Nehru shattered the dream of CV Raman to establish a research institute

CV Raman had the vision to establish a research institute – complete with a lab, a science museum, a science library, a lecture hall and office rooms – in Madras (Chennai). It is the same city where Raman commenced his scientific career, and to make a “distinct contribution” to the scientific life of the town, but it has remained an unfulfilled dream.
However, the idea of the research institute could never be realised since Jawaharlal Nehru, strangely famous as an institution builder, and his Government’s policies were the main hurdle. Nehru, time and again, ensured that anyone who was not a part of the Nehruvian consensus was not given any help in his lifetime.
It is well-known that Nehru was left embarrassed on a visit to Raman’s laboratory in 1948. It perhaps explains the agony of the man and his dislike for Raman. On this particular visit, Nehru was tricked in front of an audience into identifying copper (glowing under UV rays) as gold. Almost as if he were identifying a character flaw, Raman boomed “Mr Prime Minister, everything that glitters is not gold.”

Raman Openly Criticised Nehru
Raman resented Nehru’s policy of concentrating research in specialised institutions such as the Atomic Research Establishment at Trombay and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratories while apportioning a smaller chunk of research funds to universities. He coined the phrase “Nehru-Bhatnagar effect” to describe the mushrooming of CSIR laboratories in the 1950s, predicting they would achieve little despite the massive sums spent.
In 1959, Raman tried to establish his second research institution, 11 years after establishing Raman Research Institute (RRI) in Bengaluru, on a four-acre land parcel owned by him in Mylapore (Madras), where “scientific work of the highest standard could be carried on”.

He estimated that the research institute could be built with a budget of a couple of lakhs of rupees and carry on work with a minimum recurring expenditure of Rs 2,000 a month. “My confidence in the usefulness of the proposed institute is indicated by my preparedness to find from other sources one half of the capital expenditure proposed and also to meet one half of the recurring expenditure necessary for the next five years. If the Government of Madras could see their way to make an equal contribution, the construction of the institute could be immediately taken up and proceeded with,” states the renowned physicist’s letter dated August 18, 1959, to the late C Subramaniam, minister for Finance Education, Government of Madras.

CV Raman demonstrating his experiments to visitors
The Subsequent correspondence between Subramaniam and Raman point at the State Government’s willingness to support the proposed institute, but with a suggestion that the Nobel laureate writes to the Union Government for the non-recurring expenditure of the project. Subramaniam replied to Raman saying that, “I may say, however, that subject to the condition that the assistance to be given by the Government of India, if any, will be taken into account in fixing the actual grant, this Government will be willing to meet a maximum of half the non-recurring cost of establishing the research institute and to make a suitable annual recurring grant for five years in the first instance.”

With the erstwhile Madras Government listing several conditions as part of the grant-in-aid code for a half grant towards construction of the institute and repeated suggestions for securing the Union Government’s financial support, Sir Raman’s subsequent letter to Mr Subramaniam points at his reluctance to seek help from New Delhi. “My experience and present knowledge of the attitude of the Central Government in matters concerning scientific research alike indicate thatany application for a building grant made to that Government for the proposed institute would be met with a refusal. Not until the institute has been fully established and proved itself useful would the Central Government feel at all inclined to extend a helping hand to it,” mirrors his disinclination to write to the Centre.

And thus, what could’ve been one of the finest research institutions of the country couldn’t take shape because of the Nehruvian policies of exclusion!
Source : Organiser 
Read a short biosketch of CV Raman here
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Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai – An Empress of Limitless Glory

JHANSI RANI LAKSHMIBAI

Jhansi RaniManikarnika, aka Rani Jhansi Lakshmibai played an extremely heroic role of the War of India’s  Freedom. She lived for only twenty-two years. She became a widow in her eighteenth year. Jhansi, of which she was the queen, was in the grip of the cunning, cruel British. She was the embodiment of patriotism, self-respect and heroism. She was the queen of a small state, but the empress of a limitless empire of glory.

Jhansi Rani Lakhsmi Bai brought glory to the women of Indian, nay to the women of the world. Her life was sacred hymn. Her life is a thrilling story of womanliness, courage, adventure, deathless patriotism and martyrdom.

