Scientist P M Bhargava, who had earlier decided to return his Padma Bhushan award in protest against "intolerance", has come down hard on the BJP government and the RSS in a recent letter addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Bhargava sent a letter to the President last week, in which he called the Narendra Modi government the "least knowledgeable" about science, and also said Ayurveda itself prescribes beef as a medicine for several ailments. 

"I am a professional scientist with an experience of 65 years. I have also had the occasion of interacting on matters of science with the governments at the Centre since Independence. I find the present government the least knowledgeable and least concerned about science," Bhargava, who founded the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, said in the letter, according to The Times of India

The 87-year-old also said the BJP and the RSS were steeped in superstition. 

"Steeped in superstition, unreason and irrationality, much of what the RSS and the BJP do goes against the grain of scientific temper," said Bhargava. 

The scientist pointed out that ancient Indian scriptures themselves recommended beef to cure health disorders. 

"(The ayurvedic Charaka Samhita says) the flesh of the cow is beneficial for those suffering from the loss of flesh due to disorders caused by an excess of vayu, rhinitis, irregular fever, dry cough, fatigue, and also in cases of excessive appetite resulting from hard manual labour," he wrote in the letter to the President. 

Bhargava is among the 100 eminent scientists who have protested against "growing intolerance" in the country under the Modi government. 

Bhargava received the Padma Bhushan award in 1986.