I have serious objections both to his statements, and to the objections made - and my own reasons are different.
1. Ganesha and the stories are of religious significance to people. The work was of god's, as they say say. To reduce it to plastic surgery is to mock at people and their gods. The PM may answer to this.
The mantram of modern superstition - "People will believe anything when they say that scientists discovered that".
To this a friend responded, "atheists have found that people will believe anything when you say that GOD has said that!!"
1. The modern day superstition of modern science is worse - because the followers of that creed feel very very superior and educated compared to the 'illiterate godfearing masses'.
But there is utter sanity in village being. There is a temple near my village where habitual drunks go and get a string tied on the wrist. This is said to enable them to 'break the habit'. When I asked Eashwaramma (a neighbour,a friend, landless, illiterate, devout) if this worked, she told me, 'Well, people have to decide to stop drinking, and then it'll work. Isnt it.'.
Of Mahabharata, which forms the foundation of life and truth for the village people, the village people say. "Even Gods fail.", "Even Gods make mistakes" and "See Gods also underwent all this, what about us".
What people will go by implicitly is Dharmam, which is a code of ethic. Dharmam says that every hungry person has to be fed irrespective of one's own food stock at home. Dharmam says that a livlihood is valid only when it sustains others livlihoods also. Annasamy Anna tells me that, "Dharmam is to do an honest job even when no one is looking". In complete silence, and putting aside every preconceived notion, if we simply sit in the vllages, we may learn vastly of the common sense and goodness of people, and of the validity and sense of their religion and dharmam. It is not blind or superstitious.