With the help of improvised cultural tableaux by judiciously blending sf and mythology during festivals like Durga Puja and Dussehra we successfully tried to attract illiterate Indian masses in order to communicate S &T perspectives and developments. Some model tableaux were as follows:
A. Tableau showing concept of Cloning: With the help of a mythological story popularly knows as ‘Raktbeej and Mahishasurmardini’ (Demon vis a vis a Hindu goddess Durga) and sf extrapolations on cloning we explained the process and implications of the emerging technology to illiterate people .
B. Tableau of Biotechnology: The science fictional biotech tree akin to mythological ‘wishing tree’(Kalpvriksh) demonstrated the hidden potentials of biotechnology.
C. Tableau depicting water harvesting technology: Traditional techniques of rain water harvesting and its necessity as narrated in Hindu myths notably the efforts of sage Bhagirath to bring the river of gods i.e. river Ganges on earth.
D. Tsunami Tableau: Awareness and preservation of natural mangroves is the key to safety from killer waves was demonstrated with the help of many catastrophe models as described in sf stories and myth of Lord of death i.e. Yamraj. It was established that Sf stories with a judicious mix/blend of Indian myths could be effectively used through attractive tableaux to communicate science and technology to illiterate masses that do not have access to modern means of communication. A similar approach could be replicated in other parts of the globe.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Innovative SF and mythology mix to communicate S&T to Indian masses

Arvind Mishra   Indian Science Fiction Writers’ Association

Manoj Mishra   VBS Purvanchal University, India

With the help of improvised cultural tableaux by judiciously blending sf and mythology during festivals like Durga Puja and Dussehra we successfully tried to attract illiterate Indian masses in order to communicate S &T perspectives and developments. Some model tableaux were as follows:
A. Tableau showing concept of Cloning: With the help of a mythological story popularly knows as ‘Raktbeej and Mahishasurmardini’ (Demon vis a vis a Hindu goddess Durga) and sf extrapolations on cloning we explained the process and implications of the emerging technology to illiterate people .
B. Tableau of Biotechnology: The science fictional biotech tree akin to mythological ‘wishing tree’(Kalpvriksh) demonstrated the hidden potentials of biotechnology.
C. Tableau depicting water harvesting technology: Traditional techniques of rain water harvesting and its necessity as narrated in Hindu myths notably the efforts of sage Bhagirath to bring the river of gods i.e. river Ganges on earth.
D. Tsunami Tableau: Awareness and preservation of natural mangroves is the key to safety from killer waves was demonstrated with the help of many catastrophe models as described in sf stories and myth of Lord of death i.e. Yamraj. It was established that Sf stories with a judicious mix/blend of Indian myths could be effectively used through attractive tableaux to communicate science and technology to illiterate masses that do not have access to modern means of communication. A similar approach could be replicated in other parts of the globe.

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