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Literature Discussion -


Review of: Science as a Reason of State

By Jamileh Dastmardi (Cypress)



Article Review: Science as a Reason of State
Jamileh Dastmardi

About the Article and Author
The article under review is the introductory chapter titled “Science as a reason of state” by Ashis Nandy who is also the editor of Science, Hegemony and Violence, a copyright of the United Nations University, Tokyo as part of her programme on Peace and Global Transformation and published by Oxford University Press, New Delhi in 1988.

Ashis Nandy is said to be a trained Indian clinical psychologists who has widely been proven political psychologist, cum social theorist and critic. His criticism centers on European colonialism, development, modernity, secularism, Hindutva, science, technology, nuclearism, cosmopolitanism and utopia. He has also offered alternative conceptions relating to cosmopolitanism and critical traditionalism and an original historical profile of India’s commercial cinema as well as critiques of state and violence, under which the this article under review falls.

In this article, Ashis Nandy has raised several questions about science, the development, social norms and the reasons for their emergence such as what are the sources of such commitment to the development of science and the science of development. Can one identify and challenge the philosophical and ideological framework within which the commitment is located? Can one not go beyond shedding tears copiously over the misuse of modern science by wicked politicians, militarists and multinational corporations, and scrutinize the popular culture and philosophy of modern science?  And so on and so forth.

These queries are actually with us since the time Archimedes created brand new tools intended for the town talk with the hope they would continue being the particular monopoly connected with the region rather than in addition get to be the property with the ungodly.

Nevertheless the queries received a different diamond ring for just a long, number of years. Through the halcyon times connected with Archimedes to the heady times connected with early colonialism, science had been primarily a guitar, not an end; not necessarily the conclusion connected with any nation or perhaps talked about. This particularly declares what drew probably the best looking financial returns from breakthrough discoveries connected with modern-day science and technology, or justified global dominance by discussing their particular medical and technological energy.

Ashis Nandy believes that, the nature regarding scientific disciplines provided a form of transformation, and so gets the character regarding individual assault. The actual invitation that this culture connected with the modern day scientific discipline gets to condition capacity to make use of technological knowledge outside the extends of the democratic practices in addition thereto, most importantly, the actual growth connected with institutionalized assault rather than the actual person, face-to-face, impassioned assault linked to classic methods connected with sacrifice in addition to feuds.

The author cites Truman, who in 1945 explained development with the saying that development had very little connection with what we understand it to be today. He accorded its meaning which holds links to the history of social change in Europe during prior hundreds of years. This of course, picked up very little connection with cures understood through growth in contemporary studies.

Citing John F. Kennedy’s assertion in his speech of 1962, the author traces the idea of science in the declaration of America’s major national goals to be the scientific feat of putting man on the moon.  In a similar fashion, the thought of science can be said to be directly linked with the said motive. Following the discussion of the relationship between science and government together to achieve development, Ashis Nandy argued that, research had shown that mega-science already experienced growing crucial worry with the condition over the planet warfare.

According to Nandy, the government authorities make use of the success inside a produced community, in addition to advance connection with research as a technique to accomplish their own political aims among the populists. Nowadays, in the states connected with North America, research being an instrument regarding the ideological struggle with communism ungodly. Thus, research as well as the progress connected with research, is really an instrument to accomplish political aims, in addition to government authorities to help electric power. As an example, medical progress, in addition to hereditary tools tend to be devices which government authorities with capitalist connect with improvement in addition to modernity abuse by getting them to increase their own electric power.

The actual boundary between research in addition to technologies ended up conditioning for approximately 190 several years. Ashis Nandy says, that John F. Kennedy’s speech were images of the future of science today; and how science and technology in the service of the State will come to power them, had the rare pure scientists refused to put their knowledge into a tool for governments to power and destroy nations.

As outlined in this article, the Indian subcontinent is a society in which the political elites have deliberately promoted research so as to make do with possible liability. He stated how exactly research is usually taken over by the government, and believes the native Indian government is able to warrant the application of research as being a significant supply of the condition and it is wanting to present in which research could shield politics. The paradox associated with romantic relationships between research and culture is usually the one that lies majorly in the native Indian contemporary culture.

At this juncture, he draws strings on India’s nuclear energy, which accorded strength and freedom to scientists. During this period, firstly, nuclear scientists were free from all financial constraints and the budget of the nuclear energy program was given through parliament without any review. Also, its cost implication was never made public and all data and functions in a nuclear power by law from public view, was kept away. For this reason, a systematic division emerged between intellectual and political freedoms, leaving the option for each scholar to choose one of these two types of freedom.

