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27-03-2023

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  • Essay
    • This Quote Means-Mere faith and blind faith is dangerous-It dulls the brain and makes a man reactionary-Bhagat Singh
  • Fact File
    • ISRO’s successful LVM-3 launch



This Quote Means-Mere faith and blind faith is dangerous-It dulls the brain and makes a man reactionary-Bhagat Singh

Essay

 

March 23, 1931 witnessed the execution of Indian revolutionaries Rajguru, Sukhdev, and Bhagat Singh, who were involved in the killing of British police officer John P Saunders. Since then, the day has been recognized as Martyr's Day, honoring these national heroes. Despite differing opinions on their methods, leaders across the subcontinent have commended their bravery and condemned what was referred to as a "judicial murder" by the British.


During his two-year imprisonment prior to his execution, Bhagat Singh did not remain idle. He conducted a hunger strike and wrote extensively, advocating for better conditions for his fellow inmates. His ideas are largely derived from his writings during his time in prison. One of his most striking works is the essay "Why I am an Atheist," written in October 1930 while he was a prisoner at Lahore Central Jail. It was a response to his religiously inclined friends who believed that he had turned to atheism due to vanity.

 

The Quote

  • The full passage of the quote is as follows –
  • “Any man who stands for progress has to criticise, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith. Item by item he has to reason out every nook and corner of the prevailing faith. If after considerable reasoning one is led to believe in any theory or philosophy, his faith is welcomed. His reasoning can be mistaken, wrong, misled, and sometimes fallacious. But he is liable to correction because reason is the guiding star of his life. But mere faith and blind faith is dangerous: it dulls the brain and makes a man reactionary.”
  • In this passage, Bhagat Singh explains – “why progress should be driven by reason rather than blind faith”. He employs the term "faith" in two distinct contexts – 
  • Firstly, as a synonym for religious beliefs (referred to as "old faiths"), and 
  • Secondly, as a concept representing complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

 

Singh's Critique of Blind Faith

  • Singh asserts that as long as reason is one's "guiding star," faith is acceptable, even if it may be misplaced, because being reasonable entails questioning and remaining open to changing one's beliefs. 
  • Our knowledge is inherently incomplete, and there will always be more to learn than what we know presently. As a result, our "faith" must reflect this idea.
  • For example, for the longest time, it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, and those who challenged this notion, such as Galileo, were often ridiculed and persecuted
  • Nowadays, we know that our planet is a tiny speck in the vast universe. This shift in our belief system occurred as a result of advancements in science and the accumulation of knowledge by humanity. Simply having faith in the Earth's uniqueness despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary would be both dishonest and illogical.
  • Similarly, having "mere faith and blind faith" in any fact, religious doctrine, or deity is also "dangerous."

 

Why is blind faith dangerous?

  • Bhagat Singh's views on blind faith are influenced by his leftist ideology
  • While Karl Marx famously referred to religion as the "opium of the people," Singh views blind faith as a brain-dulling force that makes people passive and unresponsive to injustice. 
  • While Marx is referring to religion more in its systematisedandorganised form, criticising religious institutions, Singh refers to it at a more individualistic level.
  • Blind faith can make people reactionary to criticismand dissent, even leading to violent responses
  • Singh uses the example of the blind devotion to Mahatma Gandhi, where any criticism of him is viewed as sacrilegious. This mentality, according to Singh, does not lead to progress but rather to regression.
  • Singh's ideas have relevance even today, as seen in the recent opposition to anti-caste discrimination laws in Seattle, which is viewed as a reactionary response that fails to address the discrimination faced by Dalits. 
  • Blind faith, whether in religion or politics, can hinder progress by preventing critical thinking and questioning of authority.


The mark of a true revolutionary

  • Bhagat Singh emphasizes that a true revolutionary must possess the qualities of criticism and independent thinking
  • The quote under discussion emphasizes this larger point, that blind and unquestioning belief can be dangerous, while it is not inherently bad to have faith. 
  • It is essential for individuals to continue questioning the world around them, including material conditions, leaders who may appear infallible, and religious beliefs.
  • In a country where Bhagat Singh remains one of the most prominent national icons, it is crucial to reflect on his words and put them into practice. 
  • Despite the hold of dogma, superstition, and religious fundamentalism over the people of India, Bhagat Singh presents an alternative vision based on rationality and critical thinking.

 

[Ref- IE]


Fact File


ISRO’s successful LVM-3 launch

  • Recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched 36 OneWeb satellites into orbit on board its LMV-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3) rocket. 
  • This was the second commercial launch that ISRO has performed for OneWeb, with the first launch taking place in October 2022.


OneWeb

  • OneWeb is a UK-based satellite communications company that aims to provide high-speed internet access to people around the world, particularly in remote and underserved areas
  • The company is supported by the UK government and Bharti Enterprises, an Indian conglomerate that has invested heavily in the project.


The OneWeb project

  • Under this project, the company is building a network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will work together to provide high-speed, low-latency internet access. 
  • This will assist in connecting communities, businesses, and governments worldwide, demonstrating the unparalleled potential of LEO connectivity.
  • This is an ambitious project that requires launching hundreds of satellites into orbit and building ground infrastructure to support the network.
  • The successful launch of these 36 OneWeb satellites will bring the total number of OneWeb satellites in orbit to 582, with plans to launch a total of 618 satellites in the coming years to achieve global coverage.


Launch Vehicle Mark-3 Rocket

  • LVM-3 is the ISRO's latest medium-heavy lift launch vehicle, which is currently the heaviest rocket being utilized by the agency. 
  • Originally known as the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), this rocket has been specifically designed to launch satellites primarily into a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 35,000km.
  • It has a capacity to launch payloads of up to 4 tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and up to 8 tonnes into low Earth orbit (LEO).
  • It is configured as a three stage vehicle with two solid strap-on motors (S200), one liquid core stage (L110) and a high thrust cryogenic upper stage (C25).
  • The first operational flight of the launch vehicle was on 22 July 2019, with Chandrayaan 2.
  • It will be an important part of India's space program in near future, as it will be used to launch a range of missions in the coming years, including the Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission, the Mangalyaan-2 Mars mission, and the Gaganyaan human spaceflight program.


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