Saturday, March 07, 2015


I found this letter in a Pakistani paper as very illuminating. This applies equally to Indian science. I am reposting this blogpost from my 2007 post in my sister blog as I found this to be relevant now

" WHY is it that for the last three hundred years, the Muslim world has been so deficient in producing scientists and philosophers? Why is it that even now when the Muslim world commands such immense resources, we lag so far behind the West in scholarship and technology?
The answer is clear: for three hundred years, the door of Ijtihad that is creative thinking has been closed. Almost oneninth of the verses of the Quran stress ‘tafakkur’ and ‘tadabbur’.
Yet, by and large, the Muslim world pays no heed to them, that is, they turn their back on critical thinking.
Instead, we are fond of platitudes.
We love clichés. We bask in the glory of the past. We dread the new, the original, and the novel. We revel in interpretations, but we flinch from creativity. We are good at repeating moth-eaten, time worn thoughts, views and traditions. Using Toynbee’s terminology, we are in the stranglehold of the ‘nemesis of mimesis’. Intellectual stagnation and spiritual degeneration are our dismal lot.
It is ingrained in our psychology that correct answers already exist, and are to be found in books or from authorities, religious or secular. Teachers disperse truth, parents are always right and leaders are omniscient. They act like philosopher kings, often uttering unchallenged banalities. Questioning authority is disrespectful and un-Islamic.
It is time to deconstruct, following the true Quranic spirit of iconoclasm
Scholars may differ about problems concerning science, but they are unanimous as regards the need for a particular weltanschauung (world view) for the birth, growth and blossoming of science. Science cannot develop in an atmosphere vitiated by obscurantism, dogmatism, fanaticism, intolerance and irrationalism. Science needs an intellectual environment whose keynote is enlightenment with rationalism, pluralism and humanism as its driving forces.
Historically it was the renaissance which prepared the ground for the emergence of modern science. The Dark Age which preceded the renaissance in Europe was dominated by scholasticism with philosophy as the handmaiden of theology. D’Alembert called scholasticism “the so called science of the centuries of ignorance”. The scholastics used to discuss such ‘profound’ problems as the number of angels who could dance on the tip of a needle. Bacon compared the scholastics to the spiders, content to weave cobwebs, ignoring the universe and what was happening around them.
Scholasticism suffered from (i) indifference to facts (ii) arguments from authority (iii) undue emphasis on verbal subtleties (iv) reasoning in matters which observation alone could decide (v) blind faith.
Modern science had to make way by routing scholasticism. It was Descartes (1596-1650) who performed this task. He was not only the founder of modern philosophy, but also, along with Galileo and Newton, one of the creators of modern science. He started off on his philosophical odyssey by the dictum: “In order to reach the truth, it is necessary, once in one’s life, to put everything in doubt.” Modern science has flourished in an atmosphere marked by philosophical skepticism. It does not take anything for granted. It puts to doubt all dogmas, all certainties. The beliefs of a scientist are tentative, not final. They are not based on authority, but on evidence. Modern science is iconoclastic in dealing with convictions based on tradition or authority. As opposed to scholasticism which believed in order to understand, modern science understands in order to believe. As such there is no dichotomy between modern science and the Quranic spirit, with its constant appeal to reasoning, thinking, knowing and deliberating: afala takaloon, afala tadabburoon, afala tafakkaroon.
Science demands immense patience in observation and great boldness in framing hypotheses. The test of scientific truth is patient collection of facts combined with bold guessing as to the law binding facts together.
Science demands an inquisitive spirit, a pioneering zeal and an enterprising élan. Science advances when there is unity between theory and practice. Any dichotomy between theory and practice spells disaster for scientific progress. The Greek science withered away, because it wholly and solely depended on deduction. Though the Greeks scaled the most sublime heights of speculative thought, their aversion to experimentation and manual work, closed the door for further scientific advancement.
Induction was a great gift of Islam to humanity. “Neither Roger Bacon nor his later namesake has any title to be credited with having introduced the experimental method,” says Briffault in his book Making of Humanity, and adds, “The experimental method of Arabs was by Bacon’s time widespread and ea gerly cultivated throughout Europe.” According to Iqbal, “For purposes of knowledge, the Muslim culture fixes its gaze on the concrete and the finite.” He exalts the scientific spirit at the expense of speculative flights into metaphysics. By giving examples of Ibn-i-Khaldun’s view of history, Ibn-i-Maskwaih’s theory of life as evolutionary movement and Musa al-Khwarazmi’s shift from arithmetic to algebra, Iqbal concludes: “All lines of Muslim thought converge on a dynamic concept of the universe.” Thus Islam rejects a static view of the universe and regards it as always changing and evolving. According to the Quran, change is one of the greatest signs of God, and is explicitly implied in the verse: “Every day has its own glory.” The Islamic principle to keep pace with the changing world and an evolving universe is Ijtihad (exertion to form an independent opinion). Creativity is the essence of Ijtihad. The driving force of the scientific technological revolution (STR) is creativity, developing new ideas and sailing in uncharted seas.
Science must precede technology, because science is the tree and technology is the fruit. Today, as never before, the political stability of a country depends on its economic prowess, which is determined by the STR.
In order to usher in STR, we have to take the following steps:
Firstly, our educational system must be geared to strengthen mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology and computer science in our curriculum.
Secondly, our method of teaching must change, emphasising the intelligent grasp of the subject rather than memorising formulas and theorems.
Thirdly, our mass media must be mobilised to popularise science, and scientific thinking i.e. rational, critical and creative thinking.
Fourthly, our scientists must be made to feel that the country stands in need of their leadership.
Fifthly, there is an urgent need of structural change in our scientific institutions.
Every genuine scientist must be encouraged by rapid promotions and handsome rewards. Our scientists serving abroad must be brought back home by offering them handsome salaries. The rotten concept of ‘seniority’ must be done away with to be replaced by the contribution made by a scientist, which is universally acknowledged. Lastly, what is most needed is the political will on the part of the government to regard literacy, education (in particular) and research as its first priority, and involve all scientists, educationists and the entire intelligentsia in carrying out this urgent task.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Bails for accused without resposibility

