Eminent biographer and research professor at the Centre for South Asian Studies in the University of Illinois, United States of America (USA), professor Rajmohan Gandhi said grasping the impact of history was not easy for today's people. Quoting Tolstoy, Gandhi said it could only be achieved by continuous hard work which the papers presented in the session illustrated.
Gandhi was chairing the invited lecture session on Day-2 of the seminar, 'The Making of Modern Punjab: Education, Science and Social Change in Punjab', being organised to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary year of professor Ruchi Ram Sahni.
Gandhi appreciated the organisation of the seminar and described it as a 'wonderful effort'. He has authored a biography of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari, who were his paternal and maternal grandfathers, respectively. Actively engaged in human rights, trust building, reconciliation and democracy, he is internationally renowned and has received many awards.
Earlier, renowned historian JS Grewal spoke on, 'Ruchi Ram Sahni: his life and times', emphasising on two important events in the life of Sahni - his association with Brahmo Samaj and the Akali movement.
He highlighted Sahni's concern for spreading scientific temper in the country and role of Punjabi language as a vehicle for spreading scientific ideas. Sahni's political consciousness was evident in his association with Indian National Congress, Akali movement and his personal beliefs revealed his attitude towards understanding history, development of scientific approach and social integration, said Grewal.
He added, “He attempted to establish a strong empirical base with an inbuilt authenticity of factual information, something that would occur only to a person naturally inclined with scientific temper.”
Professor Kamlesh Mohan discussed the complex, multi-layered process of making and development of the Indian scientific community in her paper.