Page 24 - Aug 2021
P. 24

           C
CO
OL
L
L
L
E
E
C
CT
T
O
OR
R’
’
S
SE
E
D
DI
IT
TI
I
O
O
N
N
The Birth of
Indian Scientific
Institutions
Discrimination by the British forced Indian scientists to lay the foundations of indigenous institutions to carry out scientific research without the support — and despite the repression — of the colonial power, with amazing success
n Dr Arvind C Ranade
It is a well-known fact that the Brit- ish came to India as traders through the East India Company in the year 1608. A handful of Britishers estab- lished themselves under the guise of business relationships and started cap- turing various parts of India by adopt- ing unethical techniques and methods. After defeating the Nawab of Bengal in 1757, this company started estab- lishing itself as the ruler of the land. It operated arbitrarily which led to total unrest and the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. To settle this unrest, finally, the British Government intervened, and thus began the British Raj in India. The Britishers, through various acts and laws, started appeasing certain sections of Indians by generating avenues for recruiting them in the lower positions of government offices, administration, police, etc., to utilise their services for furthering their own interest.
This approach could not sustain for a long time, and their action revealed their natural face in their working style and procedures. The attitude of supe- riority, discriminatory and insulting treatment was high in trading, educa- tion, commerce, and science as well. The present article throws light on the lesser- known anecdotes showcasing the efforts of the Indian scientific community to cultivate science in the country despite British suppression.
INDIANS AS CHEAP WORKFORCE
Britishers brought science-based tools like mapping devices, Compass, fire- glass, binoculars, and firearms, which initially impressed the Indians. But their ulterior motive of using scientific tools to explore and loot the natural resources from India was realised gradually by some individuals. The British estab- lished survey-based scientific explora-
Left: Bose Institute founded by JC Bose in 1917, Calcutta Below: Old building of IACS in Calcutta, the first science institute founded by an Indian
   24 SCIENCE INDIA
AUGUST, 2021
        Image Courtesy: IACS archives
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons


























































   22   23   24   25   26