Superstition is not the answer to India’s mounting problems
India’s Junior Education Minister Satyapal Singh, above, recently stated that engineering students should be taught about ancient Indian scientific discoveries. He said that the first airplane was invented by an Indian eight years before the Wright brothers.
Indian Prime Minister Modi, while addressing a gathering of doctors and medical staff at a Bombay hospital in 2014, said:
We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at the time, who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.
In August, the Chief Minister of Gujarat province while making a speech at the Institute of Infrastructure Technology Research and Management praised the engineering skills of Lord Ram, one of Hinduism’s most popular deities and the protagonist of religious epic, Ramayana.
He was quoted by the Indian media as saying;
Imagine what kind of engineers Lord Ram had to build the Ram Sethu that links Sri-Lanka and India. Even squirrels offered their help in building the bridge.
The Education Minister of Rajasthan province declared in January 2017 that the cow is the only animal in the world to both inhale as well as exhale oxygen.
The Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh province quoted a so called “Hindu saint” and predicted that a grand “Ram temple” will be constructed before 2019.
As if, this temple will solve all of India’s problems.
Noises within the BJP regarding the Modi government’s handling of the economy came into the open with former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha slamming the government.
Sinha wrote in an opinion column of The Indian Express;
The Prime Minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His Finance Minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters.
The methodology for the calculation of GDP was changed by the BJP government in 2015. This statistically increased the growth rate recorded earlier by more than 2 percent, according to the old method of calculation. India’s growth rate of 5.7 percent is actually 3.7 percent or less, as per Sinha in his article.
Share of exports in GDP have touched a 14 year low.
The BJP government is also lagging far behind in reaching its target of increasing the share of manufacturing to 25 percent of the GDP by 2020 from 15 percent of the GDP in 2014.
A recent report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce mentioned that the manufacturing sector only grew an average of 1.6 percent in the last 5 years till 2015-16.
The rate of unemployment in the country is rapidly increasing every day.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, abbreviated as RSS, is an Indian Right Wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation and is widely regarded as the parent organisation of the BJP.
The RSS was founded in 1925 by Hedgewar, in the city of Nagpur, when India was still a British colony. Scholars differ on Hedgewar’s motivation for forming the RSS, especially because he never involved the RSS in fighting the British rule. An alternative interpretation is that RSS was formed to fight the Indian Muslims.
Modi has been the driving force behind the construction of the world’s tallest statue at 182 meters, costing an estimated $470-m of Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Interior Minister. The statue is being erected on a river island in Gujarat, the home province of both Patel and Modi.
The deep irony of Modi’s love for Patel can be gauged from the fact that Vallabhbhai Patel had an extreme hatred for the RSS. Modi himself has a RSS background. Patel even banned this organisation in 1948 saying:
Modi and his fellow BJP ministers should stop diverting the India public from serious domestic issues by feeding them with useless narratives of Hindu mythological tales and stories because no gods are coming to resolve India’s multiple woes.
• Gaurav Tyagi is an Indian national with a Masters Degree in International Tourism & Leisure Studies gained in the Netherlands. He currently lives in China.