From Gandhi to Tagore, A Look at Einstein’s ‘Desi’ Connections
Born on 14 March 1879, Albert Einstein is regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in the history of mankind.
Einstein embarked on a journey of learning from the tender age of five. From winning the Nobel prize in 1921 to coming up with the most famous equation in physics: E=mc², his achievements are too many to be counted.
But, let’s move beyond all of that shall we? As we at The Quint like to keep things desi, we are going to focus on the desi side of Albert Einstein.
In 1931, Einstein wrote a small letter to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi expressing his admiration for the Father of the Nation. Despite not meeting even once, the two great minds shared their views on non-violence.
In his letter, Einstein mentioned how he hoped to see Mahatma Gandhi's methods of non-violence spread beyond the Indian borders to help tackle world conflicts of the time.
To this, Gandhi sent Einstein a reply, saying that he was delighted that his work on non-violence was being acknowledged, and that he wished to meet Einstein at his ashram someday.
Albert Einstein also went on to say, and I quote:
"Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth."
Oh BTW, all of this talk of non-violence precedes the atomic bomb era in which Einstein did have a role to play!
After India got independence in 1947, the then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was called to the Princeton University in the US where he met Albert Einstein. This was in 1949. During the meeting, other members of the Nehru family were also present.
Don't really know what they'd have talked about. Probably something on the 'Theory of Relative...’. Witty?
Albert Einstein also played a pivotal role in rescuing Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose from obscurity. Satyendra Bose, in 1961, sent a paper to Einstein on his work, and impressed by the same, Einstein decided to publish it and also invited Bose to collaborate with him in Berlin.
Later, the jodi of Einstein and Bose came up with an important discovery known today as the Bose-Einstein condensate phenomenon.
However, Einstein's longest known engagement was with Rabindranath Tagore who
he called 'Rabbi' (meaning teacher). It was on 14 July 1930 that Rabindranath Tagore met Einstein in Berlin at his home.
The two went on to have one of the "most stimulating and intellectually riveting discussion in history".
It was no surprise that the talk became a media sensation around the world.
Having met just a couple of times more after that, the two continued to stay in touch through letters.
So there you have it! A peek into Albert Einstein's India connect. Though he never came to India, I'm sure Indians would have taught him a different version of 'MC'
than what he already knew if he did.
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Cameraperson: Abhay Sharma