Saturday, September 15, 2007

Silent Warriors ..............


I think talking to fellow passengers in a train is not a good idea, I consider it as a invasion of private space. People get into the train, talk about all the things in the world, and get off at the next station forgetting who they spoke to and what they spoke about. The discussion invariably consists of hopeless politics, lack of gov jobs, failure of our cricket team blah blah...
I was in a train to Delhi. It was a lovely day for a train journey, a cloudy rainy day everything was washed with occasional showers. lush green sidetracks, trees and electric poles trying to race with the train. I was really enjoying the rhythmical sound of the train, but a gentleman in the front seat was totally lost in some papers, curiously i sneaked a peek ... Mathematics.. hmmm this shd be interesting. I picked up one of the paper. It was a copy of a paper published in a Japanese journal about logarithm. The paper was discussing that the idea of Logrithms was first proposed by a Jain philosopher Nemichandra in 11th centuary way before napere got credit for it. we started talking, he showed me other papers it was all his work It was scattered with "SHLOKA" from various ancient scripture as a proof. His work was mainly focussed on Indian history of mathematics. He was a teacher in a higher secondary school in the tribal town of Badwani near Indore, and the school population was mainly consisting of schedule cast and tribes. one of these tribes "BALAR" was using a number system which is quite different from the Popular "ARABIC" (??) number system. it was a Bidecimal number system actually with a extinsive use of basic mathematical operations he was callling it a pseudo Bidecimal number system.He motivated and guided his students to explore and look beyond the obvious while staying connected to their roots. Two of his students went to Germany for a short term research program for this same topic.His name was "Dipak Jadhav" he himself belongs to Schedule casts. He lamented the attitude of Indian journals as his work was rejected by them but accepted with some suggestions for improvements in technical areas such as language in foreign journals.
Indian Govt. invited him to Delhi and he was going to receive an award from the President of India for "Rashtriya Shikshak Samman". finally he was getting the credit and respect from the country that he is fighting for. Yeah and talking to the fellow passengers in the train is good :)

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