Page 16 - Aug 2021
P. 16

Systemic Stifling
of India’s Scientific
Geniuses during the Raj
It’s a shame how British policies carried out scientific apartheid in India but that only fuelled nationalism in the country’s scientists
Sir Ronald Ross (right), who won the 1902 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of malarial parasite, never acknowledged the contribution of his research assistant Kishori Mohan Bandyopadhyay (left)
  n Prof Ranjana Aggarwal
It is history that gives us the wis- dom and reasoning to find out the truth, and great civilisations that fail to preserve or doubt on their history and culture, lose their glory. On
the Platinum Jubilee year of our Inde- pendence, when the country is celebrat- ing Swatantrata Ka Amrut Mahotsav with great gusto, it is the moment to revisit our past; unlearn and relearn from history to sketch a proposition for country’s bright future, by taking pride in the scientific achievements of our countrymen in the colonial period, despite repression and discrimination.
India had a strong tradition of sci- ence and technology that had served millions of its people since the Vedic times. It was plural in nature and the
welfare of entire humanity was at its roots. Research has shown that India was actively contributing to the field of science and technology, particularly mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy and medicine before modern laborato- ries were set up. It is ironical that a nar- rative had been built over the years that India did not have any noteworthy sci- ences prior to colonisation, and science which had its origin and development in Europe was introduced in India only under the British East India Company’s rule for the welfare of colonised Indians.
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