From US To India Via Germany
It was seen that Germany introduced a rule in August 1939. The Nazi Administration asked parents to register the names of their children – under the age of three, who were differently abled or had genetic disorders, like Down Syndrome – with the Government Office. The Government had also ordered the Maternity Wards of various hospitals to inform the concerned authorities about new-borns, born with physical disabilities. Within a month, those children were picked up from their homes, and taken to special Health Centres. Parents were seen objecting to the Government’s move, especially in Catholic-dominated areas. However, the Government Officials tried to convince them by saying that the Health Department would take special care of those children as per the instruction of His Excellency Führer. If the parents were still not persistent, the Gestapo used to eliminate the entire family.
From mid-September 1939, the world’s most ruthless act of Infanticide began on the state initiative to build a Healthy Nation. Some patriotic Nazi doctors started killing helpless, sick children by injecting them with poison. Karl Brandt (January 8, 1904 – June 2, 1948), the personal Physician of Adolf Hitler, co-headed the Aktion T4 euthanasia project in 1939. In the next six years (till the end of World War II), Nazi Germany killed nearly 0.3 million people, simply because of their physical disability and genetic diseases. Homosexuality was also included in the list of diseases, prepared by the Nazi Administration. Surprisingly, many educated Germans believed that a Healthy Nation would be formed under Hitler’s leadership. The basic foundation of that belief was a Pseudoscience or a mixture of Politics and Vested Interests, which is called ‘Eugenics’.
Sir Francis Galton (February 16, 1822 – January 17, 1911), an English Victorian Era polymath, statistician, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and a proponent of Social Darwinism and scientific racism, had first coined the term Eugenics in the 19th Century. Eugenics is the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by breeding out disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population.
The first large-scale gathering to discuss Eugenics was held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in September 1921. Nearly 300 scientists and Government officials attended the event, as one of the main organisers of the event was Harry Hamilton Laughlin (March 11, 1880 – January 26, 1943), the author of the book ‘Model Eugenical Sterilisation Law‘ (1914). He scientifically argued that the Government should enact Law related to forceful sterilisation. Laughlin was of the opinion that people, without having the desired characteristics to form a so-called Healthy Strong Nation or suffering from disability, dwarfism or genetic problems, would no longer have the Right to Reproduce! This way, their genes would gradually become extinct. His book was soon translated from English into German, and became a must-read for the top Nazi officials.
Madison Grant (November 19, 1865 – May 30, 1937), the Treasurer of Eugenics Conference, became famous for his 1916 publication ‘The Passing of the Great Race‘. The main aim of this book was to establish the view that Whites were the best of all Human Beings by twisting some Theories of Biology and Evolution. Over the next four decades, about 70,000 people were forcibly sterilised in the US, and most of them were Blacks, African-Americans, poor and marginalised people. Later, the concept of Eugenics led to Holocaust in Europe.
Eugenics was not Science, but Pseudoscience, which was nurtured by the Politicians. It was a different kind of Politics, at the centre of which was the absolute empowerment of the powerful and majority groups of the society. The subject Genetics was not supported at all, by fact-based research at that period of time. Instead, some fictitious theories were described as Science by the power-hungry Politicians. Hence, the Nazi Adminitration defended the Aktion T4 project with the help of the concept of Eugenics.
The real Scientists strongly rejected the concept of Eugenics… However, there was no shortage of Government Funding for research on Eugenics and Racial Hygiene in the US and powerful European countries. It may be noted that in today’s India, there is no shortage of State Funding for research on the benefits of Cow Urine for curing Cancer or on the impact of reciting Gayatri Mantra (a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda dedicated to the Vedic deity Savitr) on COVID-19 patients. This sort of Pseudoscience has always helped Politicians, with vested interest, portray their political ideology as a logical one.
The demonic history of the Holocaust came to light during the trial of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, Germany in 1948. During the Nuremberg Trial, Eugenics started losing its popularity. Many scientists abandoned research on Eugenics, while various Eugenics laboratories became laboratories for studying Genetics or Population Biology, overnight. Eugenics, just like the Neo-Nazis, has returned in a new form after a century. One has to keep in mind that technologies, like Precision Gene Editing, have been discovered thanks to the unimaginable advances in Genetic Engineering. It has immense potential to change the biological character of human beings!
For business purposes, various companies have opened Gender Selection Clinics across the US and South Korea. The future parents have been told that they would be able to determine the gender of their babies in a scientific way, apart from measuring their intelligence and determining skin colours, even before their birth. Since 2017, Arogya Bharati, the Health Wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation), has been vigorously promoting a project, called Uttam Santati or Genius Babies, in India. In 2017, the Indian Express daily reported that the procedure for such a perfect child according to the Garbh Sanskar programme was three months of shuddhikaran (purification) for parents, intercourse at a time decided by planetary configurations, complete abstinence after the baby was conceived, and procedural and dietary regulations. According to the daily, National Convener of Arogya Bharati Dr Hitesh Jani claimed that the programme could produce tall and fair babies. Dr Jani also claimed that Garbh Sanskar enabled “genetic engineering in vivo or inside the womb”, while modern day Genetic Engineering was done in vitro or in a petri dish. In other words, Eugenics has returned in the guise of Modern Science, mixed with Religion and Politics.
Such a thought process would certainly boost Gender Inequality in a country, where female foeticide is a common phenomenon. Experts have expressed serious concern over this issue, saying that the Indian State might target any population in the name of Population Control in the coming years.
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