs to be elaborated that the moves of the education department are tuned to create a compliant society doing away with whatever liberalism we have been able to achieve during the long and protracted process of secularisation beginning with the movements led by Jotiba Phule down to present. One needs to be rigorously critical of limitations in the present liberal space, reduction of ‘critical reason based knowledge systems’ to newer ‘semi-faiths’. But by not keeping the focus on the SP’s present attempt to somehow impose ‘faith’ based systems, and its accompaniments such as rigid structural hierarchies; and merely criticising the weaknesses of the present practice of science, we will be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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