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         So They Said...
Acharya PC Ray on Rowlatt Act, 1919, extracted from his book, Life and Experiences of a Bengali Chemist, Volume 1
A mass meeting was held at the Town Hall- the principal speaker being C. R. Das, who was just then coming to the fore. My friend Satyananda Bose called on me one afternoon and suggested to me that I might go a little earlier to my usual maidan constitutional walk so as to be present at the meeting. It was thus only by an accident that I happened to be one of the audience. The ground floor of the Town Hall where the meeting was held was packed to suffocation and a large crowd had also gathered on the southern flight of steps as also on the broad street. C. R. Das in order to be audible to the vast seething mass of humanity took his stand on the front of the steps. Naturally I was at the back of the audience and occupied a very inconspicuous place. Somehow or other I was recognised and pushed forward by those about me and placed alongside of Das. Everyone was anxious that I should have my say; what then happened is thus described by a local daily [The Amrita Bazar Patrika, Thursday, 6 February 1919, Page 3]:
“Mr. C. R. Das then asked Dr. Sir P. C. Ray to speak on the resolution. Dr. Ray rose to speak and then was witnessed a scene which I shall never forget. For a few minutes Dr. Ray could not utter a single syllable as ovation after ovation, -cheers after cheers, shouts of “Bande Mataram” greeted the venerable Doctor. Dr. Ray began by saying that he had not the remotest idea that he would have to address the meeting even for a single moment. He came as a mere spectator. He was a man of the laboratory but he felt that there are occasions – the rest of the sentence was drowned in deafening cheers. Dr. Ray repeated that he felt that there are occasions which demanded that he should leave his test-tube to attend to the call of the country. “So grave was the danger to our national life that even Dr. P. C. Ray left his work in the laboratory and joined the meeting to raise his voice of protest against the obnoxious Bill”.
   “We need a spirit of victory, a spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a spirit which will recognise that we, as inheritors of a proud civilisa- tion, are entitled to a rightful place on this planet.”
Sir C V Raman
“It would be our worst enemy who would wish us to live only on the glories of the past and die off from the face of the earth in sheer passivity. By continuous achievement alone we can justify our great ancestry. We do not honour our ancestors by the false claim that they are omniscient and had nothing more to learn.” Jagadis Chandra Bose
in an address to BHU students
“We should endeavour to carry on the work with our own efforts, un- aided by the govern- ment. I want it to be solely native and purely national.” Mahendralal Sircar
on the founding of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), 1876

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