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Indian scientist vows not to enter the United States

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Feb 23 (UNI) After a 'humiliating'' experience at the US consulate here while seeking a visa to participate in an international seminar, noted scientist P C Kesavan today vowed that he would never ever step into the Consulate and neither would he go to the US.

Prof Kesavan, holding of the Department of Atomic Energy's Homi Bhabha Chair on Nuclear Science and Rural Society at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, who was denied visa by the US Consultate, said he had dropped the whole idea of going there.

The scientist was made to stand like other applicants for three hours under the scorching sun outside the consulate premises, when he had gone there on February 21 for a visa to the US. When it was his turn, the officials handed out a lengthy questionnaire asking him to come after two days with answer.

''I will never ever step into the consulate.. I will never go to the States ever... What do I care?'' asked the scientist, who was scheduled to attend the international seminar on 'Crossroads for Planet Earth,' organised by Foundation for Future at Belle Vue in Washington, near Seattle in the US, from April six.

The three-day seminar was aimed at ''pooling the globe's best brains to find the best way'' to counter disasters given that degradation of earth was increasing rapidly and the sustainability of human beings was a matter of prime concern.

Dr Kesavan told UNI that ''it is not correct to connect politics with science''. Collaboration between nations and individuals were done with a view of doing common good for mankind.

''How science and technology can be used, including nuclear science, for constructive purpose.. reconciling human life is what we scientists work on,'' he said.

But if the very mention of words like radiation or remote sensing could make the US authorities adopt negative tendency only reflected their lack of thinking and maturity. For instance, even biotechnology could be used to create weapons of mass destruction but could progress on biotech be stopped? It was only Indian scientists who were meted out treatment not suited to their stature, he said, lamenting that Indians did not know how to assert themselves.

Earlier too, visas were denied to nuclear scientists Goverdhan Mehta of the Indian Institute of Sciences at Bangalore and former head of Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Institute Placid Rodrigues.


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