Astrology workshop at IISc stands cancelled

Astrology workshop-Optimized
The brochure of the workshop that was posted on the IISc Alumni Association website.

The pushback against the two-day astrology workshop to be held at IISc on November 25 and 26, 2017 was swift and massive that less than 12 hours after social media shared the news, the IISc Alumni Association cancelled the workshop on Saturday (October 28) morning.

In a break from tradition, the Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association (IIScAA), Bengaluru had scheduled a two-day workshop on “Astrology as a Scientific Tool for Individual Progress” to be held at the IISc campus between November 25 and 26, 2017. Dr. M. S. Rameshaiah, Executive Committee of IIScAA and a member of the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS) was to conduct and convene the workshop.

As news about the workshop spread on social media, many IISc alumni and IISc faculty reacted sharply against using the campus for the said purpose as astrology is considered a pseudoscience.

“People who think astrology is pseudoscience can attend the workshop and decide whether it is science or not science. If somebody claims that astrology is not science one should not believe it. Check for yourself instead of believing what others say,” Dr. Rameshaiah told me on the night of October 27. “Using astrology participants can improve their life and become astrologers within 24 hours.”

The pushback against the workshop was swift and massive that less than 12 hours after social media shared the news the Alumni Association cancelled the workshop on Saturday (October 28) morning.

“Due to lack of interest and disagreement, the event will not be held. There is a negative connotation about astrology. Given the image astrology has in the society, IISc should not get involved,” Dr. M.P. Ravindra, President of the IISc Alumni Association told me on why the workshop was cancelled.

On why the Alumni Association decided to hold the workshop in IISc Dr. Ravindra said: “The intention was more to educate the society about the meaning and place of astrology in the society and how they should view astrology. Astrology is used by bad elements who are exploiting the ignorant people. But the intention was not properly communicated and with adequate clarity.”

“The reaction was pretty unexpected and negative. It was a bad move and the workshop has been cancelled,” said Dr. Ravindra.

Published in The Hindu on October 29, 2017

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