Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Principles of Life | Al-Risala July, 1987, Pg. 14

The late Sir C.V. Raman (1888-1970), who received the Nobel prize for physics in 1928, achieved international repute and is still the most famous name in the field of Indian science. His discovery, known as the Raman effect, is one of the established pieces of scien­tific information which is useful in the study of molecular energy levels.

Born in an ordinary family, (his father was a schoolteacher drawing a monthly salary of Rs. 10), Raman had to work hard in difficult circumstances to make his way to the top. This is how he described his journey to success – “A long history of frustration, disappointment, struggle and every kind of tribulation.”

All great men have their detractors, and one of them, wishing to underrate his academic success, commented that his famous discov­ery had been a mere accident, as in the case of many other scientists who had discovered important things just by chance. On hearing this, Dr. Raman displayed no annoyance but replied quite seriously that “the idea that a scientific discovery can be made by accident, is ruled out by the fact that the ‘accident’ if it is one, never occurs except to the right man.”

Dr. Raman summed up the process of discovery in these words: “The right man, right thinking, right instruments and right results.” (The Hindustan Times, January 17, 1987)