C.V. Raman, rightly described as the 'grand old man of science' in India, strode like the colossus of Indian Science, during the pre-independence era. The epoch till 1947 is of importance, and though the inception of Western science in India is of recent origin, during this time, India did produce eminent scientists, who made their mark in the world of Western science by their original contributions. Raman was amongst the pioneers of that period, self-taught and fully self-trained, who, winle pursuing 'pure research' on his own, created a new school of scientific research.
One of the objectives of this article is to make a prelusion attempt, to inquire into the nature as well as the methodology of the science of Raman, and present the story of the 'Raman School of Science'. The other objective is to survey Raman's ideas on science and scientific research in India. Raman's efforts to organize science was along the lines of the Swedish ideal and it is no wonder that the British administration did not take too friendly an attitude towards Raman. After 1947, though India became independent, most of our leaders lacked confidence and Raman's thoughts, ideas and life-mission aimed towards organizing a self-reliant scientific base, were considered as untenable notions by our science planners. In This sense Raman became isolated from the Indian scientific scene. This article aitempts to review Raman's ideas on the role of nationalism in the building of science and comments on their relevance in the context of the current state of science in India.
The Story of the "Raman School of Science"
Raman, the second son of a school teacher, was born on 7th November, 1888 at Tiruchirappalli. His father Chandrasekharan (1866-1910) was a scholar and also an agnostic influenced by the likes of Herbert Spencer, Brad laugh and Robert Ingersoll. Raman's maternal grandfather was a scholar of traditional Indian learning. It is said that in 1846 he, at the age of fifteen, walked by foot to Navadweep in Bengal, the centre for 'navya nyaya' to teach the subject (which happens to provide the logical foundation for traditional Indian sciences). Speaking at the Delhi University Convocation in 1957, C.V. Raman was to declare that "we have a great tradition of logic and philosophy besides a great heritage".
Raman did his schooling in Vishakhapatnam and then joined the Presidency College, Madras and obtained his B.A. degree in 1904 and M.A. in 3907. Even winle a student of M.A., in the course of performing a standard optics experiment, Raman noticed some diffraction bands winle viewing the reflection near the grazing angle of incidence. He investigated these and found the correct explanation; Making sure that This was not available in the scientific literature that he could lay hands upon, Raman wrote it up in the form of a research paper and gave it to the British Professor of Physics in the College, one R.L. Jones. On receiving no comments from , Raman was bold enough to communicate it himself to the Philosophical Magazine (London, Vol.12, p.494) under the title "Unsymmetrical Diffraction Bands due to a Rectangular Aperture". The paper which got published in November 1906 is notable for the absence of any acknowledgement for any kind of help received from anyone else.
While producing a research paper as a student of M.A. was indeed most unusual; the level of the experiment itself was perhaps not much above that of undergraduate laboratory work, even by the standards of those days. Soon following his first paper, Raman in 1907 wrote a paper on determination of the surface tension of liquids (Philosophical Magazine 14, 591, 1907). These two first papers of Raman are prototypes of Raman's early research and they clearly illustrate his ability to look for novel results with simple apparatus, the hallmark of Raman's many discoveries. Raman also investigated other problems winle still at the Presidency College though he did not publish them (maybe the experiments were inconclusive) but he came back to them in the year following 1907, especially during 1907 -1912. It indeed appears that Raman had clearly decided on many of the lines of investigation to be pursued, even during his days as a student at the Presidency College.
After he graduated in 1907, Raman was forced to join Government Service, since in those days there were no opportunities or facilities for scientific research in India. Some of the affluent students could and did leave for Britain upon the advice of professors with the primary intention of qualifying as ICS cadres or becoming lawyers, and those who remained in India were content with Government jobs of lesser importance. Raman entered the Government Service, but unlike most of the others he persisted with his interest in science.
The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) at Calcutta played a crucial role in affording Raman basic facilities to pursue his research interests. IACS was the brainchild of Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar who proposed the idea of "a national institution for the cultivation of sciences by the natives of India" in an article published in 1869 in the Calcutta Journal of Medicine. He held the view that "the Hindu mind was pre-eminently metaphysical" and further envisaged that "the country's underdevelopment was basically due to her backwardness in sciences" and advocated that "the salvation lies in the cultivation of sciences by original research". He started organizing financial support for this situation from 1870 onwards. At the same time the Indian League, a semi-political organization, was campaigning for a technical school on the model of those then existing in Switzerland and Germany. For some time a debate went on over the merits of 'cultivation of sciences' vs. 'technical education' (a debate which we are carrying on even today). Finally IACS was set up in 1876 with the patronage of the Governor of Bengal, Sir Richard Temple. It must be noted that Sir Richard Temple himself strongly believed that teacinng science to Indians could serve to curb the emerging self-Confidence of the educated Indians.
The Government gave an "old and incommodious" building to the IACS for "temporary occupation and without rights’ to the property". By 1883, the total subscription collected by Sircar amounted to about Rs: 30,000 and plans to build laboratories could not be taken up. To meet the complete expenditure of Rs. 50,000 the Maharaja of Vijayanagaram made a generous offer of Rs. 25,000 in 1889 and finally in 1891, the IACS had its own laboratories. But the fact remahis that no significant scientific research was initiated there in the next sixteen years; the buildings almost remained as uninhabited monuments. In 1902, Sircar expressing his despair declared that he did not know "how to account /or this apathy of our people for the cultivation of science" [This is despite Vivekananda great advocacy of science and technology, and much talk in the papers about the setting up of an Institute of Science by J.N. Tata. About this, more lately].
Raman 'discovered' the IACS in 1907 and he was the first to fruitfully put to use the facilities available at IACS. In the next year Raman, working only in his spare time (he was a fulltime employee of the Government) succeeded in developing IACS as a major centre for scientific research. It must be remembered that in this succeeded in developing I ACS as a major centre for scientific research. It must be remembered that in this period Raman mostly worked on his own (no students) except for assistance by Sri. Ashutosh Dcy (Ashu Babu) of IACS.
The external hardships and lack of facilities had little effect on Raman. He always made use of the best of whatever meager facilities those were available to suit his requirements and perform the necessary experiments. Between 1909-1911, he was transferred from Calcutta to Nagpur and then to Burma and so he had to be away from the cultivation of science laboratory. Yet Raman did experiments on forced vibrations of strings, ‘Ectara' the Indian musical instrument and also optical experiments using sun light. In 1910 his father expired and Raman stayed at Madras on a leave of six months during his stay he made use of the Presidency College laboratory and continued his research pursuits.
