The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Anupam Bera, EMBA 2015-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The progress of a nation is directly proportional to the progress of science and technology. Any prosperous country has shown the path of development as their inclination towards industrialization, which can only transform it from the dark denizens. A developed society has its foundation on pluralism, tolerance, individual freedom and free flow of information. These are also the basis of a community that thrives on scientific development and democracy. A democracy allows an individual freedom of thought and expression and the freedom to dissent and criticize. A dogmatic and authoritarian society can not be the offshoot of democracy. However the recent murder of Mr. M. M. Kalburgi and some other progressives like Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare belies this fact about India as a democracy.
Kalburgi had issues with the right wings Hindutva Group for they accused him of committing blasphemy as he had passed some derogatory remarks about Basava, 12th century philosopher in his work “Marga 1”. Two unidentified gunman murdered this Vachana literature scholar on August 30, 2015 at his residence. Such an instance cannot be part of nation that claims to be the largest democracy. The superstitious and dogmatic beliefs that Kalburgi and other anti-superstation activist fought for can only be shunned away with adequate scientific awareness among people. It is the fact that our ancient culture gave this freedom to freely discuss and criticize otherwise such landmark contribution in the field of philosophy, grammar, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and so on could not have happened. We all know the names of Indian scientists like Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta, Bhaskar, Sushrut and Charak are recognized globally for their scientific works. However there has been instance of the religious order attacking the scientific growth. For instance the church persecuted scientists like Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Halley, Darwin, Hubble, even Bertrand Russell.
There is no final word in science. It can question everything and can always give an alternative perspective to everything. Thus going by the values of science, India need to evolve a culture that can approach and appreciate questioning of every notion of age-old practices, traditions and religion.