It is a matter of great concern that a majority of scientists in India lack rational thinking and scientific temper. They do their routine ‘scientific’ work in their labs and offices but forget about science when they are out.
It is alright if a scientist believes in God as one’s faith is his personal matter. But most of the Indian scientists are highly superstitious and behave like uneducated in their day-to-day life. They turn to astrologers, palmists, god-men and sanyasis and practice crude religious rituals and use devices like talisman, rudraksha, coloured threads etc..
In fact, our scientific institutions and universities are devoid of a scientific environment and are not conducive for any innovative thinking or serious research. Most of these institutions are steeped in personal rivalries and bureaucratic muddle. Very few scientists do innovative research with specific objectives.. For most of them research is only a stop-gap activity before getting a good job.
Indian scientists have no interest in basic sciences. Our young generation want to be engineers and doctors. They have no motivation to take up pure science and enter into research and academic fields in basic science subjects.
India is proud of its great achievements in space technology and other fields. These achievements are the results of successful utilization of the known technology, not the outcome of any new innovation in science by our scientists.
Technology is application of scientific principles and it can be borrowed or bought, but science is to be cultivated in our minds through innovative thinking, though there are so many research institutions and universities with modern facilities, the question arises why India has not produced any scientist of the caliber of C.V Raman in the last several decades?
Those Indians who got Nobel prizes after C.V Raman have earned them for their works outside India.
We may brag about ancient India’s achievements in science, but we have hardly any outstanding scientific contribution after independence to brag about. We may send man to space or other planets or explode nuclear devices. But our scientific community has done little in inculcating a scientific temper and rational thinking in the younger generation.
It is very sad that our new generation is growing up in a superstitious society and have no chance to develop a real scientific temper.
By: K.V. Ravindran
Former Scientist, ISRO