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 an existential crisis indeed and all geared up to take on this unprecedented challenge.
It was the domain of science from where the conch was blown to challenge the British intellectual hegemony. Dr Mahen- dralal Sircar, a successful medical practitioner and a science enthusiast with brilliant scholarship, having experienced the bitter hegemonic attitude of the adherents of western science, rose against the sheer injustice and pledged to establish a swadeshi scientific institution. With the help of munificent fellow Indians, he established the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) in 1876, which was ‘solely na- tive and purely national’. He had a conviction that ‘science’ is the instrument for national reconstruction and envisioned a glorious India through an indigenously developed science. It was a beginning of science movement with a swadeshi spirit that stirred up genius young minds. Through this institution emerged the generations of young Indian scientists who made imprints in the history of modern science with world class scientific discoveries and successfully contested the British scientific hegemony. One brightest star among the patriotic scientists who sprang up from IACS was Dr CV Raman, a first ‘non-white’ scientist who won a Nobel Prize in 1930 for
It was the domain of science from where the conch was blown to challenge the British intellectual hegemony
a seminal contribution in the advancement of modern science. Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose, well known as the first Indian scientist of the modern era, displayed amazing Indian intellectual capabilities to the world, especially to the West. As a patriot, he did a first ‘satyagraha’ (lR;kx gz ). Upon his return to India from England (1884), after completing his studies in Physics with high distinction, he was willing to teach Phys- ics. Here he confronted injustice and racial discrimination inflicted by the British rule, under which the Education service was practically segregated into two distinct racial camps — Imperial Service for the British and the Provincial Service for Indians, having the very same duties and responsibilities, but with much lower pay. (Indian professor’s income was two-thirds of a European’s) Though Bose was appointed as an officiating Professor through Imperial Service (due to the influence of Governor General Lord Ripon who acknowledged his talent) at Presidency College, its principal protested against this appointment on the grounds that Indians have no aptitude for the exact methods of science. After entering on his duties, Bose found that this two-thirds pay was to be further reduced by one half, since his appointment was only officiating. In other words, he was to get one-third of the normal pay. Refus-
The building of Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., the country’s first indigenous science-based industry
ing to submit to this oppression, Bose initiated a struggle with protest, a satyagraha. His biographer Geddes says: ‘From the first he was very clear as to his course — that of performing all that could be asked from him and more; but at the same time he resolved to do all in his power throughout his career towards raising the status of Indian professors. With this com- bination of personal pride with loyalty to his countrymen and colleagues, he decided on a new form of protest, and main- tained it with unprecedented definiteness and pertinacity. ..., he resolved never to touch the cheque received by him monthly as his pay; and continued this for three years’. British authori- ties yielded before this determined nonviolent resistance and Bose succeeded in getting this distinction abolished.
Further, he took up the task of doing scientific research when British policies were unconducive for the same. But ad- versities could never arrest his scientific productivity, instead provoked his talent and consolidated his resolve. In 1895, he made a groundbreaking discovery through which he pioneered wireless communication in the history of modern science.
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