Delivering the 24th graduation address of Bharathiar University, he lamented that even scientists did not care for scientific temper, let alone spreading it. “Most of the educated public are unable to differentiate between astronomy and astrology. We still have the educated elite taking a dip in the river after an eclipse based on the belief that it was caused by ‘Raagu’ and ‘Kethu’”, Mr. Veeramani said.
He urged that knowledge of science be followed as a way of life. Otherwise, mere learning would lead to dichotomy in the behaviour of learned persons. “Education, according to “Periyar”, should be the instrument of social change and reform and should make people rational and service-minded,” he asserted.Bemoaning that the Gross Enrolment Ratio of higher education in the country was a mere 11 per cent, he said in some of the developed countries it was as high as 83 per cent.
He told the candidates that their actual learning began only after they stepped out of the portals of their institution. He urged them to take every challenge as an opportunity and every difficulty as an invitation to find a solution to overcome it.
Referring to the graduation address of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai made at Annamalai University in 1967, Mr. Veeramani said that the call he made then for rationalism, rejuvenating culture, crusading against caste, superstition, etc., was relevant even today.
Governor Surjit Singh Barnala conferred the Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) on R. Vairamuthu, poet and lyricist, R. Lakshmipathy, writer and publisher, and T.R. Dhinakaran, industrialist, and Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) on W. Selvamurthy, Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller, R&D (LS & HR), DRDO.
Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam welcomed the gathering and introduced the honorary doctorate degree awardees.