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IIT-M scholars protest against BM Hegde event

Cardiologist B M Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee who had courted controversies in the past over his comments that were derided by the scientific community as technobabble, faced protests at the Indian Institute of Technology here, where he had come to deliver a lecture at an event organised by a student organisation.

IIT-M scholars protest against BM Hegde event
Indian Institute of Technology Madras


While the research scholars who staged the protest called him a proponent of “pseudo-science and quackery”, Hegde dismissed it as ignorant. 

Belle Monappa Hegde, who had won the third highest civilian award in 2010, was invited by one of the student bodies of the institute, ‘Saathi’, to lecture on the topic ‘Matters that Matter’. 

Even as he was delivering the lecture, a group of research scholars of the institute held placards that read ‘RIP Science’ and ‘Saathi of Quacks’. They staged the protest despite the attempts by the security personnel at the institute to prevent it.

On the face of it, Hegde’s profile looked attractive, as he is a cardiologist and a Padma Bhushan awardee, the group said in its statement. However, it added, an elementary online search reveals that he was a proponent of pseudo-science and quackery.

“He (Hegde) has time and again rejected modern medicine and supported ‘quantum healing’, which has been dismissed by the scientific community as technobabble,” they added.

The protesting scholars wondered whether it was a case of a lapse in checking the background of the speaker, or if the student organisation and IIT Madras accomplice in propagating pseudo-science.

When contacted, Saathi representatives refused to comment on the incident. Reacting to the protest, Hegde said it only indicated how much the protesters know about science.

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