Letters to Editor

Learning from the primates

Published in daily ‘Dawn’

Militancy, extremism and obduracy in the name of religion (also known as ‘fundamentalism’) are universal phenomena, which crop up among the adherents of every major religion. The latest news to confirm this is the argument of Hindu fundamentalists that the technology of monkeys four thousand years ago was so advanced that they built a bridge between India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) so that Lord Rama could rescue his wife Sita whom the demon had abducted.

They hold that this technology has not been duly followed or accepted by present day scientists. They have declared war on the Indian government for its ‘blasphemous’ proposal to destroy the ‘bridge’ in order to build a water-passage between India and Sri Lanka. They want scientists and engineers to follow the lead given by monkeys four thousand years ago. (In another recent instance, the Indian minister who said there was no archaeological evidence of Lord Rama’s existence is in danger of losing her job.)

The merits and demerits of the water channel proposal aside, going by such arguments, the technological advancement of monkeys in India four thousand years ago puts today’s modern scientists and engineers to shame. Of course, the Hindu extremists hardly have a monopoly on such thinking, but if this is the way forward, then could we invite the descendents of these advanced monkeys to apply for positions as physics, science and engineering professors at the universities of the world?

Note: No aspersion is meant to be cast on the thinking of the Hindu extremists.

Dr Mohammad Sarwar
September 17, 2007

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One Response

  1. The Jan.8th event was undoubtedly a watershed event in the history of this country. It could have been the start of something great had it been properly followed up by those who came after the dedicated ones.Instead we had the” years of the losust” where the student politics degenerated eventually to ethnic and local organisations which played havoc with our society. Now, with the rejuvenation of the movement pioneered by Beena and her dedicated collegues, there is fresh hope. Coupled with a free judiciary, a fearless media and an active civil society, I smell spring in the air and I like it. Keep it up. We are with you.

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