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Indian scientist vows not to enter US

After a "humiliating" experience at the US consulate while seeking a visa, PC Kesavan has vowed that he would never ever go to the US.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 19:41 IST
United News of India
United News of India

After a "humiliating" experience at the US consulate in Chennai while seeking a visa to participate in an international seminar, noted scientist PC Kesavan on Thursday vowed that he would never ever step into the Consulate and neither would he go to the US.

Prof Kesavan holds the Department of Atomic Energy's Homi Bhabha Chair on Nuclear Science and Rural Society at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. He was denied visa by the US consulate.

The scientist was made to stand like other applicants for three hours under the scorching sun outside the consulate premises, when he had gone there on February 21 for a US visa. When it was his turn, the officials handed out a lengthy questionnaire asking him to come after two days with answers.

"I will never ever step into the consulate.. I will never go to the States ever... What do I care?" asked the scientist, who was scheduled to attend the international seminar on "Crossroads for Planet Earth", organised by the Foundation for Future at Belle Vue in Washington from April 6.

The three-day seminar was aimed at "pooling the globe's best brains to find the best way" to counter disasters given that degradation of earth was increasing rapidly and the sustainability of human beings was a matter of prime concern.

Dr Kesavan said it was not correct to connect politics with science. Collaboration between nations and individuals were done with a view to doing common good for mankind.

"How science and technology can be used, including nuclear science, for constructive purpose.. Reconciling human life is what we scientists work on," he said.

But if the very mention of words like radiation or remote sensing could make the US authorities adopt negative tendency only reflected their lack of thinking and maturity. For instance, even biotechnology could be used to create weapons of mass destruction but could progress on biotech be stopped?

Only Indian scientists were meted out treatment not suited to their stature, he said, lamenting that Indians did not know how to assert themselves.

Earlier too, visas were denied to nuclear scientists Goverdhan Mehta of the Indian Institute of Sciences at Bangalore and former head of Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Institute Placid Rodrigues.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 19:41 IST