She was a woman although in her tender body there was a lion’s spirit. But she was well versed in statesmanship. Like all women she was weak. But when she went to war and took up arms she was the very embodiment of the War Goddess Kali. She was beautiful and frail. But her radiance made men diffident. She was young in years. But her foresight and firm decisions were mature.

When, after growing up under the loving care of her father, she entered her husband’s house she became an ideal wife. On the death of her husband although she lost interest in life she did not forget her responsibilities.  She lead her army in the War for Independence.

Lakhsmi Bai lived but for 22 years and seven months – from the 19th of November 1835 to the 18th of June 1858; she flashed and disappeared like lightning on a dark night.

The words of the British General Sir Hugh Rose, who fought against the Rani several times and was defeated again and again, and finally defeated the Rani (who became the victim of circumstances) bear witness to her greatness:  “Of the mutineers the bravest and the greatest commander was the Rani.”

Smt. Subhadra Kumari Chauhan immortalized her by the following poem

Sinhasan hil uthey raajvanshon ney bhrukuti tani thi, budhey Bharat mein aayee phir se nayi jawani thi, gumee huee azadi ki keemat sabney pehchani thi, door phirangi ko karney ki sab ney man mein thani thi. Chamak uthi san sattavan mein, yeh talwar purani thi, Bundeley Harbolon key munh hamney suni kahani thi, Khoob ladi mardani woh to Jhansi wali Rani thi

Read the full poem here

A Tribute to Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai – झाँसी की रानी

सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,
बूढ़े भारत में आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी,
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी,
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।
चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कानपूर के नाना की, मुँहबोली बहन छबीली थी,
लक्ष्मीबाई नाम, पिता की वह संतान अकेली थी,
नाना के सँग पढ़ती थी वह, नाना के सँग खेली थी,
बरछी ढाल, कृपाण, कटारी उसकी यही सहेली थी।
वीर शिवाजी की गाथायें उसकी याद ज़बानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

लक्ष्मी थी या दुर्गा थी वह स्वयं वीरता की अवतार,
देख मराठे पुलकित होते उसकी तलवारों के वार,
नकली युद्ध-व्यूह की रचना और खेलना खूब शिकार,
सैन्य घेरना, दुर्ग तोड़ना ये थे उसके प्रिय खिलवार।
महाराष्टर-कुल-देवी उसकी भी आराध्य भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

हुई वीरता की वैभव के साथ सगाई झाँसी में,
ब्याह हुआ रानी बन आई लक्ष्मीबाई झाँसी में,
राजमहल में बजी बधाई खुशियाँ छाई झाँसी में,
सुभट बुंदेलों की विरुदावलि सी वह आयी झांसी में,
चित्रा ने अर्जुन को पाया, शिव से मिली भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

उदित हुआ सौभाग्य, मुदित महलों में उजियाली छाई,
किंतु कालगति चुपके-चुपके काली घटा घेर लाई,
तीर चलाने वाले कर में उसे चूड़ियाँ कब भाई,
रानी विधवा हुई, हाय! विधि को भी नहीं दया आई।
निसंतान मरे राजाजी रानी शोक-समानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

बुझा दीप झाँसी का तब डलहौज़ी मन में हरषाया,
राज्य हड़प करने का उसने यह अच्छा अवसर पाया,
फ़ौरन फौजें भेज दुर्ग पर अपना झंडा फहराया,
लावारिस का वारिस बनकर ब्रिटिश राज्य झाँसी आया।
अश्रुपूर्णा रानी ने देखा झाँसी हुई बिरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

अनुनय विनय नहीं सुनती है, विकट शासकों की माया,
व्यापारी बन दया चाहता था जब यह भारत आया,
डलहौज़ी ने पैर पसारे, अब तो पलट गई काया,
राजाओं नव्वाबों को भी उसने पैरों ठुकराया।
रानी दासी बनी, बनी यह दासी अब महरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

