Friday, 31 October 2014

Dr.B.C. Roy
Gandhiji gathered around him some of the most brilliant Indian men and women of the highest integrity for India's struggle for freedom.
I may mention one of these, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy ( 1882-1962 ).

 Dr. Roy was born in Patna, Bihar, where his father was an Excise Inspector. After getting his B.A. degree in Mathematics Honours, he applied for admission to both Bengal Engineering College and Calcutta Medical College, and was accepted in both. He accepted the medical line, perhaps because he thought he could be of greater service to humanity as a doctor.

 His medical studies were fraught with great financial difficulties as his father had retired after his first year in Medical College, and he had to live frugally, borrowing books from the library instead of purchasing them.

 After getting his medical degree from Calcutta Medical College he joined the Provincial Medical Service, and later went to England where he set up a record by topping in both the F.R.C.S. and M.R.C.P. examinations simultaneously in 2 years time ( the British authorities stopped holding these examinations simultaneously after this ).

 On returning to India he started his private practice, and soon became the top doctor in Calcutta, earning about Rs. 50,000 per month ( which would be equivalent to about Rs 10 lacs per month today ).

 He also became a Professor of Medicine in Calcutta Medical college, and Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University. In 1928 he created the Indian Medical Association, which is the largest body of medical practitioners in India even today, and the Indian Medical Council, for setting high standards for the medical profession. He also set up many hospitals and medical establishments, including schools for nurses.

  He had joined the Congress party, and under the leadership of Gandhiji took part in the Independence Struggle. He led the Civil Disobedience Movement in Bengal in 1929. However, he was forbidden by Gandhiji from going to jail, as his services were required for medically treating the freedom fighters.

 He was Gandhiji's friend and doctor. Once when Gandhiji fell ill, and Dr. Roy prescribed some medicines for him, Gandhiji refused to take them, saying how could he take medical treatment when 400 million indians were not given similar treatment. Dr. Roy replied that he was not giving the medicines to Gandhiji, but to one who represented the aspirations of 400 million Indians. Gandhiji then took the medicines.

 After India became independent, Dr. Roy became the Chief Minister of West Bengal, on which post he remained till his death in 1962.

 At that time the salary of a Chief Minister was Rs. 500 per month. So a person who was earning Rs. 50,000 per month accepted a job of Rs. 500 per month. Nobody ever questioned his integrity.

Even after becoming the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Roy allotted a couple of hours every day for giving free medical treatment to poor people. My grandfather, Dr. K.N. Katju, who was Dr. Roy's personal friend was the Governor of West Bengal from 1948-1951. He told me that he himself would sometimes go to Dr. Roy for medical treatment while Dr. Roy was the Chief Minister, and he offered to pay Dr. Roy's fees, which Dr. Roy always refused.

 Dr. Roy was the architect of post independence West Bengal. He was responsible for creating Salt Lake ( Bidhan Nagar ), a satellite town of Calcutta, by reclaiming the land from the salt lakes in that area. Today many people prefer to live in Salt Lake, rather than in Calcutta.

