Observances of National Scientific Temper Day
"Scientific temper is under unprecedented attack in India today"
August 14, 2018
20th August 2018 is being observed as National Scientific Temper Day in honour of Dr.Narendra Dabholkar, anti-superstition campaigner and champion of scientific temper, who was killed in an act of premeditated murder by right-wing communal extremist forces, on this day five years ago in 2013. Several similar shocking murders were committed over the next several years. Govind Pansare, an anti-caste secular campaigner, was killed in 2015. M.M.Kalburgi, a scholar of socio-religious reform movements of the 12th century in Karnataka and the related challenge to dominant narratives, was murdered in 2016. And Gauri Lankesh, fearless journalist and fierce critic of communal bigotry, was gunned down in 2017. It has now come to light that at least some of these murders were probably committed by the same extremist group. But the common thread definitely was the threat the extremist forces felt from these campaigners for reason and scientific temper, and against bigotry and intolerance.
Scientific temper is under unprecedented attack in India today. From entirely fabricated accounts of scientific achievements in ancient India, to saffronized histories including in school textbooks, to violent suppression of dissent and critical thinking in institutions of higher learning, and abandonment of scientific and technological inputs into developmental programmes, all are now being aggressively pushed by the highest levels of government and political leadership including the many organizations of the affiliated larger socio-political family.
A detailed Statement on this threatening scenario is attached. The Statement can be endorsed by visiting aipsn.in.
A number of Organizations, chiefly the Delhi Science Forum, a constituent of the All India Peoples Science Network, and the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, the organization founded by Dr.Dabholkar, have come together to organize a series of events all over the country around the National Scientific Temper Day.
In Delhi, a Public Meeting is being held on 18 August 2018, 4 pm to 6:30 pm, at Room 207, Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road.
A Rally is also being held on 20 August 2018, starting 3 pm from Sapru House to Jantar Mantar.
Please participate in both of these events. Please also spread the word to your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances.
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