   Recently a Mysore realtor was threatened by a local don that he will be killed unless he paid his demand. The realtor went to police and the goon was arrested. But the local court released the goon who engaged a lawyer who knows.The goon with his accomplices killed the realtor next day itself. the court is not responsible for this death. 
There are bailable and non bailable offenses in IPC and Police Inspector incharge will be hauled up even for giving bail for bailable offenses. So they pass the buck to courts who without any responsibility release these terrorists with knowing lawyers arguments..Recently Pakistan has enacted an amendment to its constitution to have Military courts to try the terror accused as civilian courts are influenced by threats bribery etc. POTA, TADA all are allowed to lapse due to socalled Human rights lawyers whose only concern is Human rights of criminals and not their victims.It is time we have also a law like POTA as terrorists and naxalites do not want democracy to succeed. They believe in anarchy and terrorizing the citizens..
The saga of bail application by a terrorist accused Shri Madani in the High court as well as Supreme court of India will be revealing as one goes through the following llinks. When sessions court denies bail, he gets it in High court if not the Supremo court is always there with the battery of Human rights lawyers. Now this terror accused was one of the 33 Terrorists whose release was demanded by Kandhahar hijackers of Indian airlines flight which was later trimmed down. This has no relevance to Coimbatore blast case,Chinnaswamy stadium ,Bangalore case nor was the BJP Bangalore office blast case etc etc because as per IPC, prosecution cannot link these cases. this may be OK for ordinary cases of IPC but terror cases have to be different and evidence in those cases will not be straight forward as in other cases due to the fear which the terror accused causes through his organisation amongst the witnesses and also Judiciary. This can be seen in the case of Prof Hafeez Saeed of LET/JUD whose conviction cannot be obtained in Pakistan court due to lack of witnesses and the very fear his organisation brings upon the prosecution and even state of Pakistan. Now the Pakistan state has to resort to Military courts to try those accused in terror cases by amending their constitution. The Supreme court released him on bail with some funny condition that the State of Karnataka must ensure Madani does not influence witnesses!!!!His wife who is facing trial in the killing of two college girls of Tamilnadu bus who was not allowed to go out of Kerala is now allowed to meet her husband. The recent Church road blast in Bangalore, Patna blast and Pune blast are all getting connected to Al Uma of Coimbatore blast fame , Bhatkal module of Indian Mujahadeen , one can see the sophistication of terror perpetrators. But then to prove in court of law how they are connected cannot be done through normal Indian law which is based on Indian evidence act. Most of these guys will soon get released on bail and Supreme court justices can have their clear conscience because they followed the law to the T. and they are not responsible when the next terror strike occurs by the same terrorists.
Normally one finds the Human rights lawyers all try to follow one common agenda which is akin to EU/ US agenda with regard to LGBT community Climate change , rights of terror accused, smugglers,hawala traders etc and ofcourse Nuclear non proliferation They are also members of SCBA the powerful lawyer club which boasts of members like Kapil sibal, Singhvi, Chidhambaram, Arun Jaitley, Shiv shankar prasad etc etc.
Soon India will find the same dilemma which USA faces with regard to Gitmo or EU with its own terror accused. If India wants democracy to survive they have to deal with this problem soon.The daring way a mafia accused being taken for treatment was killed in broad day when he had 10 police escort vehicles shows how the killers are getting bold and have scant regard for the slow Indian Criminal justice system.      (cooimbatore blast denied bail)  (Bail granted 2014)