Raman's research work attracted the attention of Sir Ashutosh Mukerjee, the Vice-chancellor of the Calcutta University and he broached the idea of getting Raman to the University as the Palit Professor in Physics. Raman immediately jumped at the offer, for research was a way of life for and till then, due to his pre-occupation with earning his livelihood, he was forced to devote only the spare time he had to his research activities. However things remained difficult still. Sir Harcourt Butler, the Member for Education in the Viceroy's Council, refused to let Raman take up the Appointment unless he relinquished his government service. Further, one of the stipulations for the Palit Professorship (as laid down by the donor. Sir Tarakanath Palit himself) was that the incumbent should be trained in England. Raman refused to go to England to be 'trained'. Finally Ashutosh Mukerjee managed to get this requirement waived and got the University to offer Raman the Palit Professorship in March 1917. Raman resigned his high salaried government job [In the process Raman's salary got reduced from Rs.1100 per month to Rs.600 per month] and joined the Calcutta University in July 1917.
Over the next decade, the Calcutta School of Physics was to make spectacular progress in several areas. This was the 'golden era' during which Raman did his monumental work on the Physics of musical instruments and of course on the Raman Effect. P. Krishnamurthy, in his short biographical sketch of Raman published in 1938, gives a list of about eighty five students who worked with Raman at Calcutta! The following arc the different areas in which Raman and his collaborators were engaged in research; (The numbers inside parenthesis denote numbers of papers published in each subject). Vibrations and Sound (31); Theory of Musical Instruments (30); Wave-optics (65); Colloids (20); Molecular Scattering of Light (65); X-rays and Electron Diffraction (45); Magnetism and Magneto-optics (40); Electro-optics and Dielectrics (10); Raman Effect (100); Viscosity of Liquids (16); Atomic Spectra (8); Optical and Elastic properties of Solids (20). Among these Raman was co-author of about 170 papers. The quality of research was such as to catch the attention of the leading scientists of the world.
Raman's first visit abroad was in 1921 as a delegate to the Universities Congress held at Oxford. By then he was already famous in the world of science. He toured Canada and USA in 1924. Accepting the invitation of Robert Milliken, Raman held a prestigious visiting chair at the California Institute of Technology for about four months a position which was earlier held by Sommerfeld, Lorentz and Einstein. Raman was invited to participate in the centenary of the Franklin Institute at Pennsylvania, USA in 1925. The same year Raman was also invited to the Soviet Union to take part in the bi-centenary celebration of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. By 1925 Raman's work on musical instruments (especially his work on the violin) had became well known and he was invited by the Germans to contribute a review article to the prestigious Handbuch der Physics; they, perhaps for the first time, even agreed to accept his manuscript in English and get it translated into German for the Handbuch.'
Scattering of light, the phenomenon responsible for the deep blue of the sea, formation of rainbows and such others, attracted the major attention of Raman, especially after he joined the Calcutta University as the Palit Professor. Raman in March 1919 wrote a brief note in Nature on the Doppler Effect in the molecular scattering of radiation.
The color of the sea and the blueness of the sky must have intrigued Raman, since his days as a student at the Presidency College, Madras. The traditional belief had been that, "the dark blue of the deep sea is simply the blue of the sky seen by reflection", the view of Lord Raleigh. Raman questioned this view and to quote inm, "the observations made in the deep waters of the Mediterranean and the Red sea" (winle returning from his first voyage abroad in 1921) led inm to conceive the idea that the molecular scattering of light in water was the primary origin of the color of the deep sea. Raman was so convinced of his new ideas, that he communicated his views to Nature, on 26th September, 1921, as soon as he arrived at the Bombay harbor.
Raman arrived at definite views and ideas on the scattering of light, based on the observations he made in the waters of the seas and along with his students, he initiated research on the scattering of light by solids, liquids and gases. The first thing Raman did was to write a survey article, incorporating his own ideas and pointing out his own line of thought. These series of investigations, in due course, led to the discovery of the celebrated Raman Effect.
Raman had an inquisitive mind and a firm conviction in his own intuition. For instance he did not share the belief of some of his own students working on the problem that the 'weak fluorescence' should be attributed to the presence 6f impurities. He in fact anticipated a profound cause for the phenomenon; and This was how he arrived at the Raman Effect and its explanation. Raman communicated the discovery of the Raman Effect in two brief notes sent to Nature in February and March 1928.
By April 1928, French scientists confirmed the discovery and American Physicist R.W.Wood sent a cable to Nature confirming the Raman Effect and characterized it "as a surprising and brilliant discovery with immense potentialities” Within a year and half about 150 papers were published on the Raman Effect. The Italian Society for Science awarded inm the Maiteucci Medal in 1928, for the "most important physical discovery of the year".
C.G. Darwin, FRS, tried to play the 'priority game' attributing the discovery to Mandelstam, a Russian Physicist a claim which was promptly disposed off by Raman by showing that even before Mandelstam’s work appeared in print nearly sixteen papers had been published on the subject citing Raman's discovery. International recognition for this celebrated discovery made the British to 'own inm up' and thus confer on inm a Knighthood in 1929 as on an eminent loyal British subject. In November 1929, Rutherford extolled Raman Effect in his presidential address to the Royal Society. In' 1930 the Royal Society conferred on Raman the Hughes Medal (interestingly, the Hughes medal really ranks rather low in the hierarchy of medals and honors conferred by the Royal Society). Rutherford however declared that "the Raman Effect must rank among the best, three or four discoveries in experimental physics in the last decades".
Raman was very confident that the Nobel Prize would be conferred on inm even in 1929. According to one of his associates, Raman was disappointed that he was not given the Nobel Prize in 1929. On his return from England he intensified the entire activity in his laboratory on the study of the Raman Effect on various molecules. The following year Raman was well prepared in advance to receive the Nobel Prize.
It should perhaps be emphasized that the school of excellence which Raman created at Calcutta and the original results which were steadily pouring out from the laboratories of IACS and the Calcutta University were not due to any scheme or plan of scientific development introduced by the British education system in India (for there were none such plans or schemes). That the creation of the Calcutta School of Physics may be taken as the Renaissance of Indian science is, in no small measure, due to the intelligence, hard work and perspicuity of Raman. The best of the students from various parts of India made a beeline to Calcutta to join the Raman's school (though a career in science was poorly remunerative) rather than appearing for the civil service examination. All This was, of course, in the context of much larger new upsurge of courage and hope that had, by this time been generated in India by the freedom movement. Also, Raman's school was not engaged in "band-wagon research"; most of the problems were conceived by Raman himself. Raman's school created new lines of scientific research and new fusions and scientific centers in Europe and USA often followed suit in these lines of research. Raman had set up a veritable tradition for science in India.
