Well-known international magazine The Scientist has always shown a bias against India in its reporting. For example, it came out with a piece attacking India’s first non-Congress prime minister Morarji Desai. The provocation was stopping of state support to Method of Science Exhibition (MoSE) which was anything but that, and all a part of Marxist and Soviet propaganda.
For example, MoSE had no panels representing Charles Darwin; even the phrase ‘natural selection’ was absent. But two full-fledged panels lent voice to the propaganda that depicted Vladimir Lenin as a ‘scientific planner’ and Karl Marx as first scientific investigator of the society.
More importantly, the exhibition itself was held during one of the darkest periods in the history of Indian democracy that saw forcible sterilisation of marginalised sections of the society.
However, the Nehruvian establishment allowed only pro-socialist scientists in the establishment, and they collaborated with magazines like The Scientist, and created an ecosystem that always does their bidding through selective reporting. This comes right from the 1970s.
The recent piece on ‘Kashmir’ in The Scientist shows that the old system is still in place, and is spreading selective reporting with the support of leftist networks within other Indian institutions. There is one important point here — the left in India actually shares core values with the worldview of the right-wing of the West — that too of the colonial type.
In the case of Kashmir, the international networks are quoted repeatedly to say that the curtailing of Internet in certain areas of Kashmir after the Indian government bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — is being played up in ‘The Scientist’ report.
In reality, science and institutions of science have suffered in the region because of two factors — Islamic fundamentalism and Islamist supremacist tendencies of previous rulers which ignored almost completely Buddhist Ladakh and Hindu-Sikh Jammu.
Even the organisation, JKScientists, run by Mubarak Hussain Syed, a neuroscientist at the University of New Mexico, actually shows only Muslims in the executive board. No Jammu based Hindu or Ladakhi Buddhist can be found in that. The photos of outreach programmes show all women in hijab or with heads covered, a custom that was imposed at gun point by Islamists.
What one does not see in the networking and activism of the scientists, who play activist politics with regard to Kashmir is that their very careers have been built on an ‘apartheid’ policy against non-Muslim minorities of Jammu and Kashmir. For example, a 1998 paper on the plight of Jammu and Ladakh had this to say:
The youth of Jammu virtually find no employment in the 12 corporations whose headquarters are in the Valley with 100 per cent of their employees from Kashmir. So is the case of directorates, universities and professional and technical institutions....The opportunities for the Kashmiri Muslims have increased further with the transfer of professional institutions like the veterinary and dental colleges, which were earlier sanctioned for Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, all the professional and technical institutions of the State are in the valley. These include the Post-graduate Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, the Dental College, the Veterinary College, the Agricultural University, the Regional Engineering College, the Artificial Limb Centre, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Physical Training Institute and so on. On the other hand, the Agricultural and Ayurvedic Colleges and the Kalakot Thermal Plant in Jammu have been closed down by the State Government despite protests by the people of Jammu.‘Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh: Ringside Views’, Edited by Shyam Kaul & Onkar Kachru, 1998
This religious ‘apartheid’ against non-Muslim minorities of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh region was further made traumatic by ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Kashmir Valley during the period of 1988-90.
Many academics and scientists then suffered too. In fact, the campaign by Jammat-e-Islami in Kashmir, which started the entire secessionist and terrorist movement targeted specifically institutions of education.
Author K Warikoo points out:
As part of this campaign they forced a ban on books which did not correspond with the Islamist world view. Various educational institutions, libraries and even the Kashmir University were ‘cleansed’ of such books which included all the ‘Books of Knowledge’ series, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Bernard Shaw’s plays etc. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was also decried.‘Religion and Security in South and Central Asia’, 2010
It may not be too much to ask The Scientist if it had ever published a report on how science has been suffering in the valley because of Islamist terrorism.
Today, the Indian government is trying to reverse decades of discrimination against the non-Muslim religious minorities of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also fighting against the Islamist insurgency that is trying to wipe out the pluralist theo-diversity of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh by imposing the Salafi form of Islam on all ethnic and religious communities.
In fact, institutions of science are now coming up in the so-far neglected regions of Jammu and Ladakh as already a medical college has been sanctioned by the government for Ladakh.
What is happening is the democratisation and removal of ‘apartheid’ in the institutions of science in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Naturally, those who benefited so far from institutional discrimination would cry foul. But The Scientist should have known better to present that voice as the voice of science.
Aravindan is a contributing editor at Swarajya.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!