Following the discovery of water on moon by Chandrayan, India has yet again shown the world its worth when it comes to science and technology. Here we sum up India’s top 5 scientists of all times, who have brought glory to India:
1. Jagadish Chandra Bose Bose did scientific work in the area of microwaves, carrying out experiments involving refraction, diffraction and polarization. He developed the use of galena crystals for making receivers, both for short wavelength radio waves and for white and ultraviolet light.
He showed that not only animal but also vegetable tissues produce similar electric response under different kinds of stimuli – mechanical, thermal, electrical and chemical.
Bose was knighted in 1917 and soon thereafter elected as Fellow of the Royal Society, London, (both as physicist and biologist).
2. Ramanujan Ramanujan made outstanding contributions to analytical number theory, elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series. His published and unpublished works have kept some of the best mathematical brains in the world busy to this day. In 1918, he was elected as Fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, all in the same year.
3. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman made enormous contributions to research in the areas of vibration, sound, musical instruments, ultrasonics, diffraction, photoelectricity, colloidal particles, X-ray diffraction, magnetron, dielectrics etc.
In 1930, became the first Asian scientist to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discoveries relating to the scattering of light (the Raman Effect). In 1934, he became the Director of the newly established Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, where he served till his retirement.
4. Homi Bhabha Born in 1909 in Mumbai, Homi Bhabha, in 1937, together with W. Heitler, a German physicist, solved the riddle about cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are fast moving, extremely small particles coming from outer space. When these particles enter the earth’s atmosphere, they collide with the atoms of air and create a shower of electrons.
Bhabha’s discovery of the presence of nuclear particles (which he called mesons) in these showers was used to validate Einstein’s theory of relativity making him world famous. He served as the President of the first United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, which was held in Geneva in 1955. He was the President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1960 to 1963.
5. Vikram Sarabhai Born in 1919 at Ahmedabad, Sarabhai pioneered India’s space age by expanding the Indian Space Research Organization. India’s first satellite Aryabhata launched in 1975 was one of the many projects planned by him.
He was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1966, Vice-President and Chairman of the UN Conference on peaceful uses of outer space in 1968, and President of the 14th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The International Astronomical Union named a crater in the moon (in the Sea of Serenity) after him, in honour of his contributions to science.
INDIA’S MOST ACCLAIMED SPIRITUAL GURUS
Spirituality is slowly and steadily making a comeback, due to excessive stress and pressures of the modern world. People across the world are once again going back to age old practises and teachings of meditation, yoga and the like. Since India has always been a hub for spirituality, many have turned towards Indian spiritual gurus. Here is a low down on some of our much talked about spiritual gurus, known worldwide for their wisdom and spiritual knowledge.
1. Baba Ramdev He is a spiritual leader known as 'swami' who practises and teaches the technique of yoga to one and all for free. His yoga sessions are featured on many television channels. He has been ranked No. 1 in terms of popularity by newspapers and websites and has disciples from various parts of the world. Baba Ramdev offers Ayurvedic treatments made from natural ingredients and has founded the Divya Yog Mandir Trust.
2. Shri Shri Ravi Shankar He is a humanitarian leader and the founder of the world renowned 'Art of Living' course which aims to bring peace and harmony to individuals and society in general. It teaches individuals the art of living in a stress free society, breathing techniques to stay calmer etc. He has been given a double honorific of 'Sri Sri' and is also associated with the charitable organisation 'International Association for Human Values'.
3. Dr. Zakir Naik He is an Islamic public speaker and writer of Islam and comparative religion. He was a medical doctor but has now become a world-renowned orator on Islam. He is also the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation and his teachings are broadcasted on the TV channel known as Peace TV. He holds debates, conferences and teachings on Islam across the globe, has authored a few books, and has become a cult figure amongst the Muslim community.
4. Sathya Sai Baba He is a religious orator, God man and a miracle worker. He refers to himself as the reincarnation of Saint Sai Baba of Shirdi. He heads the Sathya Sai organisation and his teachings do not propose a new religion but focus on dharma. The Sathya Sai organises noble deeds such as food banks, donations, planting trees, serving food to homeless etc. He espouses Sai Baba's teachings, and has written many religious articles.
5. Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) He was an Indian mystic, spiritual leader and a professor of philosophy. He advocated a more open attitude to close minded topics like sex. He established the Osho ashram in Pune which became extremely popular with westerners due to its open attitude towards various taboo topics. His teachings advocate meditation which encourages love, self awareness, celebration etc.
These spiritual gurus have all left a lasting impact and are known all over the world today for their teachings.
5 MOST ACCLAIMED INDIAN AUTHORS
Indian authors are gaining popularity world over. Their style of writing in English is considered original and their themes display a rich heritage of India. It is these qualities that make them distinct. Come; let us get to know some of these writers who are making literary waves the world over.
1. Kiran Desai
She is an Indian author who currently stays in the USA. She has written two books Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard and The Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker prize in 2006. She is the daughter of the noted author Anita Desai. Kiran’s writings are original and have bold narratives with a notable influence of Indian fiction.
2. Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy first made waves in 2002 when she won the Booker Prize for her book ‘The God of Small Things’. Along with being a writer, she is also a social activist. She has dealt with controversial issues such as separation of Kashmir from India and Narmada Bachao Andolan. Her writing is poetic and she often uses hysteria to convey her themes, which usually focuses on the “have-nots” in the society.
3. Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh, famous Indian English writer, was born in Calcutta. He is a versatile writer and many of his books have won awards. The Calcutta Chromosome, The Circle of Reason and the recently released The Sea of Poppies are a few of his acclaimed books. His work is personal with strong themes, is usually set in the post-colonial times, and brings a sense of nostalgia for the Indian readers.
4. Vikram Seth
He is a famous novelist, poet, travel writer and biographer. He has been living in London since a long time. He received the Padmashri Award in 2007 by the Indian government. His books are usually multi-genre with a strong Indian touch. His book “A Suitable Boy’ is the longest novel to have been published in a single volume. His other books are The Golden Gate and An Equal Music.
5. Jhumpa Lahiri
A globally acclaimed writer, Jhumpa Lahiri won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her book The Interpreter of Maladies. She has penned the famous novel ‘The Namesake’ that was also made into a movie by Meera Nair. Her work reflects a lot from her personal life and is usually on the dilemmas of Indian immigrants to the US. Her language is simple and has a strong focus on the nuances of emotions.
Although, many of these authors do not live in India, their strong Indian connection and their originality have won them accolades globally. They have thus managed to create a space for Indian literature in the world through their contemporary and compelling work.