A week or so back Mr.Abhishek Singhvi in the op-ed page of the TIMES OF INDIA, Bangalore edition had in an article more or less titled “IQ-EQ”, made the point that the Nobel Laureate Mr.Venkatraman, by not being indulgent to the fans from his home town of Chidambaram, from the state of Tamil Nadu had betrayed that he lacked the EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT to empathize with the fans in Tamil Nadu. Almost as a response to that in today’s TIMES OF INDIA (27/10/2009- Bangalore Edition), one Mr.Ashok (said to be a bureaucrat) had defended the response of Mr.Venkatraman as a respose from a seeker of TRUTH and contrasted it with, the politician’s objective of a “just social order”. Very well written article- i should say.
The problem with Indians (including me) is that we do not want to accord SPACE to our fellow human beings. Every human being has rights but no LIBERTY. His LIBERTY, if exercised is immediately interpreted as a LICENSE granted by the society. Mr.Venkatraman had out of his own efforts made it to wherever he has made it. Even a week before the declaring of the Nobel Prize no Indian outside the scientific community had heard of the work done by Venkatraman. Suddenly after the receipt of RECOGNITION thru the ultimate prize, the politicians swing into action and lecture us as to how the recipient should have the Emotional Quotient, and be humble to the native Indians, etc. etc. Have the politicians named any main road in the capital city of New Delhi in the name of Sir C.V.Raman or Ramanujam or J.C.Bose in all these years? I know of only COPERNICUS MARG (the monk who discovered that the Earth was not the centre of the universe and left the proof for posthumous publishing, so as to avoid the Papal BULL!!), and none besides that radiates from INDIA GATE.
The roads that radiate are AKBAR road, Rajpath, Ashoka road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Copernicus Marg, Tilak Marg, Purana Qila road, the High court Road ( do not remember), Shah Jahan marg and one more. Of these roads there is only one SCIENTIST and that also a Polish. So where do we RECOGNIZE the discoveries of our own SCIENTISTS?
We are a nation led by some humbug palliatives. Mahatma Gandhi had contributed to this nation’s independence, had brought out the soul of India by organizing the nation against the British through NON-VIOLENCE. But who is Kasturba Gandhi and besides the fact that she had been the wife to the Mahatma, is there any other achievement that is worth remembering through the generations to pass in this country? I guess not. Yet we have named a road after her. Maybe we have used her name as a replacement to Lord Curzon, so it is okay. But why not name significant roads after C.V.Raman, Ramanujam, Hargobind Khurana (Medicine Nobelist), J.C.Bose, Chandrashekar? After all we haveerrectedstatues for the LIVING POLITICIANS too in India (Dr. M.Karunanidhi, Ms.Mayawati etc). Why do we not recognize their INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS?
Secondly, except for a few lectures delivered by Mr.Venkatraman in the IISc, Anna University has the COUNTRY FELICITATED him in any way by giving him FREE AIR TICKETS TO INDIA in our MAHARAJA AIRCRAFTS? OR the unpunctual TRAINS of India? or VIP protocol during his visits to India? No. That is preserved for the POLITICAL MARKETEERS!! The political marketeers who bring about a “JUST” social order thru PROCRUSTEAN methods. CUT THE BIG ONES TO FIT WITH THE COT OF UNIFORMITY!!!
Now that he had won the Nobel Prize, certain self- appointed high priests of social etiquette are prescribing SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR to our own NOBEL LAUREATE. If only such persons could influence the government and make policies relating to RECOGNITION OF INDIAN SCIENTISTS ABROAD, they would have done some service, instead of curbing the LIBERTY of a great mind.
Finally, Mr.Venkatraman is a scientist who is not into politics or marketing that he has to appease people with his charming behaviour. All great minds have their idiosyncrasies and it squarely falls within the LIBERTY of an Individual. If some fellow in Chidambaram is going to claim that he taught Mr.Venkatraman, when that is not the case, why should NOT Mr.Venkatraman deny it on record? Mr.Venkatraman still cycles and goes for work ( or so the reports say!), so why not leave a MAN alone who is busy with his own vocation and draw him into ACCEPTABLE SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR and make him feel guilty both in his own eyes and in the eyes of his fellow country men?
Mr. Abhishek Singhvi might even question the wisdom of Mr.Venkatraman wanting to buy a Stradivarius cello for his son paying $200,000/- when there are many Indians living below the opaque statistical poverty line!! Leave the man alone. The poor will always be there.
Let me reiterate what Jesus said: SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN, AND NOT MAN FOR THE SABBATH.
LET US HINDER NOBODY’S LIBERTIES, WHEN IT AFFECTS ONLY OUR SOCIAL SENSIBILITIES!!