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«Edited by Govindjee Urbana, Illinois, USA and Shyam Lal Srivastava Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India i The Cover A photograph of Krishnaji (Dada), 1980 ...»

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A Tribute

Professor Krishnaji

(January 13, 1922 — August 14, 1997)

Edited by


Urbana, Illinois, USA


Shyam Lal Srivastava

Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India


The Cover

A photograph of Krishnaji (Dada), 1980


Govindjee, the youngest brother of Krishnaji, lives at 2401

South Boudreau, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA

E-mail: gov@illinois.edu

Shyam Lal Srivastava, a former doctoral student, and a long

time colleague of Krishnaji, lives at 189/129 Allenganj,

Allahabad-211002, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India E-mail: slsrivastava@rediffmail.com All rights reserved Copyright © 2010 Govindjee No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without written permission of Govindjee or Shyam Lal Srivastava.

Printed at Apex Graphics, Buxi Bazar, Allahabad – 211003, India ii Remembering Three Generations of Krishnaji Krishnaji (Dada) (1922 – 1997) Bimla (Bhabhi) (1927 – 2007) Deepak (1949 – 2008) Ranjan (1952 – 1992) Manju (1954 – 1986) Neera (1973 – 1988) Rajya Ashish (1983 – 1986) Rajya Vishesh (1985 – 1986) iii iv Preface T he primary goal of this book is to pay tribute to Professor Krishnaji, who we call Dada. He was a great human being, a friend to the young and the old, a visionary teacher, a remarkable scientist, an institution builder, an academician, and an excellent and effective administrator. And, at the same time, he was a loving and loyal son, a loving brother, a loving husband, a loving father, and a loving grandfather. A second and equally important goal of this book is to present his life and that of his dear wife Bimla Asthana (Bhabhi to one of us, Govindjee (G), and Jiya to the other, Shyam Lal Srivastava) to his extended family, friends, relatives, students and professional scientists around the World. A unique feature of this book is the inclusion of photographs of his entire family that includes the families of his brothers (Gopalji and one of us, G) and his sister (Malati Sahay).

The book is divided in four parts.

• Part A includes the recollections and the tributes by Krishnaji’s contemporaries, associates and his graduate students. It begins with his profile by Suresh Chandra, Abhai Mansingh and Shyam Lal Srivastava (Chapter 1). This is followed by tributes and recollections by: Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar (Chapter 2); Baldev Behari Lal Saxena (Chapter 3); Arvind Mohan (Chapter 4): Ram Gopal Rastogi (Chapter 5); Ganesh Prasad Srivastava (Chapter 6); Satya Prakash Khare (Chapter 7); Suresh Chandra (Chapter 8); Abhai Mansingh (Chapter 9); Rameshwar Bhargava (Chapter 10);

Bhartendu Srivastava (Chapter 11); Om P. Srivastava (Chapter 12); Shyam Lal Srivastava (Chapter 13); Ashoka Chandra (Chapter 14); Ramji Srivastava (Chapter 15);

Pradip Kumar (Chapter 16); Prem Chand Pandey (Chapter 17); Nabin Kumar Narain (Chapter 18); and Mohan Swarup Sinha (Chapter 19).


• Part B includes the recollections and tributes by his family members: Gopalji (Chapter 20); Malati Sahay (Chapter 21);

Radha Krishna Sahay (Chapter 22); Govindjee (Chapter 23);

Anju Okhandiar (Chapter 24); Purnima Ranjan (Chapter 25);

Rita Sinha (Chapter 26); Chitra Kumar (Chapter 27);

Avinash Varma (Chapter 28); and Nandini Sinha (Chapter 29). [A complete list of Krishnaji’s extended family members is provided on pages 85 and 86.]

• Part C is unique to this book; several students and family members have shown their respect to Dada and Bhabhi by providing photographs. This section shows 9 photographs (Figures 1-9) related to Dada’s academic life and 75 photographs (Figures 10-84) related to his personal life and those of the families of his two brothers and his sister.

