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Ayodhya: the finale: science versus secularism in the excavations debate
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Author : Koenraad Elst
Pages : viii,58p., 23cm.
Year : 2003
ISBN : 9788185990774, 8185990778
Publisher : Voice of India
Place : New Delhi
Binding : Paperback
Price (Airmail) : INR 179.00
About the book:

Science had made considerable progress, to the point of being able to decide many historical riddles such as whether a given site has a history as a place of worship. With the modern techniques available, it is rather absurd that there should be a controversy over such a simple and easily verifiable matter. It is incredible that there has been a yes/no game over the existence of temple remains at the disputed site for about fifteen years, when the matter could be scientifically decided in no time. Worse: even when science was called in to decide, the procedure was opposed by, all people, the most eminent academics. And when the scientific findings were made public, they were furiously denounced by more academics. True, when Galileo made his scientific findings known, he too was opposed by the learned academics of the day, not just by the Pope. But that was a few centuries ago, when they were still steeped in theology rather than in science. I thought we had moved on since then. Given the importance of the Ayodhya dispute and the author's old familiarity with it, he engages in this polemic once more. When dogmatic ideologues are giving scientists the kind of treatment which the experts of the Archaeological Survey of India have been receiving from the eminent historians and assorted Babri Masjid lobbyists, it is time to stand up and be counted. He wants to be counted among those who defend the freedom of research and the scientific method, rather than among those who shriek and howl about some evil spirit in whose name every lie becomes justified, and whom they call secularism. Dr. Koenraad ELST was born in Leuven, Belgium, on 7 August 1959, into a Flemish (i.e. Dutch-speaking Belgian) Catholic family. He graduated in Philosophy, Chinese and Indo-Iranian Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven. His research on the ideological development of Hindu revivalism earned him his Ph.D. in Leuven in 1998. ISBN: 8185990778
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