Often images are presented of Raman as a martyr. Winle he did not have an easy time making his mark in science, not counting the adverse circumstances of having to work when the country was under alien rule, we must recognize that by 1930 he had achieved most of what could be achieved in the career of a scientist. Another point that should be borne in mind is that during the period 1907-1930, Calcutta (and Bengal in general) treated Raman quite well. Differences did arise however with a group of Bengali scientists, and particularly with Professor Meghnad Saha. The animosity between Raman and Saha grew during 1930*1932 and very soon other dimensions that Raman was anti-Bengali or pro-South Indian or that Saha was anti-South Indian or pro-Bengali got added to it. Finally in 1933, Raman was voted out of the Honorary Secretary ship of IACS. It was around this time that the offer of the Directorship of the Indian Institute of Science came up. Perhaps Raman himself had contemplated for quite sometime setting in South India. And he took up this offer even though he wrote to the Calcutta University that he was "far from being sanguine that the transfer from a University Professorship to an Administrative position is really an advantageous step in the career of a man of science".
Raman took over the Directorship of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore in July 1933. IISc itself was set up in 1909. It is said that the seed of an Institute or University for higher learning was sown in the mind of J.N. Tata, winle listening to a speech by Lord Reay, the Governor of Bombay, in 1889. From then on J.N. Tata discussed the idea with many people and in 1896, he made out his will in which he gave two tends of his property to his two sons and one tinrd to This University scheme. He also sent a copy of his will with an annexure to Lord Reay where he explained what the University was meant to do for India, viz. to give it an entirely new system of National Education. The University would encourage studies in technology, medicine, physics, chemistry, philosophy, education, ethics, psychology, Indian history and archaeology, statistics, economics and comparative penology. This was the vision of Tata and from then on he tried to mobilize public support from various quarters. In September 1898, he put out an announcement in the Times of India that he proposed a new University "on the model of the post graduate Universities of the United States like the Johns Hopkhis or Clarke", with the idea that "to induce the students of This country to un-dertake researches on the problems of tropical diseases, or tropical chemistry, to investigate the vast and neglected materials of our national history and Indian penology, it is necessary to found laboratories and libraries, where students may work under direction of great teachers". On 23rd November, 1898, Tata wrote a latter to Swami Vivekananda* seeking his support for the venture.
It appears the Swami did take note of Tata"s efforts. For instance, the April 1899 issue of Frabuddha Bharata noted thepeneficient efforts of Tata's Post-Graduate Research University, "so opportune and so far-reacinng" and added
"...If India is to live and prosper and if there is to be a ii Indian nation which will have its
place in [the ranks of the great nations of the world, the food question must be solved
first of all. And in these days of keen competition |it can only be solved by letting the
light of Modern Science penetrate every pore of the two giant feeders of mankind
Agriculture and Commerce.
The ancient methods of doing things can no longer hold their own against the daily multi- Plying cunning devices of the modern man. He that will not exercise his brain, to get out The most from Nature, by the least possible expenditure of energy must go to the wall, Degenerate and reach extinction. There is no escape,
Mr. Tata's scheme paves the path of placing into the hands of the Indians This knowledge of Nature the preserver and the destroyer, the ideal good servant as well as the ideal bad Master -that by having the knowledge, they might have power over her and be successful in the struggle for existence".
In June 1899, a committee consisting, among others, of the Vice-Chancellor of Bombay University and J.N. Tata met Lord Curzon, the Viceroy, to discuss the University Scheme. Though Lord Curzon's replies were elusiye and disappointing J.N. Tata was not discouraged. Anyway such matters had to be decided in London and he tried to get the support of eminent people through Bhagini Nivedita (Miss. Margaret Nobel) to appeal to celebrities the world over to put pressure on the British Government to accept his scheme. On the suggestion of the British he invited Sir William Ramsey, a British scientist, to visit Indian and prepare the plan of the Institute. The Government of India approved the broad framework on Ramsey's recommendations in 1905. The IISc was established in 1909 and actually commenced functioning only from 1911.
Again, as it happened with IACS, the mere establishment of the IISc (with all the attendant trials and tribulations) did in no way ensure that any significant scientific work would get going there. Winle leading Indians showed great acumen in extolling the virtues of modern science, when it actually came to mastering it or getting scientific research organized, they seemed to be at a total loss. The progress of the IISc was reviewed in 1920 and 1930. Most of the senior posts were held by British scientists and except for their high salaries the Institute did not really have very much to show so far.
In 1931, it appears that the Tatas approached the Royal Society to suggest an appropriate successor, preferably an Indian, to Sir Martin Forster who was due to retire as the Director in 1933. Rutherford who was the President of the Royal Society suggested Raman's name, which was later approved by two selection Committees, one in England and one in India. It must be borne in mind that at the time Raman took over as the Director of IISc it had no Physics Department and its research output was not significant either by way of quality or quantity. Raman felt that the Institute in 1933 had become quite a sleepy place where little work was done by a large number of well paid people". Raman wanted to act quickly and reorganize the functioning of the Histitute. He started a Physics Department, reorganized the existing Departments and wanted to tone up the workshop. He also set about with plans of getting non-British European scientists. [Apart from Max Bom, Raman had written to Erwin Schoedinger] to visit or even take up long term appointments at the Histitute. This led to resentment amongst the British faculty in the Histitute.
The Council of the Histitute which had several of Raman's detractors (including Professor Meghnad Saha and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee with whom Raman had developed serious differences winle at Calcutta) did not go along with many of Raman's plan and eventually on the issue of appointing Max Born, as Professor of Mathematical Physics, the Council outvoted Raman and got a Review Committee appointed to look into the affairs of the Histitute. (The Committee consisted of Sir James Irvine, Vice-Chancellor of St. Andrews University, Dr.S.S. Bhatnagar, and Professor of Chemistry in Punjab University, Lahore and Dr. A.H. Mackenzie, Pro-Chancellor of Osmania University. Of course none of these three names decided upon by the Viceroy in January 1936, were in the original panel suggested by the Council.)