• Part D includes: A selected list of Krishanji’s publications;

a reprint of his 1961 general article on ‘Development of Scientific Research in India’; a short write-up on his 1982 retirement celebration and on his 70th birthday celebration;

also included is a short write-up on Allahabad and Allahabad University. This is followed by beautiful original Hindi texts by Malati Sahay and Radha Krishna Sahay, based on which their English versions were prepared for Part B. Part D ends with a collection of ‘Perceptions of the Divine’, We have read and edited the text provided by all the authors for Parts A and Part B, and have prepared Parts C and D. We have deep affection and admiration for Dada that is based on our own experiences. He was a mentor, a guiding light, and a good friend to both of us and we both loved him in different ways, and, he loved us too. To us, he was a person larger than life. He clearly was a man of great character; he was warm, thoughtful, and generous. He inspired others to achieve and reach their goals. He was a visionary, a passionate and a brilliant teacher; at the same time, he was a wonderful family man and a great and a good friend to his students and colleagues. Many were blessed by his support and his kindness. He had a big heart, a clear mind, and an unmatched dedication and vi devotion to serve others, especially those in need. He always had a sympathetic ear and he committed himself to serve people; he always worked to assist those who are less fortunate. He inspired admiration, respect and devotion from all those who came in contact with him.

When he made a promise to someone, he kept it no matter what.

Whenever tragedy befell to anyone, he was always there for them.

He himself suffered personal setbacks and had to face terrible sorrows (such as death of his son Ranjan), but he continued to do his duties and worked as hard (or harder) for his profession and for the welfare of his extended family. He was not only adored by his extended family, but also respected by all his colleagues.

Both of us are grateful to both Dada and Bhabhi (Jiya) for the innumerable gestures of kindness and generosity they have extended to us, and for the concern they had for our lives.

We hope that this book will inspire others to follow the footsteps of both Dada and Bhabhi. With inspiration in mind, one of us (G) has also collated a text on ‘Perceptions of the Divine’, obtained from his various friends at Urbana, Illinois, USA (see their names under Acknowledgments). As noted earlier, it is included in Part D.

Acknowledgments This book will not have been possible without the help of many.

First, we thank all the twenty eight authors in Part A and Part B of this book. Special thanks go to Arvind Mohan (Swami Arvind Chaitanya) who provided his article within 24 h of our invitation.

We are especially indebted to Anju Okhandiar for the English version of the texts by Malati Sahay and Radha Krishna Sahay, based on their Hindi texts. We also thank Rajni Govindjee for reading the book before it was typeset. Photographs for Part C were provided by many family members, especially Nandini (Ninni) Bhatnagar, Gopalji, Sanket Ranjan, Soubhagyadeep, Anju Okhandiar, Rita Sinha, Chitra Kumar, Elfi Chandra, Anita Govindjee, and Rajni Govindjee. In addition, some photographs were taken from the book: Amma and Babuji: Our life in Allahabad (edited by Govindjee; PDQ Printing, vii Urbana, Illinois, 2007). We thank Samir Shyam for improving some of the photographs and making final corrections in the text.

We are thankful to Dilip Chhajed, Pradeep Dhillon, Stephen Downie, Hans Hock, Zarina Hock, Jain Swarup Jain, Braj Kachru, Yamuna Kachru, Rajeshwari Pandharipande, Rizwan Uddin and Narendra Ahuja for their participation in our quest towards the ‘Perceptions of the Divine’.

Finally, we are highly grateful to Bhanu Pratap Singh for his immense and untiring contribution and the enormous amount of time he has given to this project: e-mail flow to the contributors; and typesetting of the entire text and of the photographs. We thank Late Mohan Swarup Sinha for his gracious help, and Jamil Ahmad for his excellent service in printing the book.

January 13, 2010 Govindjee 2401 South Boudreau Avenue Urbana, Illinois-61801 USA E-mail: gov@illinois.edu Phone: 1-217-337-0627

–  –  –

P rofessor Krishnaji was born on 13 January 1922 at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. He had his early and higher education in Allahabad. After his secondary (intermediate) education at Ewing Christian College, Allahabad, he joined the University of Allahabad in 1940. In 1944 he was awarded the Master of Science degree in Physics, with specialization in Wireless. He joined research with Dr.

