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  Reconnecting
With the Vision of
India’s Nationalist
Contemporary Indian science needs to push itself out of its comfort zone and adopt the same spirit that drove Indian scientists to carry out original work and win global accolades despite colonial rule
Mahendralal Sircar, the founder of IACS
Scientists
  Ashutosh Mukherjee established the College of Science in Calcutta through public funds
 n Prof Jayanti Dutta
The pantheon of nationalist free- dom fighters includes Indians who laid down their lives in the service of the motherland, protested politically and resisted the might of the empire. There is no place here for the scientists huddled up in their labs, do- ing research or writing papers. Indian scientists from the colonial era, however, waged a glorious battle for freedom in their own domain by practicing science; with the tools of creativity, scientific ra- tionality and an indomitable spirit; in the labs, classrooms and seminar halls both in India and abroad and proved themselves to be the worthy warriors of ‘Swaraj’, taking up their colonial mas- ters in the very bastion of science and technology which made the British a superior aggressor.
Today, we make ourselves familiar with their vision of ‘Swaraj’ through science and its pragmatic execution not only for the sake of paying emotional tributes but also for drawing useful les- sons for taking their ideas forward and making India a force to reckon with in the domain of science. The scientists’ ideated mainly by:
n Defining Indian science
n Building Indian institutions
n Practicing quality research
n Taking science to the masses
n Teaching science
DEFINING INDIAN SCIENCE
The nationalist movement necessitated raising questions about the identity of the nation, its tradition and culture. Pio- neer Indian scientists Jagadish Chandra Bose, Mahendralal Sircar and Prafulla Chandra Ray too found similar turbu- lence shaking their internal and external worlds and wanted to define ‘Indian Sci- ence’ in their own words. With a legacy of rich ancient science, a tradition of
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SCIENCE INDIA 39
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