Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Scientists urge people to vote against inequality, discrimination
More than 150 scientists from leading scientific and research institutes across the country on Tuesday urged citizens to “vote wisely, and against inequality, intimidation, discrimination, and unreason” in the Lok Sabha elections. They, however, said the appeal, posted on the Indian Cultural Forum, had no political colour.
Subhash Chandra Lakhotia, senior scientist at the Benarus Hindu University, said, “We are not asking citizens to vote for a particular political party. We want to be sure that Indian science and Indian community does not go in the wrong direction.”
Scientists supporting the appeal said the country’s youth should see science as a means of democratic empowerment through sceptical, open-minded questioning, and politics that divides, creates fears, and marginalises should not be endorsed.
Aniket Sule, professor, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, said, “Polarisation in the name of religion, caste, or food habits is not healthy for the future of the country.”
Referring to the murders of rationalists such as Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, the appeal reads, “An atmosphere in which scientists, activists and rationalists are hounded, harassed, intimidated, censored, jailed, or worse, murdered, is not the future our country deserves… We must put an end to the denigration of rational, evidence-based public discourse. Only then can we create better resources and opportunities for jobs, education and research.”