Govind Ram Toshniwal, a leader in Instrumentation, but he had to take over the responsibility of teaching and development of the discipline of Wireless (Electronics) in the Department of Physics, University of Allahabad, in 1945, as Dr.Toshniwal had left Allahabad to open his own company. Prof. Krishnaji took command of the situation immediately. He carved his own research career in newer areas of Physics which were developing after the Second World War.

Before he was 30 years of age, Krishnaji’s name was synonymous with electronics not only at Allahabad, but at all the neighboring institutions of higher learning. Many would not know that fate had left him not only to lead Electronics teaching and Research at the University of Allahabad, but also to nurture his family consisting of his mother (Savitri Devi), two brothers Gopalji and Govindjee, and a sister Malati due to the sad demise, in 1943, of his father Vishveshwar Prasad1. In this effort, his wife Bimla joined him whole-heartedly. It is admirable that his professional rise was not at the cost of his family life and he received high esteem from both his family members and students.

Under the leadership of Prof. Krishnaji, the Department of Applied Physics (now known as J.K. (Juggilal Kamlapat) Institute of Electronics & Telecommunication) was established. His first laboratory of “Experimental Microwave Spectroscopy” was inaugurated by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. (See Part C, Fig.1, p. 161.) However, he remained in the Department of Physics where he was developing his research laboratory. He left Allahabad for a brief period and joined Defense Science Organization at Kirkee, Pune, in 1959, but soon realizing that the University is a better place for exploring the frontier areas of science of one’s own choice and training young generation of researchers, he returned to the University of Allahabad in 1960. In 1965, Prof. Krishnaji left Allahabad again to become Professor and Head of the Physics Department, Jodhpur University Jodhpur, and established good teaching and research facilities there in a short span of time. However, he could not forget his first love, Microwave Electronics Laboratory at the University of Allahabad, and returned to the University of Allahabad as Professor of Physics in 1966. Later he held the position of Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Allahabad for about four years.

Professor Krishnaji was a living embodiment of an ideal teacher.

He was a friend, philosopher and a guide to his students. He believed in making each of his students a “complete person”. There was something special about his personality as a teacher. Each of his students felt that they were getting the same (if not better) attention and affection from him. That is why his students all over India and abroad have the same sense of gratitude towards him whether they are in administration, research, teaching or business. His personality as a teacher can only be compared with an “aura” of sweet fragrance, which is equally shared by all around him. Krishnaji was a pillar of strength to all his students, in their moments of desperation. His blessings and guidance acted as a shade where one could rest in moments of despair. Although benevolence was the hallmark of his character, he was not a teacher who went about distributing favors and positions to his students. Instead, he aroused their confidence and helped them to utilize their hidden talents so that favors and positions came automatically to them. He taught the ways of life and the manner of expression in which humility and firmness were intermingled. His students had observed him suggesting to others to say “no” even to superiors if he or she disagreed with the authority in principle. Teaching was a mission to him. Even when he was a ProVice Chancellor, he always found time to teach his BSc classes in preference to MSc classes.

Professor Krishnaji’s journey in the vast ocean of research started almost rudderless. His optimism and conviction helped him to find his way. The end of the second World War (WW II) provided the microwave instrumentation, which, in 1946-1947, had led to the study of the Physics of Molecules by Charles H. Townes and Walter Gordy in USA. The brilliance of young Krishnaji saw the importance of developing this technique in India for studying the problems of Molecular Physics. Those were the days when nobody dared to enter sophisticated experimental areas in India. Negative thoughts had no place in the life of Prof. Krishnaji. He started fabricating microwave components of comparable international quality with almost nothing available in the country. In 1950, a small research group for studying microwave absorption in gases was established in Allahabad under his leadership. His early measurements on microwave absorption in gases at moderate pressures with Prem Swarup and Ganesh Prasad Srivastava found appreciative references in contemporary research publications and advanced texts. His early development of microwave components created a culture, which led to the indigenous production of microwave test benches in India. Now was the time for diversification, which he carried out in a unique way. He chose the problems related to microwave interaction with gases, liquids and solids. He defined the problems first and subsequently developed the required instrumentation in consonance with it. He was a leader in studying the composite dielectrics in early 1950s with Shankar Swarup, which today is considered a front line area of research. Prof.

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