The Committee’s report was not at all charitable to Raman and its politics were evident in its report*. Raman, it seems did not really understand the larger forces at work in the whole IISc affair. The various aspects of the larger forces at work in the IISc affair are slowly being brought out only recently, especially with the publication, of the major biography of Raman by Prof. G. Venkataraman. The 'standard' view of the affair is the following as recounted by even as knowledgeable a person as G.L. Mehta (Former Vice Chairman of our Planning Commission and
sometime room-mate of Raman during his first London visit) in his obituary note on Raman:
"Dr. Raman-was connected with the Indian Histitute of Science at Bangalore and was its Director, for some years. But he was like many scientists and artists a poor administrator. Besides he was, as the Americans would say, a lone wolf - an individualist who could not work in a team or keep a team together... He trained, influenced and enthused many younger men... but he brooked no rival and was intolerant of criticism".
Raman had appealed at some stage to Rutherford to write on his eminence as a physicist to the Secretary of State for India or the Viceroy. Rutherford wrote to Max Born, in October 1936, stating that "this (request) put me in a very’ awkward position for it is difficult for me to interfere in the question of the management of the Bangalore Histitute". At the same time Rutherford sought a detailed report from Born on the affairs at IISc. It is not very clear what role Rutherford played in influencing the final course of action decided upon and implemented through the Viceroy and of course the Council. But little did Raman realize the nature of the final settlement, and thinking that Rutherford had played a major role in making the Council seek his continuance as a Professor at IISc, he wrote to Rutherford on 24th July that, "I must once again express my gratitude to you for your kindness in having come to my’ rescue. The Council of the Histitute was unable to have their way with me and I am still here and hope to remain here for many years to come". And Rutherford on his part wrote a consoling latter on 3rd August 1937, "I am pleased to hear that you will be able to continue your work in Physics in Bangalore without all the worries and distractions involved in acting as Director of the Histitute. Now that the matter is settled, I trust you will be able to carry on with you personal work and let bygones be bygones".
Whether or not Raman realized in July 1937 the nature of the final settlement he was forced into, he was to realise soon how difficult it would be for inm to work winle he was no longer at the helm of affairs. For instance he is seen biiterly complaining to Birbal Sahni (then Professor of Botany at Luck now University) in a leiter of April 19, 1939.
"The Campaign to which I am being subjugated by Mr. S.P. Mukherjee and his friends has reached an acute crisis. At the March meeting of the Council, they passed a resolution ordering me to dismantle the departmental workshop which they themselves had previously sanctioned, to remove the appliances from the Histitute and to repay the cost of Rs. 6,000 from my salary. They have also asked me to vacate the room at the Histitute being used by me as my study in the Library and to shift from my present Bungalow. These orders have brought the work of the Physics Department to a standstill. There is therefore no use for Mr. Mathur or any one else to come to the Histitute. It has ceased to be possible to do any work here".
Raman did however continue in the Histitute lProf,-Pisharoty in his biography of Raman mentions that at This stage Raman had an offer to be the Director of the Kammerlhigh Onnes Laboratory at Amsterdam, which he declined-Other biographers of Raman are silent on This issue] and managed to do substantial research . But it appears that he was really looking forward to his retirement from IISc in 1948, when he started his own Raman Research Histitute. Raman's next twenty two years of active scientific life were spent in organizing the research work at this histitute and the activities of the Indian Academy of Sciences which he had founded in 1934.
It will be an arduous task to wade through about 500 papers of Raman and try to give a picture of various areas of Raman's interest, his contributions and his originality of thought. Apart from his sustained interest in the standard fields of Optics and Acoustics, his research interests during the period 1933-1970 included varied topics such as the structure of crystals (especially diamond), the plumage of birds, the colors exhibited by minerals, the colors of flowers, the perception of light by the eye and the theory of hearing, the science of meteorology and so on; in most of these areas he was a lone-ranger.
Perhaps, the most well-known contribution, which Raman made during this period, was on the diffraction of light by high frequency sound waves, now known as the Raman - Nath theory. Raman, firmly grounded in his own intuition, the instant he confronted the problem as to the behavior of a wave-front of light passing through an ultrasonic wave, could see very clearly that the wave front gets "corrugated". The full theory was worked out, involving a mathematical analysis of the problem, along with his student N.S. Nagendra Nath, resulting in the publication of a series of five Remarkable papers. The theoretical predictions of these papers were also confirmed experimentally by one of Raman's students.
Raman had a special fascination for diamond. The diamond is a remarkable solid possessing a host of interesting properties, which other solids do not possess. Raman's intuitive understanding was that the diamond must exhibit many more such unusual and interesting properties. Under his guidance, the famous 1332 cm Raman line and the complex luminescence spectrum were recorded by his students. Raman's other interests were on the optical properties of iridescent shells and iridescence of ancient glass.
Raman also proposed a tetrahedral symmetry structure for diamond, which ultimately turned out to be untenable. His work on the dynamics of crystal lattices led inm into many biiter battles with his peers in the world of science, especially with his erstwinle colleague. Max Born. Retrospectively, today we are able to attribute many an important height to the work of the Raman school such as the discovery of the so called 'soft mode', or the anticipation of the so-called 'Van Hove critical points' and so on. If it had continued as a flourishing and strong school of physics, it would have not only confirmed several of these heights, but also blazed new trails. Since that did not happen, most of us are left with discussing where actually Raman went wrong or how he clung on to a hypothesis which most other leading scientists had disapproved and so on. For, we often forget that in the development of science, no great scientist is seen to discard his preferred theories merely because his peers felt otherwise. In fact the hallmark of a great scientist as of any creative person in other spheres, has always been his ability to come up with a (modified, extended, etc) version of his preferred theory (or view-point) that would satisfactorily account for the phenomena under consideration and lead to totally unforeseen discoveries.
One aspect of Raman's science which we should really get to understand in detail is the way he arrived at scientific problems and the way he looked for their solutions. The publication of his collected scientific works and the availability of detailed biographies should now make this task approachable. It is here that the insight of several of Raman's eminent students could prove to be great value.
Raman himself believed that science and art arise from the same creative urge. Winle concluding a series of popular radio talks (which were published in 1951 under the title "The New Physics"), he declared:
"So far I have said liitle about the- nature of the urge which leads the elite few to devote themselves to science and live laborious days in its service. This is a part of the larger question, what is it that drives men to devote themselves to any type of idealistic activity? I tinnk it will be readily conceded that the pursuit of science derives its motive power from what is essentially a creative urge. The painter, the sculptor, the arcintect, and the poet, each in his own way, derives his inspiration from nature and seeks to represent her through his chosen medium, be it paint, or marble, or stone, or just well-chosen words strung together like pearls on a necklace. The man of science is just a student of nature and equally derives his hispiration from her. He builds or paints pictures of her in his mind, through the intangible medium of his thoughts. He seeks to resolve her infinite complexities into a few simple principles or elements of action which he calls’ the laws of nature. In doing This, the man of science, like the exponents of other forms of art, subjects inmself to a rigorous discipline, the rules of which he had laid down for himself and which he calls logic. The pictures of nature which science paints for us have to obey these rules, in other words have to be self-consistent. Intellectual beauty is indeed the highest kind of beauty. Science, in other words, is a fusion of man's aesthetic and intellectual functions devoted to the representation of nature. It is therefore the highest form of creative art".