 Dr. Roy was a bachelor. he donated his house for setting up a nursing home, and gave all his other properties to a trust for social service in Patna.
 He died in 1962, and was awarded the Bharat Ratna.
K.Kamaraj ( 1903-1975 )
Kamaraj was the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu from 1954 to 1963. He set one of the highest standards of integrity in public life in India.
  Once as Chief Minister he went to see his village to see his ailing mother. There had been no water tap earlier in her house, but this time Kamaraj noticed a municipal water tap. He got very upset, and scolded the Municipality officers for installing that water tap, saying that Municipal water taps are meant only for public use, and could not be installed in private houses. Having said that he ordered immediate removal of that water tap.
 Kamaraj came from a poor family. His father used to earn a living selling coconuts. When Kamaraj was 6 years old his father died, and his mother had to sell her jewellery to support her family.
 When Kamaraj was 16 years old the Jallianwala massacre took place in Amritsar, which electrified the whole country. This event so moved  Kamaraj that he decided to devote his whole life to the freedom struggle. Consequently he never married.
 Kamaraj participated in the freedom struggle enthusiastically. He was jailed 6 times by the British authorities, and he spent over 8 years in jail, between 1930, when he was arrested during the Salt Satyagrah under Gandhiji's leadership, and 1945.
 After India became independant Kamaraj became a Member of parliament from 1952-1954, and then the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu for 9 years. His large heartedness can be seen from the fact that when he became Chief Minister of Tamilnadu in 1954 he nominated C. Subramaniam and M. Bhaktavatsalam, who had been his bitter opponents, to be his cabinet colleagues. This reminds one of President Abraham Lincoln's appointment of Edwin Stanton, his bitter opponent, to his cabinet in 1861.
 During his Chief Ministership Tamilnadu made tremendous strides, so much so that Prime Minister Nehru openly said that Tamilnadu has become the best administered state in India.
 Among his achievements were the following :
1. Literacy in Tamilnadu rose from 7% to 37%.
2. Education was given special importance. No village was without a primary school, and no panchayat without a High School. Education was free and compulsory upto class 11. This enabled poor children also to get education. Perhaps without this scheme there may have been no Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalaam.
3. The Mid Day meal scheme was launched, providing at least one free meal to students a day. This scheme was later adopted by several states.
4. An I.I.T was started in Chennai for creating first class engineers. Many of the alumni of this institution are today manning Silicon Valley in California,and are Professors in the Science, Engineering and Mathematics Departments of American and European Universities.
4. Many irrigation schemes were started and completed, and several dams and irrigation canals were built. Consequently large areas in Tamilnadu which were earlier without water could now get it.
5. Many industries were started in Tamilnadu with government support.
  Kamaraj always led a simple life, and detested ostentation. He disowned sirens on his car, and often refused police protection, saying that if one did not do wrong deeds he would need no police protection. When he died he had no accumulated wealth. None of his relatives ever benefited from their relation with him.
Just read the Hindi short story ' Usne kaha tha ' by Chandradhar Sharma Guleri ( 1883- 1922 ). I had read it earlier half a century ago. It is regarded by some as the first short story in Hindi, and some regard it as one of the best.
 It is remarkably realistic in its description of lives of Sikh soldiers in the French trenches in the First World War. It reminds one of Erich Maria Remarque's 'All Quiet on the Western Front ', though the latter is much longer and much more vivid.
 Perhaps the reason for that is that while Remarque actually fought in the war, Guleri never did. However, he must have heard first hand accounts from some Indian soldiers who fought in the war, because his descriptions of the cold and dampness of the trenches in France, and the brutality of the war, are truly graphic and realistic.
 Also it is an undying story of sacrifice by Jamadar Lehna Singh for his Subedar, whose wife had pleaded to Lehna Singh to protect her husband before they went to France to fight in the war.
 The most touching and heart rending words in the story are Lehna Singh's words to one of his comrades towards the end of the story " Wazeera, paani pilaa "
 Guleri's early death at the age of 39 cut short a promising career as a story writer. Only 3 of his stories are known. In ' Usne kaha tha  ' Guleri has successfully used the technique of flashbacks. His scenes of the jostle in Amritsar's bazaars and his description of the lives of the Sikh soldiers on Europe's Western Front are remarkable. He has used Punjabi and Urdu vocabulary.
 What is more remarkable is the fact that Chakradhar Sharma was a Professor of Sanskrit and Hindi in Jaipur and Mayo College, Ajmer. It is rare for such a person to write such a memorable story
 The Hindi film by the same name is very disappointing. It does not catch the essence of the story, or the lives of soldiers in the trenches
" Main ne Majnoon pe ladakpan mein Asad
  Sang uthaaya tha, ki sar yaad aaya "
 Mirza Ghalib
" In my boyhood ( that is, when I did not have much understanding ) I picked up a stone to throw at Majnoon
  But then I remembered that when I grow up the same may happen to my head "
" sang ' means a stone
' Majnoon ' literally means ' crazy ' ( deewaana ). Majnoon was the name given to Qais, who fell madly in love with Laila. The story of Laila and Majnoon is well known.
 In Sufi literature Majnoon means a person having a passion.
There are two attributes of men, reason and emotion. Sufis, like the French thinker Rousseau, believed that over reliance on reason and neglect of emotion makes people crafty, cunning and scheming, and totally selfish. Hence, emotion or passion are required, that is, compassion and altruism. Like the poet Kabir, the Sufis were against bigotry,rigid customs and over emphasis on scriptures, and instead preached the message of love and consideration for all humankind

