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Lord Shiva at the Indian Science Congress

A paper by Akhilesh K. Pandey touched upon Lord Shiva as Lord of Mount Kailash and his powers of providing purified water to human beings


Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) at the inauguration of 103rd Indian Science Congress programme at the University of Mysore in Mysuru, Karnataka. Photo: PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) at the inauguration of 103rd Indian Science Congress programme at the University of Mysore in Mysuru, Karnataka. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Get fit, blow a conch. Or, learn how Lord Shiva is the greenest God. Unspooling now, learnings from the Indian Science Congress in Mysuru.

The 103rd Indian Science Congress that concludes on Thursday takes off from where last year’s left off, reminding invitees about the alleged scientific glories of ancient India. At last year’s congress in Mumbai, a session titled “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit” dwelt on aviation technologies in Maharshi Bharadwaja’s Vaimanika Shastra, attracting ridicule. The tract describes aircraft that can cross borders and travel to planets. Speakers also dwelled on how Indians flew planes before the Wright brothers did.

Among 2016’s invitees was Akhilesh K. Pandey, chairman, Madhya Pradesh Private University Regulatory Commission, who prepared his paper on Lord Shiva: The Greatest Environmentalist in the World. The paper touches upon Lord Shiva as Lord of Mount Kailash and his powers of providing purified water to human beings.

“The objective of the paper is to spread awareness among students regarding how ancient Indian literature was responsible for conserving the environment. Lord Shiva’s family used to use animals such as peacock, rat and Nandi for conveyance and thus coexisted peacefully with animals,” Pandey explained. “It is important that people around us understand the importance of conserving plants and animals today,” he added.

However, Pandey suffered an unfortunate accident on a staircase and could not present the lecture. The attendees, however, did get the opportunity to listen to a lecture by additional commissioner of Kanpur, Rajeev Sharma, who presented a paper on Tuesday about blowing the shankh to achieve health and wellness. “Blowing of shankh is the best preventive measure for psycho-somatic disorders as it accounts for both physical and mental aspects of a performer,” he told Mumbai Mirror.

The papers and abstracts presented at the Indian Science Congress, according to the website, undergo intense scrutiny before being accepted for presentation. “Every paper selection is done by Indian Science Congress and I am only in charge of the proceedings,” said S.L. Belgali, the sectional secretary of environmental sciences at the ISC where the paper about Lord Shiva was presented.

Some scientists, however, are not impressed with Science Congress. “I attended one day (of an earlier Congress) and very little science was discussed. It was a circus. I will never attend a science congress again in my life,” Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan told The Times of India on Tuesday.