Maintaining that there are not many educated politicians like him, Union Minister of State for HRD Minister Satyapal Singh on Saturday reiterated his objections to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and said he does not consider himself a “child of monkey”. Singh said that he had made the remarks in January — about the need to change Darwin’s theory of evolution in school and college curriculum —“not as a joke but after putting serious thought into it”.
His earlier remark that Darwin’s theory was “scientifically wrong” had drawn criticism, and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had asked him against making such comments. Speaking at a function to release the book ‘Politics For A New India’, by Shriprakash Singh, at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Singh, a former police commissioner of Mumbai, said: “I had made the statement (in January) after putting thoughts into it. It was not a joke. I am a Science student, and I have done PhD. I understand science. People who want to speak against me will speak, but there were many who rallied behind me, supporting what I said.”
Singh, BJP MP from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, said the government is working on to bring in a new education system. “We consider (study) the books that make children see their fathers as useless kinds…it say our ancestors were monkeys, that we are children of monkeys.”
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He said many people do not want to speak the truth since they are “worried about what the newspapers (and critics) write”. Stating that one needs courage to speak the truth, Singh said people will eventually accept what he says — “if not today, tomorrow, or may be 10-20 years later”.
He argued that “scientific temper” does not mean condemning such statements but one has to really think about these issues. Maintaining that books in the present education system do not make children understand Indian culture, he said politicians cannot be blamed for the content. “Politicians are not so educated. There are not many like me…. I am an educated politician and I am proud of it. Even after studying in universities, I have knowledge about Bharatiya sankriti (Indian culture),” he said. Speaking at Saturday’s event, RSS leader J Nandakumar, Akhil Bharatiya Sanyojak, Prajna Pravah, also blamed the education system for leaving children “confused”. He argued for a “nationalist perspective” in the education system.
In January, Singh had said, “Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral (history) said that they saw an ape turning into a man.” HRD Minister Javadekar had then said, “I have asked him to refrain from making such comments. We should not dilute science.”