Fanatical nationalism a looming threat to world health: Gross
Kolkata: Professor David J Gross, a Nobel laureate in Physics, voiced his protest against the 'fanatical nationalism' which is prevalent not only in India but across the world.
Professor Gross was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 52nd annual convocation of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) on BT Road on Tuesday. Fanatical nationalism, violence and racism are the biggest threats to the nations.
Awards were distributed among the research scholars, of whom Sagnik Nandy, a student of statistics has won 3 gold medals during the convocation.
"There are many problems and dangers that we all are facing. The massive inequalities that exist among the nations, the persistence of useless war and violence, the danger of fanaticism and terror are the threats not only to the environment but to the health of our planet," Gross said.
When asked about the "American first" foreign policy of US President Donald Trump, Chancellor's Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA said that this is a stupid move and added that Trump knows nothing.
"America's great treasure is its absorption of people from all over the world. Trump knows nothing. He is not only an opportunist but his policy is making people angry. The method he is using is common in India. His family came only 150 years ago. Racism is the bigger challenge. Keep the outsiders away is a stupid concept which is doing harm to USA also. Sometimes politicians mislead the people," he maintained.
"It is a scientific fact that all of us had a single mother a few thousand generations ago which can be proved by studying DNA of people around the world. The cause of many problems is sheer ignorance – the ignorance of science that could solve many of the world's problems. Ignorance of other cultures promotes fanatical nationalism. The greatest obstacle to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge. It is not that the fundamentalists are only ignorant but they are certain that they possess the absolute truth. It is this certainty that can lead to repression, bigotry, racism and fanaticism."
On advancement of scientific research in India, Professor Gross said that India has some brilliant people but there are not enough opportunities to fully utilise their abilities.
Addressing the research scholars at the ISI convocation, Professor Gross said: "Find out what you truly love to do in order to be successful in life and always listen to your hearts, aim high and dare to fail."