छिनी राजधानी दिल्ली की, लखनऊ छीना बातों-बात,
कैद पेशवा था बिठुर में, हुआ नागपुर का भी घात,
उदैपुर, तंजौर, सतारा, करनाटक की कौन बिसात?
जबकि सिंध, पंजाब ब्रह्म पर अभी हुआ था वज्र-निपात।
बंगाले, मद्रास आदि की भी तो वही कहानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी रोयीं रिनवासों में, बेगम ग़म से थीं बेज़ार,
उनके गहने कपड़े बिकते थे कलकत्ते के बाज़ार,
सरे आम नीलाम छापते थे अंग्रेज़ों के अखबार,
‘नागपूर के ज़ेवर ले लो लखनऊ के लो नौलख हार’।
यों परदे की इज़्ज़त परदेशी के हाथ बिकानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कुटियों में भी विषम वेदना, महलों में आहत अपमान,
वीर सैनिकों के मन में था अपने पुरखों का अभिमान,
नाना धुंधूपंत पेशवा जुटा रहा था सब सामान,
बहिन छबीली ने रण-चण्डी का कर दिया प्रकट आहवान।
हुआ यज्ञ प्रारम्भ उन्हें तो सोई ज्योति जगानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

महलों ने दी आग, झोंपड़ी ने ज्वाला सुलगाई थी,
यह स्वतंत्रता की चिनगारी अंतरतम से आई थी,
झाँसी चेती, दिल्ली चेती, लखनऊ लपटें छाई थी,
मेरठ, कानपूर, पटना ने भारी धूम मचाई थी,
जबलपूर, कोल्हापूर में भी कुछ हलचल उकसानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इस स्वतंत्रता महायज्ञ में कई वीरवर आए काम,
नाना धुंधूपंत, ताँतिया, चतुर अज़ीमुल्ला सरनाम,
अहमदशाह मौलवी, ठाकुर कुँवरसिंह सैनिक अभिराम,
भारत के इतिहास गगन में अमर रहेंगे जिनके नाम।
लेकिन आज जुर्म कहलाती उनकी जो कुरबानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इनकी गाथा छोड़, चले हम झाँसी के मैदानों में,
जहाँ खड़ी है लक्ष्मीबाई मर्द बनी मर्दानों में,
लेफ्टिनेंट वाकर आ पहुँचा, आगे बड़ा जवानों में,
रानी ने तलवार खींच ली, हुया द्वन्द्ध असमानों में।
ज़ख्मी होकर वाकर भागा, उसे अजब हैरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी बढ़ी कालपी आई, कर सौ मील निरंतर पार,
घोड़ा थक कर गिरा भूमि पर गया स्वर्ग तत्काल सिधार,
यमुना तट पर अंग्रेज़ों ने फिर खाई रानी से हार,
विजयी रानी आगे चल दी, किया ग्वालियर पर अधिकार।
अंग्रेज़ों के मित्र सिंधिया ने छोड़ी रजधानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

विजय मिली, पर अंग्रेज़ों की फिर सेना घिर आई थी,
अबके जनरल स्मिथ सम्मुख था, उसने मुहँ की खाई थी,
काना और मंदरा सखियाँ रानी के संग आई थी,
युद्ध श्रेत्र में उन दोनों ने भारी मार मचाई थी।
पर पीछे ह्यूरोज़ आ गया, हाय! घिरी अब रानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

तो भी रानी मार काट कर चलती बनी सैन्य के पार,
किन्तु सामने नाला आया, था वह संकट विषम अपार,
घोड़ा अड़ा, नया घोड़ा था, इतने में आ गये अवार,
रानी एक, शत्रु बहुतेरे, होने लगे वार-पर-वार।
घायल होकर गिरी सिंहनी उसे वीर गति पानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी गई सिधार चिता अब उसकी दिव्य सवारी थी,
मिला तेज से तेज, तेज की वह सच्ची अधिकारी थी,
अभी उम्र कुल तेइस की थी, मनुज नहीं अवतारी थी,
हमको जीवित करने आयी बन स्वतंत्रता-नारी थी,
दिखा गई पथ, सिखा गई हमको जो सीख सिखानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

