IAS officer blew conch at science meet

Sandhya Soman | TNN | Jan 7, 2016, 05.54 AM IST

MYSURU: It’s natural to blow one’s own trumpet if you have a microphone and a room full of listeners. IAS officer Rajeev Sharma literally did so as he sounded the ‘holy’ conch for around two minutes at the 103rd Indian Science Congress on Tuesday.

Sharma wasn’t being self-serving at the premier science event. Sharma, additional commissioner from Kanpur, was merely trying to show how, if done correctly, shankh-naad (blowing of the conch) could cure psychosomatic disorders. Because. “most problems in universe have simple solutions”, said Sharma, attributing the quote to Albert Einstein.

In a redux of last year’s controversial lectures that claimed superiority of Indian scientific thought during mythological times, Sharma offered no proof. Instead, he quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to say that we have to use tradition to find sustainable solutions. So, the solution to the country’s complex health problems could lie in blowing the shankh, apparently the essential part of daily prayer in “every household”.

The benefits are manifold. The routine provides “excellent exercise for rectal muscles, prostrate, urinary tract, lower abdomen, diaphragm, chest and neck muscles,” Sharma said at a symposium on indigenous approach to psychology. Lungs expand, neck muscles stretch beneficially, and brain gets nourished with all that blood flow. There is so much blood circulation that it will turn “white hair to black”, he claimed, as the audience consisting renowned psychologists, professors and students gasped.

But the biggest benefit is to the mind as the trumpeting soothes and readies it for meditation. Thus, it provides holistic health. Of course, one should learn the practice from a trained person so that one doesn’t rupture the diaphragm or lungs. Sharma also thanked NK Saksena, president of Anthropological and Behavioural Sciences section for allowing him to present this paper despite “knowing the nature of the topic”.