In his argument, Nandy holds that once some of the finest minds of India were netted by the state in this manner, some of the less scrupulous among them were given access to power. Therefore, an Indian nuclear energy can be delivered to citizens and military relief does not need to run it. He submits that nuclear scientists are not influenced by politicians and those in power have used nuclear to achieve national aspirations, developing the country will enable them gain power and financial resources. Also, that scientists have democratic rights, and among them are those based on civil law sources, trying to show that nuclear power is dangerous.

From the above assertion, there are three morals worthy of note. First, since modern-day research receives more and more designed in to technology, the idea specifically must be increasingly validated with regards to technology. In the other part the author mentions ‘scientific temper’ as a way of legitimizing the new-found reputation within the native Indian culture. Both equally choose to establish this temper since the character connected with engineering plus the instrumentalism is an inevitable portion. The invocation in the temper almost inevitably complements an adverse reading through connection with India’s regular nationalities and also strategies to live, known as impediments into a modern-day technological purchase. This actually tries to find uncritical legitimacy for many varieties of engineering, known as an undifferentiated connected with expertise, companies and also individuals.

He also offers explanation on how technology and science has become part of the Indian middle class that with too much help from media, government and education system there has been an upsurge in knowledge about science and technology. Many people expect this particular technological innovation to permit the nation for you to deal with the simple political and social troubles, thereby bringing about the assurance carried on political domination of apolitical, that is technocratic; the current elite take over the decision-making practice, defying the particular democratic program.

This particular hope to some extent, describes the reason technology will be promoted and distributed in Asia the way consumer items can be bought in different marketplaces of the economy. And the reason it can be looked for being distributed is because of Indian native elites being a cure-all to the problems connected with native modern society. For this kind of community mindset, actions are collected from one of excitement to an alternative.

In 1950 and 1960, nuclear power was elevated as the ultimate solution for all the problems in India. During the green revolution, the rise of natural disasters such as droughts and floods resulted in severe poverty and malnutrition of the people of India. So it is in this environment, and in these conditions, no matter where innovative technologies or the like, is moral or immoral, obsolete or new. According to Ashish Nandy, “technology is representation to escape of the dirty politics.

The second concern of Nandy is that, the notion of science is named as the key to all the problems facing the country. Scientists claim that certain sectors of society and political culture of India exclusively belongs to them. In the process, the source of legitimacy for the government was to develop national security for the middle class, the experts, scientists and security experts. The final assessment of Indian culture is that the good reason for the development of modern science and culture of their failure is the reason for the lack of development of modern science. After evaluating a good hypothesis of culture, scholars and experts find an organized and controlled approach to science deployment through a political process. That is why, much like nuclear scientific discipline, the actual adaptation throughout India associated with many years used American models which have typically recently been quite inside the western by itself because it is way too hazardous or even ecologically non-viable.

According to Nandy, the next moral of the report can be more painful. From the very character connected to their instruments-managerial inclination to American Indian society, modern-day research has built a new risk-free partnership with the philosophy and training connected with progress with India. American Indian developmentalists have become faced with the obvious proven fact that your developing eyesight cannot be universalized, with the globe simply does not need sources for planet to attain the usage numbers of the formulated western world. It does not include this kind of sources at this point; neither does it buy them in remote foreseeable future.

In the Indian subcontinent, this tradition of contemporary scientific disciplines has built a great inverse partnership using the traditions of available state policies to make fresh sorts of secrecy, centralization, disinformation and authoritarian organizational houses. Nuclear scientific disciplines with this admiration features merely already been accurate on the general social style of contemporary scientific disciplines. These days there are professionals, political management and also intellectuals within the Asia - as with some other likewise inserted communities - who will be flawlessly prepared shut the polity which makes sure there is more rapid scientific growth. And there are now scientifically-minded Indian citizens who will be as prepared sacrifice countless normal Indians to be able to enhance the reason for research and also science-based growth.

According to Nandy, “…there is continuity between the Native Indian experience of a progressively violent modern scientific discipline, encroaching about additional ways of life of expertise and also societal lifetime, and also the traditional western experience using modern scientific discipline because dominating national principle combating this introduction of fresh cultures of expertise”. Thus, “there exists a continuity between the ordeals with a couple of cultures, even in the quality of top notch and also middle-class responses to the situation”.

This goes further to imply that the present day American Indian elites have an anxiety about the existing absent, with the aid of a number of forms of historical past, and the actual American elites also have anxiety for the future, explained absent, with the aid of a number of forms of futurology, simply the worry of the long term is simply unrestrained or maybe disjunctive.



Nandy, A. (Ed) (1988). “Introduction: Science as a reason of state” In Science, Hegemony and Violence, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.






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