India March for Science held at Thiruvananthapuram

Henrietta Strickland
August 11, 2017

Armed with posters that bore slogans like "Science not Silence", "People it's time to react", and "Defend Science, Don't De-fund Science, the protesters gathered at Kranti Maidan at 4pm on Wednesday amidst fleeting showers". The marchers demanded that the government invest more in science and promoted scientific work.

Another scientist, Deepak Modi from Mumbai, bluntly told that India's current expenditure on research and development was "way smaller than anything needed to make any kind of breakthrough in science".

Organizers of the marches said science in India "is facing the danger of being eclipsed by a rising wave of unscientific beliefs and religious bigotry, and scientific research is suffering serious setback due to dwindling governmental support". The march itself was a short one, from the front gate of Kerala State Central Library (Public Library) to the Kerala University's Palayam campus.

When Modi had become Prime Minister many Indians had been hopeful that the country's research situation was about to improve.

"We have demanded that this pseduo-science be stopped under the name of research on Panchgavya and cow urine. This is commendable in an era in which people are purposely muddling information", said another physics student Neel Kohle from Ruparel College.The march aims for government policies towards research and education to be evidence-driven.

A number of scientists, research scholars and students on Wednesday took out a march - perhaps the first such protest in the country - demanding an end to the financial neglect of science and the propagation of pseudo-scientific ideas.

While it is still unclear whether the rallies will result in any sort of change in government policy it can not be argued that the public response to the movement was highly supportive both on social media and offline.

About 250 scientists marched in Mumbai calling for curbs on what they see as growing tendencies to confuse mythology with science.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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