It would not be an exaggeration to say that when the 'thesis' of a 'researcher' Kannan Jagathala Krishnan, at the Indian Science Congress held at Jallandhar in January, made Indians a laughing stock. So many were the bloomers in it. What he argued was that Newton erred in the theory of gravitation as also did Einstein in theory of relativity, and we have to go back to Indian puranas for the right knowledge. He also suggested that the recent discoveries about the gravitational waves, which Einstein had predicted as part of his relativity theory, should be renamed as 'Modi waves'.
His proposal was intended as a sign of respect to Narendra Modi as one who had sowed the seeds of a 'science culture' based on Hindu legends and epics. It is everybody's knowledge that ever since Modi came to power, science congresses, were used as platforms for implementing their Hindutva agenda, even in the fields of science and technology, like in other fields. Followeing the themes presented there, researches in cow urine and mrithsanjeevani have also been initiated. Thus, while a new 'science culture' is growing in the country with the hue and scent of fascism, now here is Modi himself incarnating as an expert in science and technology.
Modi has claimed that it was his 'cloud theory' that worked behind the successful air strikes of Indian Air Force in Balakot. In an interview given to TV channel News Nation, he explained what happened in Balakot. When air force officials were wondering how to conduct an attack on a night with cloud and rain, Modi, as he claimed, put forward an 'idea' that in a cloudy weather fighter aircraft would not be visible to Pak radars. What we have to infer from this is that radars cannot track the aircraft that fly above the cloud.
It does not need a visit to a radar technical expert to realize that what Modi floated was downright blunder; it would take only a Plus Two education and common sense. And hence the severe ridicule that Modi had to suffer in the social media over this 'theory'. The BJP leadership, which posted the interview in its twitter account, was forced to pull it out within minutes, obviously being unable to bear the stinging trolls that followed.
It has by now become clear that BJP's NDA, lost for any major achievement of government in the last five years is this time round, trying its hand at blatant communalism and false propaganda. Naturally, Modi's own main tool of campaign has been speeches and hate mongering that serve to whip up communalism and frenzied nationalistic fervour. Among them, he on many occasions has used the military strike in Balakot as a trump card. And what he made through the said interview was a no different attempt.
What Modi tried to drive home was that the Balakot victory was his political achievement, and that he had gained enough grasp so as to advise air force officers in that operation. His words had other fiction too. The use of digital cameras and sending email in 1980's are only examples. There is nothing surprising in a political leader - whose education, marriage and family are all behind a cloud of mystery - talking in that manner. But throughout that conversation, one word that consistently stood out and was heard, was 'I'. The purely fascist approach that everything is under his own control, was readable in every word.
What has to be realized is that when in the words of a prime minister, there is the sense 'I am above everything else', it endangers democracy itself. After his assumption of power, Modi has never granted an audience for a press conference. He was more enamoured of one-sided communications through 'Mann ki baat'. Apart from appearing for eye-wash of interviews on pro-BJP channels, which were virtual 'shows' of pre-provided questions and answers, he has never shown the courage for any political debate till date.
It has been proven by now, what happened on News Nation was nothing but such a 'Modi show'. It is another matter that there again he utered howlers. On the one hand, he evades opposition media and suppresses them at the first opportunity, and on the other while answering his own men, he consistently speaks absurdities and untruths. This is the strategy evolved and employed by Hindutva advocates to ensure continuity of rule.
That Modi's 'cloud theory' was trolled over is not to be overly encouraged either. The mainstream media too were trying to subject it to satire. Many looked like being reluctant to get deeper into its dangerous politics. What was presented so lightly and accompanied by bloomers and untruths, was a critical matter related to national security, that too when the nation is going through a general election.
Only a few leaders, like Sitaram Yechury, raised the right criticism with the seriousness of the matter. Yechury has asked the Election Commission to take action against it. The response to that is yet to be heard. At any rate, when such scientific theories - and theorists – are being touted in a country whose constitution has inscribed developing 'scientific temper' as a duty of the citizen, we have only to be ashamed of it.