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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 52, New Delhi, December 12, 2020

Golwalkar had nothing to do with Science - Do Not Rename RGCB Campus: Letter to India’s Health Minister

Friday 11 December 2020

Binoy Viswam
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
116, North Avenue New Delhi - 110 001
Mob: 96057667022 E-mail: binoyviswam55[at]gmail.com

To

Shri Harsh Vardhan ji, Union Health Minister Government of India, New Delhi.

Respected Shri Harsh Vardhan ji,

Date: 05.12.2020

The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) was inaugurated in 2002 with the aim to pioneer scientific research in molecular biology and biotechnology. The Centre has rapidly developed into the leading institute for research in biotechnology and has made great advances in medicine and disease control. In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the expansion of the RGCB with a new campus that seeks to become a knowledge centre and hub for innovation in advanced molecular and cellar therapeutics is a welcomed step. However, the naming of the new campus of the RGCB after M.S Golwalkar, the RSS ideologue and its second Sarsanghchalak who had little to do with the field of science and technology is not appropriate and must be reconsidered.

As an institute that is funded and supported by the Central Government, it is important that the name of the new campus reflect the desires and ambitions of the entire country and not be used to further the agenda of the RSS controlled BJP ruling party. The invocation of M.S Golwalkar’s name with an institute of scientific learning and research has no reasonable justification as neither did he make any contributions to the field nor did he even encourage the establishment of such institutes, to then pay homage to him appears to be unjust and politically motivated. It would be far more appropriate for the new campus to be named after famous Indian scientists and biotechnologists or even statesmen such as Shri Narsimha Rao or Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam, who were integral to the establishment of the institute.

I, therefore, urge you to reconsider the naming of the new campus after M.S Golwalkar and instead ensure the name reflects the vision and mandate of the new campus and the RGCB as a whole.

Yours sincerely
Binoy Viswam
Leader of CPI Parliamentary Party & Secretary, National Council

Member, Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Member, Consultative Committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change

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