Pt. Nehru’s death anniversary

Jawaharlal Nehru

Nehru’s legacy of scientific temper got reflected when our Constitution adopted

In remembrance of Nehru on his 56th death anniversary, his role as a democrat with a scientific temper which has made an immense contribution to India has to be highlighted. Nehru conceptualised the term scientific temper in 1946 and defined it as an attitude of logical and rational thinking. The term “scientific temper” is contemporary but appeals to rational enquiry are not new to Indian ethos. We are proud land of Sushruta, a physician in 8th century BC and of Aryabhatt, mathematician in 5th century but the tragedy is today we still have prejudices for Scientific Temper as envisaged by Nehru. His vision of scientific temper should be seen in the context of his understanding of science and religion for a better appreciation. For Nehru science was not merely an individual’s search for truth but it should be an integral part of one’s thinking and action. He was more interested in the social consequences of science which has made it possible to view traditional beliefs in a new light-based on facts. One should not accept tradition simply because it is tradition as our sages of yesteryears were exploring too. In The Discovery Of India, Nehru writes, “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.” His concern in giving priority to Science was the reason that he was elected the first non-Scientist as Chairman of Indian Science Congress in 1937(British India) there in the meeting he said: “It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people.” Nehru’s legacy of scientific temper got reflected…