Home / International/ Indian scientists protest congress speakers discrediting works of Newton, Einstein

Indian scientists protest congress speakers discrediting works of Newton, Einstein

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00


People hold placards to protest against claims made by speakers, discrediting theories of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, at the 106th Indian Science Congress in Kolkata, India - Reuters 

MUMBAI (Reuters): Indian scientists have protested about claims made at a local science conference that rubbish the work of some of the world’s greatest physicists and suggest modern breakthroughs such as in-vitro fertilisation were in fact invented in ancient India.

In a lecture at the Indian Science Congress and posted on YouTube, one speaker, Kannan Jegathala Krishnan said Isaac Newton was wrong about gravity, Albert Einstein made a “big blunder” and questioned Stephen Hawking’s achievements.

Another speaker, G. Nageswara Rao, a vice-chancellor at Andhra University in southern India, used stories from Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as proof the people of ancient India had aircraft, test-tube babies and that stem-cell research “was done in this country thousands of years ago”.

While organisers of the congress have promised to make changes for next year’s event following the criticism, Soumitro Banerjee, a physics professor and general secretary of non-profit Breakthrough Science Society, told Reuters the comments lent respectability to absurd theories.

Scientists in Kolkata and five other cities carried placards and held silent demonstrations on Monday against the comments, he said.

“This is very harmful for the growth of scientific temper because these ideas are being propagated through the Science Congress which gives it a respectability,” said Dhruba Mukhopadhyay, a retired professor and the president of the BSS, said.

The conference’s organiser, the Indian Science Congress Association, will soon issue a statement condemning this episode, said Premendu P. Mathur, a general secretary at the body and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

“From next year we have decided that all the people, even top scientists, who want to interact with anybody at the Science Congress, would be asked to submit their abstracts, not to deviate from their abstracts and we will place one of our members there as a moderator.”

The annual Indian Science Congress, which this year ran over five days at a university in northern Punjab state, ended on Monday.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

2 June 1941: Operation Barbarossa

Friday, 21 June 2019

The 22nd of June marks the 78th anniversary of the bloodiest conflict in human history, the titanic World War 2 struggle between Germany and Russia. In this clash of irreconcilable racial and ideological foes, no quarter was asked for, no quarter giv

The contemporary Nikaya system, the most unBuddhist legacy of Buddhism

Friday, 21 June 2019

The recent comments made by the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikaya hopefully will generate an objective discussion on the Buddhist institution and its role in Sri Lanka. The Venerable Mahanayake’s comments belied what Buddha beli

Laundering the Parliament

Friday, 21 June 2019

There are strict laws and rules in force to ensure the honesty and integrity of people’s representatives in all countries where there is a democratic system of governance. People’s representatives elected by public vote are prohibited to pursue b

SOFA/VFA: A worrying scenario

Friday, 21 June 2019

An unrestrained communal animosity towards ethnic and religious minorities, anchored in mythology and historical half-truths, and popularised by sections of the Buddhist clergy and a sectarian media have combined to drive Sri Lanka to a point where t

Columnists More