Bengaluru/Mangaluru, June 16: "I ........... do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to India and to the Constitution of India established and that I will loyally carry out the duties. So help me God," reads 'oath of allegiance' of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for Research Fellows.
For acceptance of fellowship in CSIR it is mandate for the candidates to seek help from the almighty (God) through signing. This has irked rationalists forcing to ask what makes the CSIR to compel the candidates to sign such 'obnoxious' statements in the form of Undertaking by a Research Fellow/ Associate on Acceptance of the Award of Research Fellowship/ Associateship.
The CSIR's these words printed in the category of undertaking by a research fellow while applying for the fellowship stands in gross violation of Article 51 A(h) of the Indian Constitution (to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform) says Narendra Nayak, President, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations.
Narendra Nayak speaking to OneIndia asked what non-existent entity 'God' is doing the form. "Has CSIR launched a research project for the next millennium to establish the existence of God element on the planet, asked Nayak.
Nayak further quipped questioning the CSIR, "but, we do not know which is the god they are talking about whether it is the millions of those of the Hindu pantheon, or the patriarchal Abrahamaic bearded figure sitting on a mountain or the god of the aborigines which may vary from tribe to tribe."
Nayak wonders as to how atheists (no-believers) be accommodated to CSIR fellowship programs. There are a few fellowship aspirants who are non-believers of god and refuse to sign such idiotic requirements. He also pointed that what Jains and Buddhists should do since they also have no belief on such powers.
Nayak demanded immediate withdrawal of this statement. Nayak said "CSIR should withdraw such ridiculous statement from the form. Besides he has written an open letter to Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR.
Open Letter by rationalist Narendra Nayak to Girish
While I (Narendra Nayak) have no objection to the contents of the oath except for the last sentence which asks for a non existent entity to help the person who signs it. While I have no objection to any one's personal beliefs I do wonder what this entity has to do with research.
Since you are a protein chemist and being a biochemist myself I would like to you to clarify as to whether this entity determines the primary, secondary, tertiary levels of structural organisation of proteins? The Quaternary level? or post translational modifications? Whether at the level of replication of DNA? Transcription of RNA from DNA? If so who causes mutations and the problems occurring thereafter?
In a country where a citizen has the right of belief (which also includes the right not to believe) how can you compel research fellows to sign an undertaking as to seek the aid of an entity whose existence has not been proved to help the signatory?
I do hope that this obnoxious clause will be removed from the application form of an organisation which is supposed to research in the scientific field.
On behalf of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations I strongly protest this attempt to bring religion into research. It does not matter whether it is one or the other but bringing an entity like "god" into an undertaking is a step in that direction.