Maths genius honoured at IIT-Madras

Maths genius honoured at  IIT-Madras

While gifting a bust of Ramanujan to the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), Agastya International Foundation (AIF) based at Kuppam near Bangalore, hoped that his genius would inspire more “creative sparks”.  The bust of Ramanujan was unveiled by eminent agriculture scientist and Rajya Sabha MP Prof M S Swaminathan on Thursday afternoon at the Central Lecture Theatre of IIT-Madras.

Participating in the function, AIF’s founder chairman Dr Ramji Raghavan said the motive to honour the memory Ramanujan went back to an inspiring UK-made film on Ramanujan he watched in New York 20 years ago. “I was a soulless banker in New York then, but this film changed me,” Raghavan said and recalled how it later led him to meet Ramanujan’s wife in Chennai at the latter’s modest home in Triplicane.

Their little house was filled with busts of Ramanujan by American sculptors. “I was moved when his wife told me that in his last days what mattered to him (Ramanujan) was only numbers, numbers and numbers.”

That episode made Raghavan resolve to “honour Ramanunan’s memory” at the earliest opportunity, he said. So, when AIF was set up near Bangalore, he got the renowned Mumbai-based sculptor Jayendra to make a beautiful bust of Ramanujan. However, on his father’s advice, that sculpture was gifted to the Cambridge University in the UK where Ramanujan had worked under Prof Hardy, said Raghavan.  “This is the least we can do to a true Indian hero,” added   Raghavan. IIT-M Director, Prof  M S Ananth thanked Agastya Foundation for its gesture.  

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