Madurai

Need to uphold scientific temper in judicial interventions

MADURAI

The All India People's Science Network (AIPSN) has taken umbrage at the judgment pronounced in the Allahabad High Court that cites religious and mythical scriptures as culture of our nation and makes observations on cow without any scientific basis.

The court was hearing the bail plea of Javed who was accused of stealing a cow and later slaughtering it. The single judge bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav, observed "cow is the only animal that inhales and exhales oxygen; the panchagavya is made of cow's milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung and helps in several incurable diseases."

The AIPSN members have objected to the lack of scientific temper and secularism in the observations given in the 12-page judgment dated September 1. They condemned the ruling for utilising a subset of scriptures of a specific religion as the culture of India and using it to deny bail to a human being.

"India is a country with religious, linguistic, cultural, social, ethnic diversity; our freedom struggle united all against colonial oppression and helped us to have our own Constitution. It is the duty of every citizen and those who take public office to uphold the Constitution to develop scientific temper, spirit of inquiry and humanism," read a statement from the AIPSN office-bearers.

"We are shocked at the scientific fallacies in the judgment and worried that these unscientific observations would be cited in later cases and may create disharmony in our society. A rationalist and scientific approach is always essential in a legal document," said general secretary P. Rajamanickam.

B.R. Ambedkar and V.R. Krishna Iyer were vocal in their opposition to pseudoscience and our judiciary needs to follow the same path. In the last few years, a significant number of pseudoscientific statements has been made by government functionaries, both at the Centre and various State governments. The anti-science atmosphere created in such a process is reflected in judgments that are devoid of legal arguments and based only on faith, said S. Krishnaswamy, retired professor of Madurai Kamaraj University. It goes against the secular fabric of the Indian Constitution, he added.

Stating that one community’s supposed beliefs cannot be foisted upon the entire country and all its diverse cultures, the AIPSN has called for appropriate corrective action. It has appealed to the scientific community and the people to raise their voice against such unscientific proclamations aimed at disturbing the secular fabric of the country and pre-empt the danger of creating further divisions in the society.


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