That’s So 2018: A Year Dedicated to Rewriting Indian History and Science

Politics

That’s So 2018: A Year Dedicated to Rewriting Indian History and Science

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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hen I was in school, struggling to score passing marks in chemistry exams, India’s president was Dr APJ Kalam. The rocket scientist-turned-leader had a distinguished, learned air about him, seemingly the embodiment of the “scientific temper” Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of when the nation was young. At the time, because of erudite personalities like Kalam, I never thought I’d see a day where I could claim to have a better grasp of scientific principles than those in charge of our country. But if 2018 has proven anything, it’s that you can never say never.

To be fair, our politicians have been making tone-deaf statements long before Kalam was ever on the scene, and have continued to do so without a care. But as the BJP government pursues its agenda of pushing ancient India as some sort of utopian Shangri-La, scientific fact finds itself challenged more often than Rahul Gandhi’s credibility. Make no mistake; the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Reserve Bank of India aren’t the only institutions under threat as we get set to usher in 2019 — rational thought itself is in danger of being dropped by Indian society faster than the Congress dropped Sajjan Kumar after his guilty verdict.

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