BANGALORE: The latest offering by V Raghunathan, the author of ‘Games Indians Play’ and ‘The Corruption Conundrum’ is out.
Titled ‘Ganesha on the Dashboard’ and co-authored with MA Eswaran, the book launch took place at the Reliance TimeOut, Cunningham Road recently.
Manish Sabharwal, CEO of TeamLease, India's largest temporary staffing company, released the book which was followed by an interactive session with the author himself. An unsparingly critical and scathingly analytical book, it points out the shocking lack of scientific temper among the vast majority of Indians, and how this Holds us up as a nation in the twenty-first century. Speaking about the impetus that drove him to write this book, Raghunathan talked about how Indians have segregated science to be a knowledge system while all others are categorised as a belief system.
"Anything in the belief system is considered to be above reproach and questioning. So we find even an educated Indian performing an inane ritual to counter the harmful effects of Shani or Mangal.
The scientific beliefs that existed when these were prescribed have long been disapproved but we haven’t adjusted our thought processes accordingly.
It is this lack of scientific temper that is holding back India," he said. The author also commented about the robust growth rate from 1991 onwards when India might safely assume there was no significant growth in the scientific temper.
He gave the comparison of India being driven by a very small and powerful engine, the enlightened few, dragging along a lot of empty bogies. "Supposing that this attitude reached the masses, there was no reason why India couldn’t achieve a double-digit growth rate. The global financial crisis, which might be attributed to the application of scientific principle to the social science of economics, was pointed out as an example where this attitude backfired.
To this the author explained that science and scientific temper were two entirely different concepts. "The application of a scientific tool precipitated the crisis but the scientific temper in methodology being used to understand the failure would help us avoid such fiascos in the future," he said.
The inherent differences between science and religion were also discussed. The author signed off by explaining three action points which will help India in incorporating this scientific thinking in its citizens - The retraining of teachers and revision of examination system and finally approaching social sciences in a scientific manner.