Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Intellectual Bankruptcy of India - When Will It Stop????

Today the Delhi based newspaper Hindustan Times reported the news that Nobel laureate Har Gobind Khurana, the man who decoded the RNA sequence, died on Wednesday at the age of 86. His story is little known to today's Indians, and perhaps life prior to the Nobel Prize is forgotten in India. I am raking up a dead man's past because I want to point out  certain things that happened in his life that continue to happen even today, and we should stop and think for a moment what we have 'achieved'.

Har Gobind Khurana's story was like any successful Indian emigrant's story with the typically filmy twist. Very few people would know the fact that he had applied for the post of lecturer with both the Delhi University and Punjab University, Jalandhar. As every successful emigrant's story goes, his application was rejected just because he did not have any political affiliation. My point is that the reason we today suffer intellectual bankruptcy in India even today has been the fact that true intellectuals were conveniently pushed for out of our 'system' and replaced by sycophants and yes men who always were searching for post retirement benefits. C.V. Raman had left the Indian Institute of Science in absolute disgust for these very reasons and had set up the Raman Research Institute, which has also since seen a decline due to non-support.

The intellectual bankruptcy that India faces today needs to be arrested fast, for we have already lost genuine intellectuals, and today's intellectuals is symptomatic of what is precisely wrong with our country. This attitude of booting out people if they do not suit your 'political affiliation' needs to be done away with at all costs, and Indian universities must take a leaf out of Harvard's staunch defense of Subramanian Swamy after an inflammatory article. It is surprising that in a country as democratic as ours, the education system (or whatever is left of it today, thanks to our actions) is so Communist in its nature. If we cannot deal with it, God save our nation from becoming a nation of idiots.

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