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A Short Look At The Liaison Between Science And Religion

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By Ankit Varma:

“Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men”
                                                                                                                           -Jean Rostand

Science is the melting pot of curiosity, imagination and human endurance. The laws of the science played a pivotal role in unfolding the secrets of nature and understanding the working forces behind the miracles of nature. Our technological powers have given us control over almost all aspects of our life. It has changed the way we travel, talk and probably the way we think. Science is about data, logic and observation. It’s all about putting a method to the madness. Human mind doesn’t work this way, the inherent nature of the mind certainly is to be logical but at the same time there is no instrument which measures belief. Similarly the scientific community outright rejects the presence of god.

In my opinion god is a higher being, a force behind the universe. Gods’ divinity and presence are two very different things. The fact that god exists does not mean that it is necessarily a divine entity. For instance, there seems to be nothing ‘unscientific’ about existence of a human being called Ram. His divinity is a matter of faith and his heroics, a matter of belief. Every religion around the world is centred on life of such human beings with inhuman capabilities. But ironically these so called ‘unscientific assumptions’ continue to be a part of almost all the individuals of the earth. The reason for this is that religion is not all about holiness of a person or place, it is about the teachings of compassion and love which are the fundamentals of every religion. If a woman inspired by her god can sacrifice her whole to share the pain of the orphans and caring for the homeless, I don’t think we have any right to question the source of her inspiration.

We see with our eyes, feel through the skin and think with the brain. But who is the witness? Science disregards the presence of a soul, drawing a technical analogy- consider a computer, it is an assembly of electro-mechanical parts but is it what makes it a computer? In my opinion the presence of a human entity or popularly called the user is what gives complete sense to the computer. On similar lines an assembly of organic parts along with a soul makes us human beings. Soul is the witness.

Someone once said that science was brilliant at answering ‘how’ but becomes terribly confused when it is asked ‘why’. For instance, science is still discussing the origins of the life. It has been ‘concluded’ that the first cell was nothing but a mere coincidental collision between molecules in a pool of amino acid which resulted in DNA. Going further into pre-history, the event responsible for existence of that pool was the Big Bang. The universe in its earliest form was a point. So did the point just appear from nothing? If we discount the fact that god exists we come to the conclusion that everything came from noting. From the perspective of pure logic everything comes from something, so god is that something. So, as far as I’m concerned god is logic apart from being a matter of belief.

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  1. Raashi Wadhwa

    Well a very biased article. probably a product of the writers need to justify belief and a little illiteracy about the history of religions and a lot of illiteracy about science. As Nietzsche said – “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”

    What i would say is that i believe in a divine being. I do not believe in the authority that religion claims over that knowledge.

    It makes me sad how this article is proclaiming science to be arrogant. And your falsified logic would be appreciated by the religious apologists. While it was science that said that the earth is round, and it revolves around the sun,the church went nuts and declared capital punishment for blasphemy. Even today the pope says not to use condoms in the country like Africa where AIDS is rampant because it is against their religion. Being uneducated about science that you are, please do not use this platform to provide justifications for your beliefs by displaying science in a low light. Religion is about money, and political control. And by religion, i mean abrahamic religions, and not zoroastrianism, buddism, jainism and sanatan dharm which are more about spiritual development of the self. Even sanatan dharm doesn’t proclaims the existence of a god, and so is the case with buddhism.

    One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all. I agree with your point that we do not know what happened before the big bang, or what caused the big bang. But just because we do not know it, is no justification to fill that vacuum with a socially accepted lie.

    And please open up a little more to the current affairs and whats happening in the world before you claim that Religion is about love , peace and compassion. Remember the history lessons about the christian crusades? that was In The Name Of God. Go watch the movie Kingdom Of Heaven if you haven’t yet .Do you even know about taliban, and the al-queda? religion is filled with hatred against non believers.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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