Junior Union education minister Satyapal Singh, recently in news for rubbishing Darwin's evolution theory, has courted fresh controversy, this time deciding to claim that mantras codified the laws of motion, much before Issac Newton.
“There are mantras which codified ‘laws of motion’ much before it was discovered by the Newton. Hence it is essential that traditional knowledge must be incorporated in our curriculum,” the Minister of State for Human Resource Development (MoS HRD) was quoted as saying by a report in Hindustan Times.
Earlier in January, the IPS officer-turned-politician drew flak for claiming that the evolution theory floated by Charles Darwin was not scientific. He had said that our ancestors have nowhere mentioned that they saw an ape turning into a man, thereby casting doubts on Darwin's evolution theory.
Last time around the BJP had distanced itself from the minister's 'personal opinion' with Union Education Minister Prakash Javadekar asking Singh to refrain from making comments on such issues. But this time Singh's comments were made at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) attended by several Union ministers and education ministers of most of Indian states, Hindustan Times reported quoting minutes of the meeting.
“I have discussed the matter with my MoS and I have asked him to refrain from making such comments. We should not dilute science. This is the advice I have given him," Javadekar had said after Singh's remarks on Darwin's theory.
"Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. No books we have read or the tales told to us by our grandparents had such a mention," the junior minister had said. On being challenged by scientists and political opponents, Singh stood by his comments, calling for an international debate on the issue.
However, Javadekar snubbed him by saying, "We are not going to fund any event or don’t have any plan for a national seminar to prove Darwin wrong. It is the domain of scientists and we should let them free to continue their efforts for progress of the country."
Singh's comments also drew widespread condemnation from scientists in the nation, who also celebrated a 'Darwin Week' to remove the "doubts being planted in the minds of the common people" about the theory of evolution.
The 12 to 18 February 'Darwin Week' was organised by The India March for Science Organising Committee and the Breakthrough Science Society, PTI reported.
"Evolutionary theory, to which Darwin made seminal contributions, is well established. There is no scientific dispute about the basic facts of evolution. This is a scientific theory, and one that has made many predictions that have been repeatedly confirmed by experiments and observation," the scientists said in a statement issued by them.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 16:24 PM