In an interview with The Telegraph, Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan opined that Indians should focus more on getting a good education, especially in science and technology, and cut out “all this sectarian squabble about who eats what kind of meat”.
Ramakrishnan argued that “unless India invests in innovation, science and technology, it’s going to lose the race”.
“It’s already quite far behind China, and if you consider (that) 50 years ago the two countries were really pretty much comparable…. In fact, I would have said India was probably slightly better off than China.”
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2009 with Thomas A Steitz and Ada Yonath “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”. He mapped the structure of ribosomes, which has been important in physiology, antibiotics and chemistry.
“Another problem I see in India,” he said, “is that it is still a country that has all the sectarian squabbles. If they don’t say, ‘Look we are not going to be fighting with each other but rather we are going to get on, become more tolerant with each other and get on with the task of modernising the country,’ if they don’t do that, they will simply keep losing ground.”
“All this sectarian squabble about who eats what kind of meat and all this religious antagonism between different groups is harmful to the country … People who do it, maybe they think they are being very patriotic, but actually, they are hurting the country. Either they don’t realise it because they are too ignorant or they realise it and are hell-bent on doing it anyway.”
The entire interview can be read here.