An Other Science of Colour
J. P. S. Uberoi
7. The Problem and The Framework
Dilow me to begin explaining that, being of middle age now, I belong to that generation which was still in school when Independence and Partition came upon us. We were too young to have participated in the national freedom movement, but we were nevertheless old enough to have had some definit expectations of what was to come afterwards. We had all taken science increasingly seriously, and we had thought that as we built up our own culture as well as politics, there were at least two major programmes our national elders would be committed to: that in importing things from the more developed nations we would be selective, not indiscriminate, and that we would adapt our imports—both material and cultural—to India rather than to adapt India to them.
If this programme appears on a retrospective look to have failed, and I for one think that it has, then surely one has to face the question of whether it was wrongly conceived of in the first place, and not merely fix the blame on who has failed us. Could it be that there are things or whole fields that we have to take as given and to try and absorb indiscriminately? „
I would like to narrow down this kind of enquiry to certain specific issues. Perhaps the chief import that we are expected to take as a whole in India and the Third World is in the field of science, beginning with what we are taught in schools as certain knowledge, which is knowledge that is clear, definite and agreed upon by the consensus of experts. For
28 October-December 1983