जाओ रानी याद रखेंगे ये कृतज्ञ भारतवासी,
यह तेरा बलिदान जगावेगा स्वतंत्रता अविनासी,
होवे चुप इतिहास, लगे सच्चाई को चाहे फाँसी,
हो मदमाती विजय, मिटा दे गोलों से चाहे झाँसी।
तेरा स्मारक तू ही होगी, तू खुद अमिट निशानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

– सुभद्रा कुमारी चौहान

Bhagwan Birsa Munda

Birsa Munda was one of the most prominent vanvasi ( forest dwellers) leaders and freedom fighters of Bharat  in the 19th Century. He led the famous “Ulgulaan” (meaning the great tumult) movement towards the end of 19th Century. He is worshiped almost like a God esp amongst the people of Munda community – such is the respect and adulation that Birsa Munda commands from his people.

Birsa Munda was born on 15th November 1875 to to Sugana Munda and Karami Haatu in Ulihatu Village of Ranchi . After his primary education in Saalga Village, he went to Chaibasa English Middle School. He was disturbed by the atrocities meted out by the British on his people. Even in School debates, he was vociferous in his advocacy for the cause of “Jal, Jungle aur Jameen” (water, forests and land) of the vanavasis.

In those days, a Christian missionary by the name Dr. Notret was active in the area and he tried to entice the Munda people into converting to Christianity by promising to get the British to return the land that they had usurped. But in 1886-87 when the Chiefs of Mundas launched an agitation to reclaim their lands from the British, all the missionaries admonished them and helped the British in a brutal suppression of the movement. Birsa Munda was aghast by this and revolted. He was terminated from his school and had to return along with his parents to his village.

The years form 1886-1890 were the formative years for Birsa Munda. These were the years which shook up Birsa from the inside and gave rise to an intense feeling of revenge and restoration of self-respect & pride. He was influenced a lot by the revolts of the Santhals, the Chuars and the Kol janajaatis ( tribes) . The piquant position of his tribe and great threat to their social, cultural and religious ethos sowed the seeds of rebellion in him. He resolved to restore the pride and self-rule of his people. His efforts to unite the Munda people were so successful that the British grew increasingly worried and uncomfortable. He “Birsaayit” and stressed on simplicity, devotion and brotherhood. He gave the slogan of “British go back” and called for restoration of traditional democracy. He said that the “Queen’s rule will be gone and the Abua rule will come!”

On 1st October 1894, as a young leader, he launched a movement for “lagaan-maafi” (exemption of land tax). He was arrested in 1895 and lodged in Hazaribagh central prison for two years. But the influence of Birsa only kept increasing and he came to be known as “Dharti Baba.” The flame of revolution amongst the tribal people was well and truly lit.

There were several clashes between the followers of Birsa Munda and the British in the years 1897-1900. In August 1897, 400 soldiers of the Birsa Army, armed with their bows and arrows attacked the Khunti Police station and won. In 1898 also, in another battle fought on the banks of river Tanga, the Birsa army defeated the British. However, the British struck back and arrested scores of their leaders. A lot of women and children also lost their lives in crackdown.

Birsa Munda was arrested along with 482 other members of his guerilla army on 3rd February, 1900 and was lodged in the Ranchi Prison. 15 different charges were slapped against him. Charges could be proved only against 98 of the 482 people arrested. Gaya Munda, a close confidante of Birsa Munda, and his son Sanare Munda were hanged to death.

On 1st June 1900, the jail doctor declared that Birsa Munda was afflicted with Cholera and on 9th June 1900 he was declared dead.

In all of 25 years, Birsa Munda achieved so much that he became revered almost like a God. He was the one who gave the tribal people pride, respect and confidence in their own culture, religion, society and nation. He was the one who opened the eyes of his people to the motives and machinations of the Christian evangelists and the British. He was a great freedom fighter whose contributions are celebrated till date.

 

It is to the credit of Birsa Munda and his revolt that the British were forced to enact a new law in form of Chotanagpur Tenancy Act of 1908 under which the sale of Tribal lands to the non-tribal people was prohibited.

Let’s take a moment to remember and salute this great son of India – Birsa Munda.

  • Translated from Hindi by Sri Ashish Naredi