Scientist returns Padma Bhushan, historians express concerns
Expressing concerns on rising intolerance and worried over India’s future, country’s top scientist PM Bhargava has announced to return ‘Padma Bhushan’, country’s third highest civilian honour. He is founder-director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Talking to Indian media, Bhargava said that India would cease to be a democracy and become a theocratic state like Pakistan, if present trends of intolerance are not stopped immediately. Future of our democracy is at stake. He said that RSS people attended a recent meeting of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Labs. More than 100 scientists, including Bhargava, recently released a statement expressing concern over the climate of intolerance.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, India’s 53 historians have expressed their concerns and anguish over the prevailing conditions in the country. They said that differences of opinions are being sought to be settled by using physical violence. These historians are from country’s top academic institutions including Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Calcutta University and Hyderabad University. Condemning incidents like Dadry lynching and ink attacks on some prominent personalities, they said that arguments are met not with counter arguments but with bullets. They have also criticized PM Narender Modi for not taking adequate steps. The statement is signed by Professor Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, MGS Narayanan, KN Panikkar, Indu Banga etc.
Responding to the incidents of artists and academicians returning awards, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that those who are returning awards are ‘rabid anti-BJP elements’ and some of them had even gone to Varanasi duing general elections to campaign against Narender Modi. He said these people are playing politics by other means.