Another major feature of Raman's philosophy of science seems to be his insistence that the main hispiration for science comes from nature. Evidence of This philosophy of science at work is abundantly available in the entire scientific corpus of Raman which completely defies all classification into conventional compartments of physics such as optics, acoustics etc, but even more so strays out to include Geology, Meteorology, Biology and so on. [We will have more to say on Raman's view that Nature is the hispiration for science and how he linked it with the relevance of science in the next section. Raman's philosophy as clearly stated by inm is that: 'It is not necessary to hunt around the text books to find problems in science. You keep your eyes open and you see that, around you the whole world bristles with problems to solve"] It would indeed appear from the various statements he made and the way he approached several problems in science, Raman's epistemological position is quite akin to that of the Indian scientific tradition which gives much more emphasis and primacy to the complexity of natural phenomena and where the results of human endeavor in developing theories of natural phenomena are never to be taken more seriously than the heights presented to us by mother nature .
Not much is written about the later phase of Raman's life. From various accounts it appears that Raman did enjoy being his own master at the Raman Research Histitute and working on new lines of enquiry that he alone could start. Sometimes we also find descriptions of Raman as a 'recluse' and in great 'agony' during this period over the way the development of Indian science were being planned. It is indeed true that Raman refused to be a member of the National Planning Commission of the Indian National Congress set up under the chairmanship of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938, and also of the Board of Scientific and Industrial Research (the 'father' of CSIR) set up by the Government of India in 1940. Around the same time he also stopped attending sessions of the Indian Science Congress. Raman also stopped his serious association with the Royal Society from about 1945 onwards, though barely two years earlier he got S. Chandrasekhar, H.J. Bhabha and K5.
For an articulation of the epistemological position of the Indian scientific tradition, see J.K. Bajaj: "The Indian Tradition in Science and Technology: An Overview", PPST Bulletin Nos. 13 & 14, March 1988. Krishnan elected as Fellows of the Royal Society. In fact later in 1968 he took the unusual step of resigning from the Fellowship of the Royal Society*.
[Apropos the footnote, given below, it would be interesting to know what Bhatnagar had reported to Inll. Of course it is much more important to understand how persons such as Prof. Bhatnagar or Sri Girija Shankar Bajapeyi eto, who were very close to the British also continued to hold very important positions in the independent Government of India]. Prof. Ramaseshandescribes the nature of Raman's 'agony' in this period as follows in his C.V. Raman memorial lectures delivered at the Indian Histitute of Science, Bangalore in 1978: 'To those who knew inm, he was a soul in agony... "My life" he once cried, "has been failure. I thought I would try to build true science in this country. But all we have is a legion of camp followers of the ' West". To my mind the agony of Raman can only be compared to that of Gandhi in Noakhali..."
The important issue is not merely of Raman's anguish concerning the way things were going. The main issue is the failure of Indian science to capitalize on the impetus provided by the Raman School of Science and similar other schools which were trying to emerge in the early 20th Century.
In his later life Raman inmself investigated and wrote on several interesting problems, almost all of them selected by his own peculiar prejudices, likings, eto and not because they were in vogue or fashion anywhere. But he lost all his students, even the most faithful of them to the larger band wagon of international science (or 'modern physics' as opposed to the 'primitive physics' of Raman, in the eloquent terminology of Max Born. In other words we should understand why Raman's work did not take root. Raman inmself is successful but not really his science. One reason could be that Raman and his school did not come up with a powerful conceptual scheme or Framework that could found a new tradition in science. In the absence of serious enquiry or reflection on the subject, it would indeed appear that there may not be much except for hints and probing in Raman's work and that may not be adequate for founding a new science.
One question we need to answer today for ourselves is whether Indian science could have created a niche for itself if our scientists had been able to understand and catoh the wavelength of the bold, unorthodox and innovative approach to the selection of scientific problems and methods of solving them that we see in the likes of Raman, Ramanujan or Jagadish Chandra Bose. The question is all the more important because many of these giants of Indian science do not seem to have themselves. Articulated (or even realized) what made them succeed in making serious dents in modern science winle they remained perhaps outsiders most of the time. We need to know, specially since "all we have (even today) is a legion of camp followers of the West".
Raman's Ideas on Organization of Science in India
Apart from his own scientific pursuits, Raman was very deeply concerned, all his life, about the state of Indian science and Indian society. As declared in a talk delivered at the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad in December 1968, his quest had been really to find out:
"What is Science? And how can we in this country hope to advance science? How can we really make ourselves worthy of our ancestors in the past?"
One of the recurring themes in Raman's writings and speeches on the organization of science in India, is his passionate plea that we should develop a strong scientific community here, that we should organise and develop our own strong national scientific institutions before we can enter the 'comity of international scientists', that we should nurture our own scientific journals instead of sending our important research papers abroad, and so on. Raman believed that a strong Indian Academy of Sciences could help in the formation of a scientific community here with an Indian identity. In an unsigned editorial published in Current Science in May 1933 at the time of the formation of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Raman wrote:
"It is true that individual scientific workers in India have by their indefatigable industry achieved great distinction for themselves but the prestige of both official and non-official research is still slow in attaining that status of international importance reached by Most European countries. This unsatisfactory position is in our opinion partly due to the tendency of many scientific men to export their more important contributions for publication in foreign journals with a proportional impoverishment of Indian archives. Perhaps if the resources of an all-India journal such as we contemplate in connection with the Academy of Science, had been available for giving Indian scientific work suitable international publicity, the outflow of memoirs from This country would have been more Restrained and less voluminous. Continuance of This practice will retard the process of building up a scientific tradition for India and keep her in a position of semi-dependence in the world of science. Winle the foundation of the scientific reputation of a country is established by the quality of work produced in its institutions, the superstructure is reared by the national journals which proclaim their best achievements to the rest of the world. Manifestly the edifice of science in India is incomplete. If scientific contributions from countries which possess national journals are also sent abroad, let it be remembered that they represent a surplus, broadcasting the embellishments of their own national organizations. It is true that the spirit of science and its service are international, but is it not also true that every nation has its own Academies, learned societies, magazines and journals? India will have to organise and develop her national scientific institutions before she can enter into the comity of international scientists. The achievements of Indian science are national assets, and an Academy which treasures and displays them collectively is assured of providing the necessary guidance and hispiration for the younger generation to put forth greater exertion in order to enrich and widen the usefulness of this great estate".
