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Ancient scripture prescribed beef as medicine, says scientist 

Ancient Indian scriptures imposed no bar on eating beef and, in fact, ayurvedic Acharya Charaka had recommended beef for some disorders, said veteran scientist P M Bhargava in his letter to President Pranab Mukherjee marking his returning the Padma Bhushan.TOI on October 29 first reported the decision of Bhargava, 87, the founder director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology , to return the award he got in 1986, as a mark of protest against rising intolerance in the country . Quoting Charaka Samhita, Bhargava said: “The flesh of the cow is beneficial for those suffering from the loss of flesh due to disorders caused by an excess of vayu, rhinitis, irregu lar fever, dry cough, fatigue, and also in cases of excessive appetite resulting from hard manual labour.“

Bhargava said the lynching of Mohamed Akhlaq in Dadri “probably by fringe elements related to BJP“ showed “the control that BJP wants to have on what we may eat… just as it wants to con trol what we may wear, or whom we may love, or what we may read.“

He called the Modi government “the least knowledgeable“ about science.

“I am a professional scientist with an experience of 65 years. I have also had the occasion of interacting on matters of science with the governments at the Centre since Independence. I find the present government the least knowledgeable and least concerned about science. The climate of religious conservatism that we have today is a major obstacle in the functioning of science and thus in meeting developmental objectives.“

Bhargava was among the second batch of more than 100 scientists to sign an online petition last month against the “rejection of reason“ that led to the assassinations of scholar M M Kalburgi, rationalist Narendra Dabhoklar and communist Govind Pansare.

In his letter to the President dated November 6, made available to TOI, the scientist said the BJP and the RSS were behind the climate of intolerance. “No one would be more aware than you that, de facto, BJP is the political front of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and functions under the leadership of RSS that is fully committed to the ideology of Hindutva, which I find divisive, unreasonable and unscientific,“ he said.

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