Saturday, February 9, 2008

‘Science has a role in tackling communalism’

PANAJI: Vivek Monteiro, scientist and trade unionist, has called for a “systematic and scientific use” of science right from the primary level of schooling to undermine the influence of fundamentalism.

Delivering the last lecture on the topic of “Science is the cognition of necessity” in the four-lecture series of the D.D. Kosambi Festival of Ideas here on Thursday, Mr. Monteiro said that considering the fact that growth of communalism was one of the major problems confronting society today, undoubtedly science had to play a role by spreading scientific temper among people.

Elaborating on the role of science in combating communalism, Mr. Monteiro said, “It is not enough if intellectuals debate these issues in academic seminars. The real battle has to be fought and won in the minds of the common man.”

Analysing scientific writings of Kosambi, Mr. Monteiro expressed surprise that there seems to be no writing in Kosambi’s available works on the subject of communalism while there is evidence to suggest that he was active in post-riot relief works in Benares during his teaching days. Stating that Kosambi has written critically about the influence of religion on Indian people, including scientists, particularly in his articles on the subject of scientific attitude and religion, Mr. Monteiro said there was no discussion on communalism.


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