In DepthScience and Religion

In India, Hindu pride boosts pseudoscience

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Science  15 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6428, pp. 679-680
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6428.679

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In recent years, "experts" have said ancient Indians had airplanes, spacecraft, the internet, and nuclear weapons—long before Western science came on the scene. Such claims and other forms of pseudoscience rooted in Hindu nationalism have been on the rise since Prime Minister Narendra Modi rose to power in 2014. Some researchers say they're a threat to science and education that stifles critical thinking and could hamper India's development. They blame the rapid rise at least in part on Vijnana Bharati, the science wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, a massive conservative movement that aims to turn India into a Hindu nation.

  • * Sanjay Kumar is a journalist in New Delhi.

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