[It is indeed curious to note that Raman is granting universality to only "the sprit of science and its service. It is not very clear what position he held concerning the concepts and theories of science as evolved in different societies and cultures, but the above passage makes it amply clear that Raman wanted India to build its own strong national institutions in science before entering into serious interaction with the comity of 'international science'. We have of course gone the opposite way hoping that our participation in 'international science' will eventually help us build viable national scientific institutions most of which (like bur Academies, Journals, eto) are right now in a state of alter neglect and decay].
Speaking on the future of the Indian Academy of Sciences during its first annual meeting at Bombay, Raman said:'
"It will also say a word about the Academy, in relation to the nation at large. It is inevitable that the Academy, consisting as it does of the most active workers in the country, who are represented different parts of India and of different branches of science, will soon come to be regarded as the most authoritative body to speak in the name of India on all matters touching the progress of science. The potentialities of such an Academy in the way of national service are almost unlimited".
The story of how we ended up having several Academies (three national Academies to be precise) is being written and talked about only in recent years. Such a split in the Indian scientific community was of course a product of the then circumstances, prevalent under an alien rule, but it is a sad commentary on our endeavors in the post-independence era that Indian scientists still do not have a functioning and strong national Academy of science which has the willingness and the power to function as the "most authoritative, body to speak in the name of India (i.e., Indian Civilization and not necessarily the Indian State) on all matters touching the progress of science".
Another major theme of Raman was total self-reliance. He would not have much of modern technology unless we could master it and produce all that we need here. Apart from eroding our national dignity the import of foreign aid and know how he felt, would destroy our capacity to tinnk for ourselves. These views he expressed on umpteen occasions and in various forums. Unfortunately many of these addresses of Raman on basic issues concerning Indian science and society are not available in any single compilation. We have to be satisfied by giving extracts of them from some contemporary Newspapers reports. Here are some extracts from newspaper reports. In his inaugural speech delivered in Bangalore winle inaugurating a symposium on 'Mining Industry in South India' in 1967, Raman is reported to have said:
Bangalore, November 28, 1967:
Dr.C.V. Raman, Nobel Prize winner, said here today that his burden of song' all these years was that people should learn ,the art of thinking independently and find out solutions to problems hasted of buying |the foreign know how. Unless we do This we will not be building a prosperous new India" he said inaugurating a three day symposium on Mining Industry in South India here. The Nobel laureate emphasized that 'we must acquire the real know how ourselves and not by the bogus know how'. He, however, made it clear that 'we require knowledge but we must super-impose our brain and intellect and learn things in a hard way ‘
"It was absolutely essential, he said, to follow the principle of self-help and self-respect in the field of higher studies and research. But This lesson of self-help is completely absent in the whole life of the nation today. Histead of trying to learn the real essence of science and to tinnk independently, people leave for foreign countries to study. That should be discouraged.
"The eminent physicist claimed that real know how was not imparted by foreign collaborators in the industrial field even though they got paid for it. It was a carefully-guarded secret with them. For example in the field of lamp industry did India make metallic filament? He asked, and answered that not a single yard was manufactured in this country. The whole tinng had to be imported. The whole superstructure of industries in this country was "nothing but a sham, he commented".
The following is a report on what Raman told the students of IIT Madras winle addressing its third convocation in 1966
Madras, July 31, 1966:
Dr. C.V. Raman has called upon the people to shed their "inferiority complex" and learn to be fearlessly independent in thinking. It was the lack of such independent thinking that stood in the way of progress of our country today, he said.
Delivering the tinrd convocation address to the Indian Histitute of Technology, here, yesterday, the Nobel laureate said, "We borrow money and expert know how from abroad and we forget to tinnk for ourselves. We must shake This off and learn to stand on our own legs. It is better to work with the most inefficient and useless equipment then stand on borrowed legs".
Stressing the importance of self-reliance Dr. Raman said it would be much better to go back to the bullock-cart age 'If we cannot make things we need ourselves'.
No country could become industrially great without a foundation of real knowledge. That ' is what science teaches, he added' (Times of India, 31.7.1966)
Another report of the same convocation address is as follows:
"Dr.C.V. Raman today advised young technologists here to develop their own faculties of Independent thinking gets over the inferiority complex we developed because of foreign
Rule and help the country be self-reliant.
He warned the fresh graduates at the tinrd convocation of the Indian Histitute of Technology here: 'We have no future whatever unless we learn first that we should rely on ourselves for all our needs.
"We are told that 85 per cent of a motor car is made here, but the other 15 per cent is the most important. Unless we can make a cent per cent motor car, I prefer to go back to the ox-cart age, rather than go in an imported car. There is nothing that makes a man happy except a real achievement. Doing something that will be of some permanent value - the mere joy of achieving something is very great. Young people should realise it is up to them how best they could raise the glory of India"
Dr. Raman said most of the discoveries in science were made by young people and he disputed the statement that old age and wisdom went together. 'It is not wisdom, but the freshness of outlook, the indomitable desire to achieve something that matters and it is the characteristic of the young people. It is only these things that made living worthwhile he said. (The Hindu 31.7.1966)
Apart from his insistence on doing away with foreign aid and foreign know how and foreign col-laborations, Raman had very definite views on how countries like India with a great scientific heritage should go about re-establishing themselves as leaders in science once again. He wanted Indian scientists to find their own sources of hispiration from their heritage, and realise that after all the ultimate hispiration for science is Mother Nature. Here is a report on Raman's address to the Sir Lanka Association of Science in 1946 merely a year before Sri Lanka, Burma, India and Pakistan regained political independence.
Colombo, September 19, 1946:
In a two-hour extempore address scintillating with humor, Sir C.V. Raman prefaced his lecture with remarks in general as to the relation of science to other human activities and stressed the fundamental unity of art and science. He said the spirit of science was not antagonistic to the other essential things of life. Science like literature, painting, music and sculpture was the creative activity of the human spirit and a mode of self-expression behind which lay a well-ordered and strict discipline. Hispiration for science, as for all arts, was Mother Nature. We in India have been brought up to look for hispiration from the West. We have past glories of our own and I do not tinnk for a moment we will ever rise to the full height of nationhood until we stop looking for hispiration from the West and unless we start seeking hispiration in the history of our own land with its glories of the past".
