Wednesday, July 18, 2012


"A father should be punished for the crimes of his son because of the genes passed on by  him"

"If a son steals, commits dacoty or rape, then not he but his father should be thrashed. A son inherits the DNA, the genes the character from his father"

"Even human organs are developed in machines. Poultry farms produce thousands of eggs of the same size and colour We can now create the human we want. The day is not far off when you can have as many Aishwaryas as you want... one stem cell will create lakhs of Abhisheks. "

 These interesting remarks were made by a dignitary  while inaugurating a Science Centre in Raipur. . Several noted academicians, scientists and students, who were present during the Science centre’s inauguration burst into peals of laughter after hearing these  remarks. 

But this is not a laughing matter. There is more than a grain of truth in these statements. Are we not seeing children of movie stars becoming heroes and heroines overnight  without attending any acting courses or undergoing beauty treatments? Are not politicians sons succeeding their parents and become netas without sweat and toil?  Like father, like son  goes the saying.   

This presupposes that DNA of only the father is passed on to the offspring. Does the  DNA of the mother. have no part to play in the formation  of characteristics in the child?  It therefore complicate matters. Why should not the mother of the errant son/daughter  also be held responsible  and punished? 

Another complication arises if the father/mother is dead. Should we then punish the  grandfather/grandmother, if alive? Otherwise should we just pardon the culprit - saat khoon maaf? 

I foresee a more serious  problem. If thousands of Aishwaryas can be cloned, what will happen to the millions of plain Janes whose parents cannot afford the high cost of cloning ? Who will marry them.? Certainly not the lakhs of cloned Abhisheks.  Cloning as an industry will have tremendous potential (like the ultrasound gender  determination industry) and maybe as a result the cost of cloning will come down and be affordable? 

Brings to mind Aldous Huxley's" Brave New World."  Fiction can turn into fact. 

Let us have more such conferences and more such maveric VIPs who  throw up brain teasers leading to chintan-manthan, the opiate of the intellectual class.