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Use science to overcome obscurantism, says Ansari

Bengaluru, May 22, 2015, DHNS: 1:02 IST
Vice-President Hamid Ansari and  C N R Rao, DH photo
Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Friday said promotion and embedding of science and scientific temper is a constitutional duty, besides being a moral one for a modern nation.

Inaugurating the 15th All India People’s Science Congress here, Ansari said poverty, hunger, disease, ignorance, superstition and obscurantism should be eradicated by strong educational and scientific temper.

“In fact, the latter three impede the eradication of the first three. In other words, to fight poverty, hunger and disease, we need to overcome ignorance, superstition and obscurantism,” he said. Education is the key to overcome the evils and should be spread far and wide from the lower to the higher levels, he said.

“The obvious instrumentality is education. At one level, it overcomes ignorance in a formal sense. But does it address itself to superstition and obscurantism? The answer is in the negative; the reason, regrettably, is to be found in ideologies and social belief and practices that prevail in various segments of our society,” the Vice-President said.

“These induce narrowing of the mind and cultivation of prejudices and intolerance. They impede, even suppress the voice of rationalists,” he said. Describing science as the primary motor for social change in human history, he said it is indispensable for addressing major contemporary challenges of economic growth and social transformation in societies.

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