Our brand image over some time has been:
Some time Back: Snake Charmers and Kings
Now: Bangalore(Outsourcing) & Spicy Food
What is this "we", and since when are people brands?
Bit parochial and jingoist eh? Nations are an illusion, and better image "betterment" can be done by caring for one's immediate neighbor.
Don't succumb to regionalist propaganda that serve none other than the ruling classes; all earth is yours, and all (wo)men your kin.
Compared to other eastern cultures (chinese and japanese at least) India has suffered from mis-understanding and underwhelming understanding for a long time.
You only have to read English literature on India from 18 and 19th century to realize the extent of misinformation generated by the British to legitimise their occupation of India. "Victorial Morals" were not helpful either.
I smell some ignorance on our part - we don't have much goodwill to take care of geniuses. The current state of higher education (with major emphasis on mugging, apart from minute number of good colleges) is killing many more geniuses.
I find a 1st year Computer Science student very keen in maths and physics, to the extent that he goes on to prove things that go above our heads. I asked him, "So why didn't you go for a Bsc in Physics/maths?" , his answer - "I need to get a job first, and anyhow I can't go against wills of my father".
Now look at that, neither does government not parents do enough to sustain such geniuses in our nation.
Another quote from the article - "He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam, but lost it when he failed his non-mathematical coursework."
Even this is pretty much observable here, the lack of quality higher education institution does force us to leave our passion and do the way the system dictates us to.
There are many geniuses, but if things continue like this, they would never be filtered out and brought to limelight, to places where their genius can be of worth.
... nothing more to say.
"It is the product of ignorant western minds." --> That's such a poor generalization. (We+our gov) have been ignorant at many other important things (higher education, infrastructure, ...) than an 'Image' projected on world.
I largely agree with your comment on present day situation. We can do lot better in promoting Basic Sciences.
The courses in India also happen to be outdated. At my college we do VC++ 6 under HCI --> wtf?!
And computer science grads go through a combined 1 semester course of 'signals and systems' and 'digital signal processing', which again doesn't make any sense to me. No wonder students get below 20/50.
My point is, the time lost due to over-engagement promoted in these colleges could have been spent in 'finding out what one loves to do'.
Since students don't find that time, there is an evident herd mentality when it comes to furthering their careers after a bachelors degree in Computer Science. People end up disrespecting it by trying to do MBA, etc.
Nothing wrong, their personal choice, but I think humanity in this region of world could've given out more inventions and geniuses if students (most of us) didn't have this pattern as the only way of starting our lives.
If only we could too just roam around on road, pick a paper and scribble some maths onto it like Ramanujan used to... if only we all could be unique with the knowledge of what we love...
He's dad should have read more statistics. As far as I know Computer Science does not land you more jobs, or higher paying jobs, than physics or maths. (And it's relatively easy to get a CS job with a degree in math or physics.)
Why should the extension of goodwill be exclusive to "geniuses"? why not everyone?
(The same applies to what new arrivals in the Americas were not prepared to see in the 'Indians' of the Americas. Before knowledge we can only see with the eyes our culture gives us.)
God bless the bbc.
Then I saw a documentary on people who could do complex math without the aide of a calculator (e.g. given any large number and tell if it was prime in their head). I thought there might be a parallel between people like this and Ramanujan. The documentary focused on a couple of people who were not savants, but by all accounts normal people. They followed a young British kid. He described how he saw and felt about numbers, and each number had a distinct personality. I found it remarkably similar to the description about how Ramanujan felt about numbers.
The most amazing thing about Ramanujan is that there are literally multiple Springer Volumes devoted solely to the task of proving the results in his notebooks.
See for example:
So much for being a Math genius.
Disclaimer: I am an Indian.
As a member of parliament the only thing he mentioned, during any session, was a request to open the window.
Feynman was a womanizer who was known to sleep with wives of colleagues. His biography "Genius" is a pretty good read by the way.
Genius doesnt mean "adventurous" or "virtuous" or "worldly". Its just one facet of a human.
Ramanujan was a tremendously talented mathematician. Just because you come from the same country as him or find his religious beliefs archaic and/or irrational doesn't mean you can just dismiss his achievements.