Announcement has been made by the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna titles on the scientist Dr.C.N.R.Rao and the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for their outstanding contributions in their fields. But this announcement has brought along with it controversies as usual in Indian polity.
The award for the cricketer is attributed to the political sagacity of the ruling political party with an eye on the vote bank in the elections for five state assemblies to be held very soon. There is nothing new about this as both the rulers and the citizens in our country are well accustomed to such politicisation in every move of the governments. The obvious cannot be ruled out in this move also.
What makes the award to C.N.R.Rao , more distressing is the timing of the announcement. It appears that the Central Government was frantically searching for a person to be clubbed with Tendulkar and the ‘scapegoat choice’ was the scientist ! Is this an honour or insult to him ?
The views expressed by Dr.C.N.R.Rao have brought few hard realities to limelight. Dr.Rao seems to have burst out and used words in excess of the situation. He is reported to have called the politicians fools as they do not allot enough funds for the most important fields. The Governments have not done well in investment into basic education and basic science.
He pointed out that for basic education – for ordinary education, the State has to invest at least SIX per cent of the GDP. But at present, the investment level remains at only TWO per cent of the GDP. The State has to invest more in education, more in science so that future of India is secure. It is not good only if country’s Sensex and business is doing good.
More so, the scanty funds allotted for education, science and research are not sent in time with the redtapism and the apathy of the officials. Later he informed corrections in his wordings removing the sting in them. However the fact of poor allocation of fund by the Government remains as such.
But there are other very important facts highlighted in his views which are lessons to posterity. ‘ Science is the way to go forward. Unfortunately support for science is not as good as it should be. The Union Minister, Jeyapal Reddy has agreed with the views of the scientist CNR Rao that enough funds are not allotted and that there is redtapism on the part of the Government.
CNR Rao has mentioned that we don’t work hard as the Chinese do and that we tend to take everything casually, indirectly poking at our inherent laziness. But the most important thing about his views is his deep lament that there is very little scientific attitude among us which is an absolutely undeniable truth, coming from a scientist of his stature!
The media have unfortunately underplayed this statement for quite obvious reasons. In the Indian Constitution, Art.51A(h) has clearly spelt out the fundamental duty of every citizen to uphold scientific attitude , research mentality, human love and progressiveness. It is a big question how much of this is followed in practice.
How many of those who occupy the chairs of office after taking oath on this Constitution genuinely follow this rule? Do they ever spend a minute on the solemn pledge ? Leave alone others. How many of the Central Ministers, even the President, the Vice President and the Supreme Court Judges follow this rule? But the climax is, even the scientists seem to have very scant respect for this rule.
Dr. Rao has condemened his act of carrying the miniature of the Rocket to Mars at the feet of Balaji; It is ridiculous, quite unwarranted and against the spirit of our Constitution.