India is known for some of its legendary geniuses who gifted the world with many inventions, theories and much more. From Aryabhatta in Astronomy to Srinivas Ramanujam in Mathematics, Indian land has been producing geniuses for years.
While we underestimate the potential of our people, some film-makers have been thriving to make biopics on the life of hidden treasures of India. Recently, famous Bollywood director, Prakash Jha has announced that he will be making a movie on the life of one such unrecognised gem.
Vashishtha Narayan Singh, a not-so-famous genius from Bihar is a real-life Indian version of Indian Einstein. In a recent Prakash Jha said “He is our national treasure. His life is so inspiring. I would love to direct a biopic on him.”
But who is this guy who has excited Prakash Jha to direct a movie on him?
Vashishtha Narayan Singh is an Indian Mathematics genius who was born on April 2, 1942, in a small village of Basantpur in Bihar. He has completed his schooling from Netarhat Vidyalaya, Jharkhand and studies in Patna Science College in the year 1963.
Mathematics came naturally to Vashishta and his interests in the subject could be noticed in his questioning skills. Once his professor in college got annoyed by his questioning habits and send him to the Principal’s Office. There he was given the toughest mathematics questions as a test. To everyone’s surprise, he not only solved every single question but had solved them with different methods as well.
Looking at his out of box thinking skills, he was given a direct hall pass to the final exams in the first year of his B.Sc Mathematics only. After he topped B.Sc finals, he was promoted to M.Sc finals and yet again he topped the exams. As a result, he had completed the M.Sc final exams by the time, his classmates were still in B.Sc 2nd year.
After completing his masters, he went to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a PhD. He wrote his thesis on “Reproducing Kernels and Operators with Cyclic Vector”. The thesis earned great acclaim in the field of mathematics and was recognised and revered a lot.
In 1972, he got married as per his family wishes and moved to America with his wife. It is claimed by many people that, during his time in America, he even worked with NASA and contributed his mathematical knowledge to the organisation. Apart from this, he is even reported to have challenged Einstein’s theory of relativity with his work.
During his time in America, he suffered mental degradation and so he started taking pills to control it. Although, his family got to know about the disease after his wife one day found him taking some pills and asked her father about them.
Soon, he earned a job at IIT, Kanpur, and then he moved to India in 1974. However, he changed his mind and started working at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai and later moved to Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata.
With the changes in the working environment, Vashishtha’s nature also got influenced. His wife could not bear with the distraught and left him. They got divorced in 1976 which severely affected Vashishtha. He became very withdrawn and even stopped eating. His behaviour turned a little violent and the changes in his character and his behaviour could be seen. As a result, he was admitted to Kanke Mental Asylum, Ranchi, (Now, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Kanke).
He got discharged in 1985 and was taken home. However, he was very much affected by the separation. Soon he ran away from his house and was found 4 years later, loitering near a garbage dump in his ex-wife’s village. Since then, his family has been keeping extra care of him.
After knowing about his great mental abilities, Bihar’s the then Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav sent Vashishtha to NIMHANS, Bengaluru and even offered government jobs to 5 of his family members. The famous Bollywood celebrity and Member of Parliament Shatrughan Sinha arranged for his treatment at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), New Delhi. At the institute, he was well cared and since he returned from Delhi, where his behaviour has been very silent.
In the year 2013, he was offered a position as a Visiting Professor at the Bhupendra Narayan Mandal University (BNMU) in Madhepura, Bihar where he could share his knowledge with the students.
Author: Keshav Kothari
A young CA Aspirant who is a writer and a photographer with the zeal to convey a positive perception through his work.