Hinduthva Traditionalists Disrupting Main-Stream Science in India – lessons for Sri Lanka.
Posted on January 9th, 2019

Chandre Dharmawardana.

The following BBC news item on how Indian Science is being influenced by quacks touting Hinduthvaya-Science  is extremely noteworthy, especially for south-Asian nations.

In Sri Lanka we have influential intellectuals  like Dr. Nalin de Silva, one time Dean of’ the Kelaniya University who seems to have been  a  mentor to Venerable Ratana and Dr. Jayasumana. They  led a politicized campaign negatively affecting agricultural science and health science.

Dr. Silva  taught that ancient “eastern” knowledge, and knowledge obtained from, for example  God Natha,  are the real truths while modern science is a complete deception “(patta-pal” boru = “fully fermented” or “cooked up” falsehoods is the phrase  he uses)”. In spite of it, believe it or not, he was prepared to be the Dean of Science at Kelaniya. He promoted astrology and clairvoyance, rejected the need for evidence-based science.  According to Dr. Silva, “Truth” is specific to each culture, and so “western Science” does not work within the dominant cultural milieu of Sri Lanka.

About a decade before Nalin de Silva we had Dr. Basil Mendis of Peradeniya. He  taught   that the Earth was Flat as directly discerned.  If you look at the social sciences, there have always been  pseudo-historians spinning Ravana Myths, or others claiming that Gauthama Buddha was born in Sri Lanka. Some

Hela Havula historians had a history of Madagaskar, Sri Lanka, and Australia being linked together even in historic times.

The adventure spun off by Dr. Nalin de Silva and other “traditional knowledge and chinthanaya” people  led to claiming that a new kind of Kidney disease (CKDu) affecting the people in the Rajarata was caused by Arsenic in fertilizers, glyphosate from herbicides, and calcium acting together,  poisoning the farmers.

Note that this theory, officially launched by  Jayasumana, Sanath Gunatilleke, and Mrs Senanayake (Natha contact) with the blessing of Dr. Nalin de Silva and his followers blames glyphosate, but  not its additives (like tallowamine) which can be toxic if ingested  in large concentrations. The actual concentrations delivered to the field are in parts per trillion and have no effect.

Strangely enough, those who look for an agrochemical cause do not ask why the cattle, household animals, mice  etc., of the farming communities do not get poisoned, where as they are equally susceptible and are often used as test animals in laboratory explorations of the causes of these diseases.

This misled the public, and also many young scientists and young students who got degrees from Kelaniya. Even the Vidurasa sinhala “science” journal published sheer nonsense articles from Nalin de Silva and his followers, and from  “ecologists” misled by “toxin-free-organic-food” slogans. The public, be it in the USA, or in Sri Lanka,  likes simple solutions to complex problems.

Some editors think that “fairness” demands giving equal weight to the “Patta-Pal-boru” people and main-stream science.

If you go to the Vidurasa Journal, even today you can see this unfortunate policy in display!

Other newspaper editors think that scientist who speak in favour of modern agriculture are paid agents of agri-business multinationals, and hence support the use of agrochemicals. Some editors simply support the “toxin-free nation” slogan and reject all submissions by scientists who try to explain what a toxin is, and what is not a toxin, because the “Professors are selling the poison in cabal with the big companies”.

So a moral accusation and an anti-nationalist accusation are also added against main stream science as a way of tilting the argument against scientific agriculture and the use of technology in solving problems. Thus evidence-based decision making is replaced by ideology-based decision making;  labelling of various individuals as “traitors” is a part of such campaigns.

All this led to political action and the banning of the herbicide costing the country about 50 billion during three years. The ban is still on for key sectors like maize (“Bada Iringu”), and most crops except tea and rubber.

Indian science congress confronted by “Hindu science”

India scientists dismiss Einstein theories

India scientists dismiss Einstein theories

Speakers at a major conference have been criticised for making irrational claims based on Hindu mythology.

The current view on the kidney disease, given by  the Kandy Hospital Kidney Specialist’s Research Unit  may be read in their latest research paper:

[their conclusion is: Based on the molecular pathway analysis in CKDu patients and review of literature, viral infections and fluoride toxicity appear to be contributing to the molecular mechanisms underlying CKDu.]

for the full research article, see:


That CKDu was triggered by drinking well water containing fluoride from geological sources, and water hardness  had been proposed by Peradeniya chemists and geologists since 2005.  Hard water, or  `Kivul vatura’ has magnesium ions in the water, and  thermodynamic considerations show this

to be a relevant factor). Once the illness is triggered, viral infections follow.

Scientists had also noted that the people in the Rajarata who drank water from agricultural canals, tanks etc., did not get CKDu. If agricultural effluent was a causative factor, then those who drink water from agricultural canals and tanks should be the most affected. Chandre Dharmawardana.

One Response to “Hinduthva Traditionalists Disrupting Main-Stream Science in India – lessons for Sri Lanka.”

  1. Christie Says:

    Looks like the writer cannot stand the Cold in Canada.

    But looks like he cannot afford Organics and Chemicals free food in Canada.

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