Indian society and polity need to develop scientific temperament as envisaged in our Constitution.

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Recent happenings in our India specially protests, communal strife and economic slowdown  has led to considerable damage to our socio-economic order, hence in this context it is a necessity to discuss the relevance of Fundamental Duties as per Directive Principles under Part4( Article 51A) of the Indian constitution added by the 42nd amendment in 1976.

Specially Article 51A(H) among others incorporates the need to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

The requirement here is to understand the relevance of fundamental duties in a democratic state and how they are important to inculcate a sense of discipline amongst us, which is often not discussed in the public domain and is something the masses are unaware of.

The  Directive Principles of state policy embodied in Part 4 of the constitution, are directions given to the state to guide the establishment of an economic and social democracy, as proposed by the preamble, they set forth the humanitarian and socialist instructions that were the aim of social revolution envisaged in India by our constituent assembly.

The Directive Principles act as a check on the state; theorized as a yardstick in the hands of the electorate and the opposition to measure the performance of the government at the time of an election.

I specially want to make an emphasis on the scientific temperament, which the founding fathers of our constitution wanted to be instilled in the young minds of this great nation

Science has lifted the world’s living standards and this scientific outlook has helped humanity in ways one cannot imagine, helping the world’s living standards for several centuries.

It could certainly help India resist the ravages of hatred, in acceptance, intolerance which compile to form disharmony in our society.

The development of scientific temperament in society can be defined as a way of life, which may include empirical reasoning, analysis, experimenting, testing, analysing and communicating (order can be changed) hence, application of logic in understanding the term of scientific temperament as mentioned in the constitution is fundamental. A beautiful insight about it is mentioned by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru in his book the “Discovery of India”.

“What is needed is the scientific approach, the adventurous and yet critical temper of science, the search for truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on pre-conceived theory, the hard discipline of the mind—all this is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems.”

—Jawaharlal Nehru (1946) The Discovery of India, p. 512

This thought process was fostered by that of many leading scientific thinkers like Charles Darwin, Galileo, Copernicus and many other who gave the world best of intentions to make life better for humanity.

The diabolic citizenship amendment act which was passed in the parliament on December 12th has led to the nationwide protests and counter protests with the youth of this nation among others hugely becoming a monopolist in expressing dissent.  Young people are rising up in universities around the country and agitating for their beliefs and prejudices. There is much discussion about the Constitution of India, particularly Article 14, which states that “the state shall not deny any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”. As the recent Citizen (Amendment) Act, or CAA, and the yet-to-be-notified National Register of Citizens (NRC) come up for court hearings, there will be much debate about Article 14 and its nuances. Arguments may stretch to include not only fundamental rights under the Constitution, but also the obligations of citizens.

Development of scientific temper is very necessary in the present situation in our society when there has emerged a huge communal discord amongst people, the country already facing economic slowdown crisis and population increase, the need of the hour is to inculcate and instill such temper in the youth instead of the hatred that has crept in recently, politicians have further helped the cause of spreading hatred in the masses, by their derogatory speeches and remarks, these politicians speak on the ground and result is violence, the recent example of the hate was national capital, the express of dissent by students of universities has been phenomenal too, but above all the protests caused out of this discourse of CAA has led to fissures in society in recent history.

So the need is to develop  scientific temper in the society as envisaged in the constitution, many young political leaders have been fundamental in promoting and adhering to this fundamental duty with keen interest, some like Akhilesh Yadav, president of the Samajwadi party, Arvind Kejriwal Delhi CM, Aditya Thackeray, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister to name the few have emerged as  important figures in nation’s leadership who walk the talk about youth welfare schemes on the patterns encircling the scientific temperament

Arvind Kejriwal, an Initiand himself through the aid of his party cadres has done phenomenal advancements in the field of quality primary education.

Aditya Thackeray has shown interest in Environment protection.

Akhilesh Yadav talks of harnessing energy of rural youth in nation building

The current central government needs to promote and work for the schemes that would become beneficial for the youth to develop a scientific temperament envisioned by our constitution makers.

 

The current situation of hatred and in-acceptance that has crept in the society is only destroying the social fabric of harmony and peace in this great nation which our elders developed after years of sacrifice and hard work.

The Gandhian model of peace and love should reverberate in this generation, instead it is the gun shots which are getting echoed and leaving a huge impact in the lives of many, this can be achieved only when instead of hatred instilled by some in the society, a scientific outlook as mentioned In the constitution and proper machinery to set up such temperament is developed. Which would help the youth to distinguish themselves between the good and bad.

Today when communalism, casteism and hatred is dividing society on the one hand and when we talk of improved infrastructure for health, education, jobs creation for making modern India that can cater to youth aspirations, we need scientific temperament in society be developed as perceived by founding fathers of our constitution.

Mohammad Abbas

Research Associate,

Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD)

Lucknow.

 

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