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Dr. Rajendra Prasad ( 1884-1963 ) was the first President of India, and the only President elected for two terms. He was awarded Bharat Ratna.
He was born in the Siwan district of Bihar, near Chhapra

He was a brilliant student. When he gave his B.A. examination from Calcutta University his examiner wrote a comment on one of his answer sheets ' examinee is better than the examiner '. He later did his M.A. in Economics, and his Ll.M. and Doctor of Laws. He was a Principal of a College in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, but later became a full time lawyer, reaching great heights in the Patna High Court.

Although a top lawyer, he later plunged full time into India's Independence Struggle under the leadership of Gandhiji, and gave up his law practice. As a result his income dried up.

There is a story about him which was told to me by my elders.

After he had given up his law practice, Dr. Rajendra Prasad took up a house on rent of Rs. 300 per month. He was in arrears of rent for about 3 or 4 months, and his landlord started harrassing him, saying that everytime I ask for the rent you say that you needed some time, and will pay your rent as soon as possible.

On one such occasion, a Calcutta businessman came to Rajendra Babu ( as he was called ) and said that he had a case in Calcutta High Court, and would give him Rs. 10,000 plus all travel and other expenses for a single day's appearance ( Rs. 10,000 of those days would be equivalent to several lac rupees today ). Rajendra Babu said that he had given up law practice as he was involved full time in the Independence Struggle, and so he could not accept the brief. The businessman then raised the fee to Rs. 20,000, but Rajendra Babu would not relent. The businessman then placed his blank cheque book before Rajendra Babu and said that you may yourself fix any fee you want, but you must come for the case. Rajendra Babu said that he had given up law practice, and it was a matter of principle for him, so he politely declined the offer. Disappointed, the businessman went away.

Rajendra Babu's landlord had listened to this conversation, and when the businessman went away he fell at Rajendra Babu's feet, and wept profusely, apologizing for his harrassment of Rajendra Babu, saying that he did not know what a great man was his tenant. Here he was, harrassing Rajendra Babu for a paltry Rs. 1000 or so, and here was Rajendra Babu, who had just refused an unlimited amount of money for just one day's work as a matter of principle.. He begged Rajendra Babu's forgiveness, and said that he could pay him whenever he wished.

It was such people who won India's independence.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sarita Devi

I had been critical of the Indian woman boxer Sarita Devi, who had behaved in a totally unacceptable manner in the medal awarding ceremony in the recent Asian Games by creating a scene by throwing tantrums and putting her bronze medal on the neck of her Korean opponent who was declared the winner in their bout.

 Many Indians at that time supported Sarita Devi, but in my opinion they were only being emotional.  Patriotism, of which I daresay I am not lacking, does not mean supporting every Indian even if he/she does something wrong.

I pointed out that none of the 3 Judges who awarded the bout by a very slim margin to the Korean was himself a Korean. It was a closely contested bout, and I myself thought that Sarita Devi did slightly better than the Korean, but then I am not a professional boxing Judge. Moreover, Judges, too, are human beings, and may have made a mistake. Lord Denning has said that the Judge has not been born who has not made a mistake. So ordinarily we should accept the verdict of the Judges, unless there is clear proof of bias.

  But Sarita Devi is a young, evidently emotional, woman, who later realized her mistake and unconditionally apologized. So the suspension order passed recently against her is  unwarranted, and needs to be reconsidered.

 The boxing authorities of the Asian Games should be told of Portia's speech in Shakespeare's  ' Merchant of Venice ', where she pleaded that justice should be tempered with mercy.