Raman may be said to have literally lived This view that true hispiration for science was indeed mother nature and which is all-around us. He did also believe that much relevant research would straightaway follow from this approach. Often images are presented of Raman as refusing to come out of the "ivory tower" point of view according to which science is practiced for the sake of science alone. But This would indeed be a serious misrepresentation based on a complete lack of understanding of Raman's philosophy of science, say for instance clearly brought out in the following statement made by inm in his famous talk on "Why is the Sky Blue?" delivered at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, on 22.12.1968.
"Ultimately the aim of scientific knowledge is to benefit human life. And that comes automatically because the problems with which we are concerned with are things about us. So long as we deal with the problems which arise out of our environment, you never can say that any particular piece of work can be useless."
Raman really wanted all the varied aspects of natural phenomena, especially those pertaining to our surroundings, thoroughly investigated in a systematic way and This, he believed, would help a great deal by way of producing relevant knowledge and techniques in all our national endeavors. For instance, here is another extract from his popular Radio talks as published in the "New Physics: Talks on Aspects of Science".
"The enormous importance of meteorology to an agricultural country like India will however bear being repeatedly emphasized. It is remarked that so far no Indian University has thought it worth winle to provide for his instruction and research in This subject. This perhaps is only one more illustration of the existing lack of co-ordination between India's real needs and her educational activities. The widest possible diffusion of meteorological knowledge and the promotion of an active interest in study and research in Indian meteorology are I tinnk of vital importance. I would earnestly plead that something should be done by every Indian university towards This object even if it be only the humble achievement of creating the post of an assistant lecturer on a hundred rupees a month who would be required to specialize in and teach the subject. I tinnk, the impression has prevailed in the past that meteorology is a subject in which nothing need be done or could be done except under official auspices. I tinnk that such an impression is without real justification and that much work of great value could be accomplished by academically-minded scientists working under unofficial or university auspices. I have very liitle doubt also that such co-operation as may be needed from the official department will be forth coming if it is asked for. There is some justification in speaking of Indian meteorology as if it were a subject by itself. This is the peculiar geographical configuration of the country with the greatest mountain masses of the Inmalaya suiting it off from the Tibetan plateau on the north, and with the penhisula of the Deccan enclosed between the waters of the Arabian Sea on the side and of the Bay Of Bengal, and rimmed by the Western and Eastern Ghats. These features play as important a part in the meteorology of India as they have played in her past political history and are responsible for the principal characters of the variations of the weather in India, both local and seasonal. It should not, however, be forgotten that the meteorology of India is in reality only a part of the greater subject of world meteorology and has necessarily to be studied in association with it... In concluding This talk, let me once again stress the very great importance of awakening an interest in the study of meteorology and especially of Indian meteorology in our universities and appealed for increased attention to the subject by teachers and students alike. "I feel sure mat active study and investigation in the subject will prove fruitful both from a purely scientific point of view and also from the standpoint of the promotion of India's most vitally important industry namely agriculture".
(In Appendix II we reproduce an article on "The Diamonds of Krishna Valley" which Raman, it seems wrote just a few years before his death, as another example of Raman's fundamental belief that creative science can emerge only from a serious concern with ones own surroundings.)
Raman also had serious differences with most of our leaders and senior scientists on almost every aspect of the organization of scientific research in India. He was, for instance, totally opposed to the import of scientific equipment for the purposes of research work. He even declared that:
"There will be no science in India if we continue to rely on imported equipment for research work. I call it paying for our ignorance - nay paying for our incompetence. Science can and shall advance in very simple ways. We often pay Rs.50, 000 for something we can make for Rs.5, 000. The difference, we pay for our ignorance".
Another issue of serious concern to Raman was the fact that many bright Indian students sought to go abroad for training in science and then returned home only in search of jobs. For instance, here is a report of his address in Mysore in 1960.
My sore, October 1960:
Opening the Postgraduate science department of Mysore University, Dr, C.V. Raman, i "criticized what he said was the tendency on the part of Indian students to quit their own
Universities and rush to foreign countries for further study and research and return home in search of jobs. He advised them to develop a "fanatic loyalty" to and pride in their own centers of learning and to rely on self-help. He advised them to be leaders and avoid always being followers. There was vast scope for research in India, he told them" (Deccan Herald 25.10.1960)
Here is another extract from a report on Raman's inaugural address at the symposium on Mining Industry in South India.
Bangalore, November 28, 1967:
Inaugurating a three day symposium on "Mining Industry in South India" he (Raman) deplored the tendency among students to acquire foreign degrees winle expert knowledge could be easily acquired within the country on all subjects...
"A prosperous India could not be built up without developing local talents". Dr. Raman said "our future lies not on borrowed bogus knowledge. But on our own capacity to tinnk independently and our capacity to work hard".
Dr. Raman wondered why there should be a craze to go abroad winle they could develop India's scientific knowledge "independently and intelligently".
It was not as if Raman suddenly woke up to This issue (which began to be called the 'brain drain') when he saw a large number of Indian students going abroad for higher studies in the sixties. He had been all the time clear that Indian science and Indian scientists would have done 'infinitely better' if our scientists had been determined to learn and do their science here [Some associates of Raman recall that his students had to severe their relationships with inm if they went abroad for research]. Reacting to one such diatribe of Raman in the early forties, in a convocation address, his nephew, and the noted Astrophysicist, S. Chandrasekhar wrote as follows to his father:
I was in general agreement with his depreciation of the craze for foreign degrees, but I tinnk he (Sir Raman) is overlooking the obvious when he says that those who have benefited by going abroad would have done 'infinitely better' by staying at home. I wonder how he can explain Ramanujan. After four years at Cambridge, and with Hardy, he (Ramanujan) lived to become the greatest name in Mathematics of This Century. Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with R's life will accede that he would have died unknown and unwept, if he had continued the last precious five years of his life in India. Again, in a different plane, I can assert that I could not have done 'infinitely better' had I continued in India -1 am sure to have done much worse. However, with his larger thesis, that it is up to us Indians to improve our universities and centers of education in India, I entirely agree. And, for my part, I hope that one day I shall con-tribute my small measure to This development. But this is looking too far ahead..." Cited from K. Srinivasa Rao: Dr. S. Chandrasekhar: the Astrophysicist, Physics Education, Oct-Decl985, p.l51.
