Protesting against the current socio-political situation in the country, the renowned Indian scientists, P.M. Bhargava who founded Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has returned his prestigious Padma Bhushan award to the President Pranab Mukherji. Mr. Bhargava was awarded the Padma Bhushan back in 1986 by then President of India, Shri Giani Zail Singh. The step has been taken in protests against the BJP run central government in India.
Mr. Bhargava wrote a letter to President Mukherjee explaining his reasons behind such disheartening step. In the letter, Mr. Bhargava said the award was very dear to him and it was a privilege to receive such an honour and he respected and admired it, but returning such prestigious thing is due to the concern towards the current socio-political conditions in the country. According to Mr. Bhargava, BJP government is promoting Hinduism while suppressing other religions which breaks the fundamental law of Democracy. While drawing an analogy, Mr. Bharagava it is somewhat like Pakistan with Islam replaced by Hinduism.
He said, “no one would be more aware than you that, de facto, BJP is the political front of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and functions under the leadership of the RSS that is fully committed to the ideology of Hindutva, which I find divisive, unreasonable and unscientific”.
While giving the example of Dadri incident in which Mohamed Akhlaq who was killed in a pre-planned manner, Mr. Bhargava said it was BJP behind the death of Akhlaq. This shows the instincts of BJP that wants to control the ideology and the way people live in the country. He further added that Hindutva refrains from eating beef while it is beneficial for many cases including rhinitis, irregular fever, dry cough, fatigue, vayu related disorders and excessive appetite due to hard manual work.
He also referred to the Constitution (Article 51 a(h)) and said that it is the duty of country’s citizen to develop scientific temper and humanism among people but BJP and RSS seem to go against it. While supporting his argument he gave the example of RSS head Shri Mohan Bhagwat, who labelled marriage as a contract in which women does household work and is not allowed to work outside the house.
“I find the present government the least knowledgeable and least concerned about science. The climate of religious conservatism that we have today is a major obstacle in the functioning of science and thus in meeting developmental objectives”, Mr. Bharagava said.