Unfortunately, the Occident-Orient narrative had shaped the academic sphere for a long time. The narrative was so strong, it extended from academia and burrowed deep within the psyche of the global population. According to this theory, the Occident or the Western world, namely Europe, represented rationality, science and progress. While the Oriental or the Eastern world, namely Asia, the Middle East and so forth, represented a stagnant society, magic and mysticism, prejudice and backwardness.
However, this theory is far from the truth. It was devised as a tool to cater to the English colonial expansion. The East has historically been one of the most successful and scientifically developed places on Earth.
As a tribute to celebrate the heroes of science, this independence month, let us learn about 5 amazing Indian scientists and what marvellous feats they achieved.
- Jagadish Chandra Bose
He is the first scientist to discover that plants are alive just like us. He is also the inventor of the Crescograph, a device used to calculate plant years.
- Satyendra Nath Bose
He was an Indian physicist and mathematician. He is globally recognised for his theory on Bose-Einstein condensate and formulation of the Bose-Einstein statistics as a discourse of study. I wonder if he ever took classes from home tutors. Imagine how his teachers would have felt after knowing that they taught such a brilliant mind.
- Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman)
Nobel laureate, Dr. C.V. Raman made a spectrograph to study the nature of dispersion of light and how a part of light shifts to a different wavelength from the wavelength of the original light. This phenomenon was termed as ‘Raman Effect’.
- Salim Ali
I remember, back in middle school, I was looking for home tutors near me for a long time, but I could not continue with anyone for long. As much as I wanted to study for school, I wanted to know about all the interesting things going on in the world and none of the tutors talked to me about such things much. I asked my friends if they knew any home tutors in Kolkata like that and a few months later, I finally came across a teacher who was perfect for me. She would make me study for school while telling interesting stories. This is when I came across Dr. Salim Ali, the ‘Bird Man of India’. He is one of the first ornithologists in the world to systematically study migratory behaviour in birds.
- Prafulla Chandra Ray
Regarded as the ‘Father of Indian Chemistry’, Prafulla Chandra Ray established the first modern research institute in India. He established the first Indian government-owned chemical company, called Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
How many Indian scientists can you think of right now?