Once the visionary Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had intelligently merged religious elements with socialist and secularist ideologies and what the nation needs now is to leave it where he developed, according to historian and social scientist Y Srinivasa Rao. He was in Kozhikode on Monday to present a seminar on ‘Nehru and the promotion of scientific temper in India’. Rao is currently a member of the board of studies (MA History) at Bharathidasan University, Madurai Kamaraj University and Society for the History of Technology, United States. “Scientific temper on rationalism failed to become a national philosophy in India. History studies in India are turning to the history of science and technology. The intellectuals in science and technology and their counterparts in social studies should work hand-in-hand to make a free distribution of wealth in the country. Technologies helped the country in enhancing production. But the wealth is still locked in certain pockets. This should be distributed equally. For that we need a non-corruptible system,” Rao said.
On the dangerously growing interference of religion in India, he said, “Nehru was able to keep the fundamentalists away, while incorporating the religious values into the system. Totally rooting out religious elements from the nation will be like demolishing their identity. He could cleverly merge religion sustainably, without giving space for spiritualists and fundamentalists and at the same time, introducing secularist ideologies.”
According to the scholar, the right wing ideologies and capitalist elements are a dangerous merge. “Indian capitalism is not seeing its harmful effects on society. Logically, it may be legal, but democratically, not. There was elective continuity and discontinuity during the Nehruvian era. He might be under attack now, which is sad. The Congress could not defend while the BJP tactfully played with the social media, to attract the Hindu youngsters. Other parties are seeing the social media’s significance only recently,” Rao said.
“The BJP could draw two types of classes parallel to each other in politics - one of the elite and that of the fringe elements. When the elite like Narendra Modi ruled, the fringe elements, an MLA or MP, made provocative comments. And the elite appeared to be punishing and pacifying them. This is just a drama. When the elite create an image in the national and international scenes, fringe elements are needed in the party to feel connected with the Hindu ideology,” he said.