Former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar Friday said even scientists are superstitious and we need to work towards eradicating the scourge from the society.
Speaking at an event marking the 30th anniversary of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (or MANS, which works towards eradicating superstition by developing a scientific temper in people), the noted nuclear scientist appreciated the work of the body founded by the slain rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
"Superstitions exist in all societies and it level depends more on education and enlightenment of the society. Recalling our experience of lord Ganesha drinking milk in the 1990s, I can say that there are superstitions even among scientists," Kakodkar said.
It can be noted that Kakodkar has been intimately associated with nuclear science, and is widely credited for designing the first indigenously built reactor Dhruva.
He said, "blind faith" has the worst impact on the weak and the vulnerable and exhorted everyone to uphold the "cause and struggles" of MANS.
It can be noted that Dabholkar was killed in August 2013, and was the first in a series of rationalists to be eliminated elsewhere.
Kannada writer MM Kalburgi, Communist leader Govind Pansare and journalist Gauri Lankesh were also felled by the Hindu fanatics irked over these rationalists' outlook.
Addressing the same event, Bob Churchill, the communications director at Humanist International, said Dabholkar's assassination and the subsequent laws against black magic in Maharashtra is well known around the world.
"Today, global trends show that rationalism is needed more than ever. All over the world, fundamentalism is spreading like wildfire. We are strongly affected by many forms of violence. Collective rationality must be preserved in national and global interest," he said.
MANS executive president Avinash Patil said the body stands united to prevent losses from mob-lynching,trafficking, migration, natural calamities, war and other crises.
Meanwhile, a 'March for Science' was carried out by a group of people committed to scientific temper at the central Mumbai's historic Shivaji Park this evening.
The protestors sought developing scientific temper, human values and a spirit of inquiry in the society, in conformity with Article 51 (A) of the Constitution, along with stopping propagation of unscientific ideas and increasing research spends to 3 percent of GDP.
The demand comes amidst a litany of acts against the spirit of science by revivalists and religious fanatics, especially those in power.