Do plants have feelings? Do they suffer pain like us? Can their feelings be detected, or even ‘measured’?
Jagdish Chandra Bose, a distinguished Indian scientist, announced his discovery to an astonished world in 1900. At an international conference of physicists in Paris, and later in England, Bose proved plants respond to pain and suffering much like humans, even when the plants are cut or transplanted. To prove his theory, Bose invented an instrument called the Resonate Recorder that was so sensitive it could record the subtlest of changes inside a plant. Using his theory and experiments as a basis, Bose moved to boldly challenge the blurred line between living things and non-living things. He demonstrated that even so-called non-living things like metals respond to different stimuli. The only things lacking were sensitive instruments to empirically record those responses, and an open-mind to think the seemingly impossible. The genius within Bose quickly created these instruments which are even today considered a marvel of technology. But even hundred years after his research and experiments, our minds perhaps fail to comprehend the insights and significance of his work.
History proves here was a man more than a century ahead of his time. Yet a few among his peers in the international community of scientists greatly admired his work. They acknowledged only an Indian mind could have come up with this kind of insight, and that this discovery could revolutionize scientific thinking itself.
Born on 30th November, 1858, in Mymensingh, Bengal, Jagdish Chandra Bose was fascinated by the world and its phenomena around him from a very early age. His father, a deputy collector in British-ruled India, deliberately sent him to a Bengali school to instill a love for Indian values and life in young Jagdish. He was later sent to a hostel in an English school in Calcutta. After his graduation from Sr. Xavier’s College in Calcutta,...