I did not realise that it has been exactly three months since I wrote my last post on this blog. Amazing how time passes without us adding any value to ourselves or to the society. If we do not stop, pause and reflect, then, we will live up to poet Bharati’s words of being ‘vedikkai manithargal’ who live for the day and engage in several useless acts before withering away. I recall blogging on this poem before.
In any case, this blog is an outcome of a 50-minute video that I watched. First, it was a pleasant surprise to know that the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India has produced several wonderful videos. Check them out here. I must thank Mr. Rajiv Malhotra (author of ‘Being Different’ and ‘Breaking India’) for he had referred to this video, ‘Quantum Indians’ in a post in his discussion group.
This video talks of the contributions of Satyendranath Bose, Sir. C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha to the world of physics. Watch it yourself and with your children, nieces and nephews.
My take-aways from watching this video:
(1) Mr. Bose’s passion for teaching Science in local languages. He thought it was silly that Indians have to learn a foreign language to learn Science.
(2) Sir C. V. Raman dedicated his Nobel Prize to the freedom fighters of India and how he felt sad about not having his country’s flag at the Nobel Investiture Ceremony
(3) His open-mindedness and long-range thinking in wanting to bring Jewish scientists who were fleeing Nazi Germany at that time, including Schroedinger. The establishment, as now, then was equal to the task of resisting him! They called these scientists mediocre and blocked his attempts!!
(4) His supreme self-confidence about his discovery being worthy of a Nobel Prize.
(5) The greatness of heart, spirit and ‘no mean’ ego shown by Professor Henry Norris Russell, Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University when he went through a paper written by a Harvard University student (?) Henrietta Levitt based on Saha equation. This professor accepted that he was wrong and every one else was wrong. He could have easily hushed it up as the narrator says. Contrast this behaviour with the one Sir. C.V. Raman had in India at IISc (see (3) above).