The country lost a great mathematician due to anonymity

The great mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh left us alone on Thursday,14th November 2019 at a hospital in Patna after a prolonged illness, he had been ailing for quite some time, and finally died at the Patna Medical College and Hospital(PMCH).
Vashishtha Narayan Singh was not just a simple regular mathematician he was a very efficient and abject person deprived of fame and recognition.


On 2nd April 1942 three months before the ‘Bharat Choro Andolan,’ a boy today namely the great mathematician Vashishtha Narayan took birth in a police constable’s house of Lal Bahadur and Lhasa Devi.
It’s often said the name is given to a person so that he can fulfil the meaning” here, the purpose was completely satisfied. Vashishtha was the name of Rama’s guru and our Vashishtha also came to be a tremendous, extraordinary, prodigious guru just like Rama’s guru. It was the time when Bihar and Jharkhand were united.

Vashishtha from his prodigy, toil and excellence qualified for ‘Netarhat Residential School’ and became the topper of 10th 12th at the district level. After that, he got admission in Patna Science College. He was so indulged, ardent and dedicated to his studies that the university left with no choice but to permit him to take his 3rd-year exam in 1st year and he proved it right by holding the 1st position. Not only this, the very next he got an opportunity to take exam of M.Sc final year in which he again maintained his 1st rank and passed with flying colours.


He was a true blue lover of Mathematics when John L Kelly came to Patna and given five questions of Maths he solved all the five from distinct methods, seeing this Kelly was overwhelmed and asked him to come to America. In 1965 Je went America and in 1969 he dis his PhD with a topic of Reproducing Kernels and Operators with a cyclic vector(which later got a lot of admiration and appreciation). After which he became the Associate professor at Washington University. He was there for 6years.

He also worked in ‘NASA’ in between and came back to India in 1971. Then after he served firstly at IIT Kanpur, then in IIT Mumbai and in IIS Kolkata also. In between these years in 1973, he got married to Vandana Rani. This was the first time people came to know about his strange behaviour and that he used to take the same medicine. Eventually, he got admitted in Kanke Mental Asylum, Ranchi where it was found that he was suffering from Schizophrenia. His wife also took divorce his condition was piteous, miserable and abject.


In 1987, he came back on his father’s funeral and denied to return back to the Asylum. So his brother carried him along to Pune but the destiny of the ill-fated man, in 1989 once when he and his brother were going to Ranchi for his checkup, he suddenly got vanished. 4 years after that he was found near garbage bulk close to his ex- wife’s village. And from the very day, his family never left him alone. His treatments were done in NIHAMS, Banglore then in IHBAS, Delhi.

In 2009 he came back to Patna. In 2014, he was appointed as guest faculty in Bhupendra Narayan Mandal University (BNMU) in Madhepura as a visiting professor.
It’s really saddening that a great, capable and astonishing professor who could easily reach the stars and could make the country proud because of the lack of resources and support, he was even deprived of basic living. It’s our great drawback that we don’t recognize the true the real pride and not able to provide the real place for where people are meant for.

Why?? Just because of lack of glamour, the support, resources and contacts we lost challenger of Einstein (in theory of relativity) the extraordinary talent. He might get better than what had happened to him.

Written by Riya Ritu Jha


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