Kumar Ketkar talks about self-established mythical histories and predictions
Mythologies are always interesting. But those who seriously believe them and start treating myths as realities, end up as psychological patients. Some become neurotic. Some schizophrenic. Some others are treated for hallucinations. Some develop acute inferiority complex, lose confidence and go into depression. But such psychological patients can also become dangerous. Some become violent and harm others while some harm themselves.
All of us know such people. Often they are around us. We ignore them or feel worried about them. Sometimes we even laugh at them, because they look normal, but their behaviour is weird. They make irrelevant and idiotic statements and look ridiculous. They embarrass us but we don’t tell them that they are idiots. We don’t want to hurt them in public or private. Not realising how absurd their behaviour is, they expose their foolishness in public.
There are many such fools who have risen to important social, cultural or political positions. They have now spread their tentacles in the media. This means they have gone public. Like PIO, it is a sort of Public Issue Offer. But PIO also means People of Indian Origin. Some PIOs live in India to provide a source of entertainment to us. Have you read or seen such statements and felt embarrassed?
A senior union minister has recently waxed eloquent, saying that we should stop teaching Darwinian theory.
Even wiser theories on evolution are in ancient Indian scriptures. Yet another minister in Rajasthan government said that Hundreds of years before Issac Newton discovered the principle of gravity, Indian Puranas had found that idea. Aerodynamics was well known to our ancestors. That is why there was Pushpak plane.
Most advanced techniques of architecture and civil engineering were there too. See the under-sea construction of Ram Setu! Then there was one who said cow urine can cure any disease, from AIDS to cancer.
And how can we forget the great Hindu scholar who said in Science Congress that India knew plastic surgery and organ transplant operations? He cited evidence of Ganesha having elephant’s head. Not to remain behind, one Hindu pundit told the international gathering of scientists that ancient India knew genetics and the stem cell science and the structure of DNA. Without that knowledge, how could there be 100 Kauravas born? Could any mother survive a hundred deliveries?
And if one Kaurava was 100 year old, his youngest brother would be just one year old. But actually, all of them were of the same age! This could not have possible without advanced knowledge of genetics!
In one national science conference, a leading multi-disciplinary scientist had come as a chief guest. While introducing the chief guest, one Indian mytho-scientist said that ancient India had full knowledge of nuclear fission, indeed even fusion too. That is why we see descriptions of atomic weapons in the Mahabharata. The “Brahmastra” and long-range “Kshepanastra” were in possession of the Pandavas!
One wonders why, despite such glory of science in ancient India, the Prime Minister has to announce the national toilet programme. Those wise Rishi’s and Munis who discovered everything, from nuclear power to space travel, could have easily created an efficient drainage system. The excavators could have been able to find serious and functioning. The protagonists of modern science, are asking for proof for all the claimed achievements.
Listening to all the wisdom and fantastic scientific achievements in ancient India, the European scientist said in response that there was no necessity of his being there in the conference because Indians knew everything and there was little to learn now. He took the first flight back home. India’s Prime Minister too mentioned all great strides made in various disciplines—from mathematics to medicine. The “Vedic maths” is now a subject in some universities. And now astrology also is part of the astronomy in some colleges.
What is intriguing is the fact that the people who believe most of these myths are educated professionals, and some are employed in big corporations, national or multi-national. Yoga, of course, is now ubiquitous, having been declared by the UN as a global programme by dedicating a day each year. Now NaMo-Yoga is a global pastime.
These people now say with conviction that Narendra Modi will stay as Prime Minister till 2029. Indeed, that is a command from the Sarsanghachalak, but they are quoting from some Nostradamus text, which nobody has actually seen. That great mystic fortune teller had predicted way back in some fourteenth or fifteenth century that India will have a head of the state with a name beginning with alphabets NM. He will transform the country and make India a super-superpower.
With such prediction, why do we need elections and peoples’ mandate?
We are set on a course of glorious India. When one meets people who believe in all this mumbo-jumbo, one is left with only two options: Believe in destiny and glorious past, and all the problems will be solved forever.
As stated at the beginning of this article, we are surrounded by educated psychological patients and uneducated ignoramus!
Is there any point in telling a fool that he is a fool? Being a fool, he won’t comprehend what you are saying. Indeed, I fear, he will call me a fool, because I don’t believe in these self-established mythical histories. If myths take over societal mindset, the reality goes for a toss. Then there is no poverty, no starvation, no inflation, no slums, no diseases, no pollution.
In a mental hospital, a doctor is the only mad person, surrounded by weird people who think that they are wise and the psychiatrist attending to them is in need of a treatment!