Statement against the excavation at Unnao by the Archaeological Survey of India

October 2013

In India, nothing seems absurd.

Now, the king of absurdities is unfolding before our eyes. It is learnt that the Union Government has sprung into action and has mounted a massive treasure hunt, because a sadhu had a dream! Excavation has started under the aegis of none other than the Archaeological Survey of India at the Daudiya Kheda village in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, because the sadhu Sobhan Sarkar was told by Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh (who died more than 150 years ago) in his dreams that a large trove of treasure is buried under the old fort in that village.

Modern science has revealed that dreams are nothing but experiences and imaginations of an individual being played out in a haphazard fashion during sleep. Modern science has also revealed that there is no soul that hangs around after one is dead. So the story of Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh appearing before the sadhu in his dream is simply nonsense. In case the sadhu is an honest person, all that could have happened is that he had heard such stories of buried treasures, which played out in his dream, mixed with personal imaginations. But there is also the possibility that the whole thing is a conspiracy, motivated by political considerations. It is even possible that some amount of gold will really be found, which has been buried there sometime back as a part of the conspiracy.

However absurd the whole affair may seem, it raises a central question. The Breakthrough Science Society has been pointing out for a long time that, while the government talks big about the promotion of science and technology, it actively patronizes unscientific beliefs and superstitions. This gives official sanction to such unscientific beliefs, and makes peoples trust in them even more deep-rooted. The Unnao episode is a case in point, where the government officially committed the expenditure of public money on a superstitious belief. The Breakthrough Science Society strongly protests such actions by the government, and urges the people not to believe in such unscientific nonsense.
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Objectives of Breakthrough Science Society

  • To cultivate scientific and logical faculty of mind;
  • To foster consciousness against unscientific beliefs, superstitions, fanaticism, communalism, casteism, etc.;
  • To disseminate and popularize different discoveries and advancements of science;
  • To cultivate the study of history and philosophy of science;
  • To inculcate ethical values and social responsibility in all fields of scientific endeavour;
  • To devise and introduce correct method of teaching and learning of science;
  • To conduct campaign for the introduction of a secular, scientific and democratic education policy;
  • To move for the introduction of pro-people government policies in regard to research, development, and application of science and technology for the benefit of the people;
  • To build up movement for the socialization of natural resources and for the correct use of science and technology to ensure sustainable development and protection of environment; and
  • To fight against the misuse of science for the destruction of humanity.