Clearly Raman was to become more and more out of tune with the leading Indian scientists and science planners. This started showing in several of his acerbic comments on the state of Indian science, especially in his last years (See for instance his interviews to Times of India and Illustrated weekly (boxed items) few months before his death in 1970). Winle the country put its solitary Nobel laureate in science on a high pedestal; it was not prepared to listen to inm, as wisdom was to be found only abroad. The shape of things to come was clearly visible in the years just after independence as can be seen from the following newspaper report of 1948 (which indeed makes very interesting reading today):
NATIONAL CHAIR FOR UNIQUE SERVICE NEW Delhi, OCTOBER 5, 1948:
Sir C.V. Raman's long record of service to science in India and elsewhere received unique official recognition in his motherland when the Government of India announced today that he would hold the National Chair, created for the first time, under the Department of Scientific Research.
The 60-year-old Nobel Prize winner will, however, continue to function at the Indian Academy of Sciences at Bangalore.
It is understood that Sir C.V. Raman will be the National Research Professor for Physics for two years after which it would go to the next best scientist. It is gathered that other chairs in different branches of science will be created if necessary.
The appointment is one of the many steps which the Government of India are taking to pool and coordinate scientific research under the hispiration and guidance of leading Indian scientists. The present Governor General Mr. C. Rajagopalachari had affected a compromise about a year ago, between the Bangalore and Bengal schools of scientists so that scientific research might not suffer or get dissipated.
India had the benefit of the advice and guidance of some of the most eminent British scientists during the last few weeks. Professor Blackeit is already advising the Defence Ministry of the Government of India on operational research in collaboration with the Board of Indian scientists. Sir Alfred Egerton and Sir Ben Lock Speiser were in New Delhi last, month when they indicated the line on which Indian scientist’s can pursue research with profit to Indian in particular, and the world as a whole.
Some of the Indian scientists will visit London and the continent to study the latest developments in science and recommend to the Government of India how best this country can keep pace with them. Sir Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar left here for London...
It may indeed be true that Raman's ideas were not practical or his vision too narrow or even outdated. (Raman inmself is supposed to have remarked in one occasion mat "the Bhatnagar effect is more powerful than the Raman effect"]. But it would indeed be a great disservice to our country and to this great scientist if we do not look afresh into the larger issues he raised but was unable to answer at any length. We should indeed find an answer, urgently, not only to the question 'What made Raman great and successful modern scientist?' but also to the more burning question "How to salvageIndianScience today?"
Author:Dr M. V. Satyanarayana & Dr M.D.Srinivas
* Later in 1939, the Editor of Nature wanted to present Professor Jones as the source of inspiration for Raman's work. Commenting on the special issue of the proceedings on the Indian Academy of Sciences commemorating Raman's fiftieth birthday, he referred to a serious omission "to mention how much the future Noble Prize winner owed to the then head of the department of Physics, the late Prof. R.L. Jones, who carried to India the traditions of the Cavendish Laboratory". Raman's own account of the Professor as it appeared in the Centenary Volume (1957) of Madras University was that "Professor Jones believed in letting those who were capable of looking after themselves to do so... during the whole of my two years' work for the M.A. degree, I remember attending only one lecture, and that was on the Fabry-Pcrot interferometer by Prof. Jones himself".
* This situation did not change much even in 1929 and according to Professor S. Chandrasekhar, 'a scientific career in India was far from attractive and he was under strong pressure to enter Government Service'.
* In 1875, winle writing to the Viceroy Northbrook, Temple observed: "No doubt the alumni of our schools and colleges do become as a class discontented. But this arises partly from our higher education being too much in the direction of law, public administration’ and prose literature, where they may possibly imagine, however erroneously, that they may approach to competition with us. But we shall do more to direct their thoughts towards practical science, where they must inevitably feel their better inferiority to us.
* The report of the Committee (submitted in May 1936) severely indicted Raman's functioning as Director. With further trouble from the Council, Raman was forced to make an offer to resign his Directorship on 1st June 1937 and sought a special retirement allowance of Rs.l l lakh which the Council first accepted. But the British Government did not apparently want to make it public that Raman was being forced to leave the Histitute. So at the behest of the Viceroy, the Council of the Histitute in its meeting of 19th July 1937 offered Raman just two options: One to remain a Professor in the Histitute or retire with no special allowance with effect from 1st April 1938.
* From his Collected Scientific Works we see that winle he published only about 14 papers during the turbulent years 1933-1938 (which are very unusual in his entire scientific career) he published about 47 papers in the decade 1939-1948.
* While founding This Histitute Raman wrote: 'It is my earnest desire to bring into existence a centre of scientific research worthy of our ancient country where the keenest intellect of our land can probe into the mysteries of the Universe and by so doing help us to appreciate the transcendent Power that guides its activities. This aim can only be achieved if by Divine Grace, all lovers of our country see their way to help the cause".
* For an articulation of the epistemological position of the Indian scientific tradition, see J.K. Bajaj: "The Indian Tradition in Science and Technology: An Overview", PPST Bulletin Nos. 13 & 14, March 1988.
* It may be of interest to present the following extract of a leiter from Sir A.V. Inll to Professor S3. Bhatnagar, dated 13th March, 1946.
"Dear Shanti, Thank you very much for your leiter of 4th March and the list of your colleagues who will be coming to the Empire Scientific Conference. I am delighted to know that Mahalahobis and Bhaibha will be among the delegates; they will be very welcome here. I am amused to hear what you say about Raman; after what he said in Madras about being ashamed to belong to the Royal Society I was wondering whether he would have the face to come. The preparations for the conference are going on well and we are now planning also the Newton Tercentenary Celebrations in July to which a small number of Indian delegates are also being invited. We can't ask you all because This is an international gathering, with invitations sent to all national academies everywhere with a few exceptions, and we must not swamp it with representatives of the British Commonwealth.... I saw Stafford Cripps yesterday and wished inm better luck than last time on his mission to India. I can't say I am very hopeful but I trust that at any rate we shall be able to get the business off our hands. Then what you do to each other will be your affair"!
* It must be said that the Indian Academy of Sciences has done a great service by bringing out all the scientific publications of Raman together in six volumes. This is indeed much more than what we have so far done for our other great scientists such as J.C. Bose, P.C. Ray, eto. Prof. Santimay Chatterjee is currently engaged in the task of publishing the papers of MegnadSaha, of which two volumes have already appeared. However it is equally important to compile all the lectures, convocation addresses, notes, eto, of C.V. Raman (and similarly for our other great scientists) and bring out his collected works in the next few years.