Hyderabad: One of India's top scientists and founder-director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), P. M. Bhargava on Thursday said that he has decided to return the Padma Bhushan award as he was worried about the future of India.

He told that if the present trend continued, India would cease to become a democracy and become a theocratic country like Pakistan. Observing that the future of democracy was at stake, he said "I am very concerned about it.".

Mr. Bhargava said he would be returning the award to the Ministry of Home Affairs along with a letter. "As a scientist that is all I can do", he added.

He expressed concern that "RSS people" had attended a meeting of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research labs recently. He was critical of the Government's decision to reduce funding for CSIR labs.

Mr. Bhargava's decision to return the Padma Bhushan, country's third highest civilian honour came after more than 100 scientists, including Mr. Bhargava, released a statement online expressing concern at the climate of intolerance and and "the ways in which science and reason was getting eroded in the country.

He said that an entire session at the Indian Science Congress was devoted to absurd claims that India in ancient times had built a huge aircraft with inter-planetary movements. He also found fault with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for stating at the Indian Science Congress that India had known the technique of organ transplantation long time ago.

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