 In my opinion, in view of her apology, the authorities should have let off Sarita Devi with a stern warning that this kind of misbehaviour will not be tolerated in future, and will entail dire consequences.

Gorky and the Russian ladies

Maxim Gorki, the great Russian writer, tells this interesting story. Once he was sitting with Anton Chekhov, another great Russian writer in Chekhov's house discussing literature, when three very fashionably dressed Russian ladies came to see Chekhov. They filled his room with the scent of strong perfume and the rustle of silk attire.

They sat down before Chekhov, and pretending to be very interested in politics began to ask him some questions.
" Anton Pavlovich ( Chekhov's name ), what do you think will be the result of the war between the Greeks and the Turks ? "
 Chekhov reflected seriously, then said amiably " I think it will probably be peace. "
 " Yes, of course ", said one of the ladies, "  But who will win ? The Greeks or the Turks ? "
   " I think  those who are stronger will win " said Chekhov.
  " But who is stronger in your opinion ? ", persisted the lady.
  " Those who are better nourished and better educated " he replied.
  " And whom do you like better, the Greeks or the Turks ? ", asked another lady.
  Chekhov gave her a charming look and amiable smile, and then said " I like marmalade best. Do you like it ? ".
   " Very much " cried the lady vivaciously, and the three of them then started chattering enthusiastically, displaying their considerable knowledge about marmalade, and their profound erudition on the subject.
It was obvious that they were delighted not to have to make any further mental effort and pretend to be seriously interested in the Turks and Greeks, about whose affairs they had never bothered before this.

  As they were leaving they promised to send a lot of marmalade to Chekhov.
 When they had gone, Gorki said to Chekhov " You handled that very cleverly "
  Chekhov laughed, and said " It is best for everybody to speak their own language "

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Reply to Mr. Sartaj Aziz

Mr. Sartaj Aziz, the Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on foreign affairs, in a statement made in the Pakistan Senate recently, said

(1) Pakistan will not accept the superiority of India, and 
(2) It would continue highlighting the Kashmir issue worldwide.

 My reply is : 
(1) The question of superiority and inferiority arises if there are two countries. But if there is only one country, where is the question of superiority or inferiority ?

 In fact Pakistan is no country at all. It is a fake, artificial entity created by the British on the basis of the bogus two nation theory to ensure that Hindus and Muslims keep fighting each other,and that India ( of which Pakistan is really a part ) does not emerge as a modern, powerful, prosperous country, like China, for which it has now all the potential with its huge pool of bright engineers and scientists, and immense natural resources.

 The two nation theory, that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, was a mischievous hoax  and fraud by the British on the Indian people using their agents like Jinnah, and Partition in 1947 was done on that basis. Since the theory itself is bogus, the only resolution of this historical swindle and fraud is reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a strong, secular, modern minded government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind and crush it with an iron hand.

 People in India ( in which I include Pakistan and Bangladesh ) must realize that we were duped and taken for a ride by the British. The British and some others are still laughing at us, seeing how they befooled us. Do you like to be befooled and laughed at ?

 Those who say that much water has passed since 1947 and now what is done cannot be undone should be reminded of Germany which was reunited after 45 year separation. China has still not recognized Taiwan, though they were separated in 1945. Did President Abraham Lincoln accept the Confederate States of America ( the slave holding states  ) in 1861 ?

 Some say that the reunification idea of mine is a day dream. My reply is : when Mazzini proposed unification of Italy, most people said it was  a day dream, but it was realized later by Cavour and Garibaldi.

 When I meet Pakistanis I feel no different from them, we look like each other, speak the same language ( Hindustani ), have the same culture ( love for Urdu poetry, Hindustani classical music, etc ), the same food habits, etc. In fact when Indians and Pakistanis meet in foreign countries they mix together and socialize as if Partition never took place.We were befooled by the Britishers into thinking we were enemies, but how much longer must we remain befooled ? How much longer must blood flow between us ?
 What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. These were part of India in the time of Emperor Ashoka ( his edicts are still found in some of those places ). They were part of India in Mughal and British times.
  Those who talk of 'improving' relations ; between India and Pakistan are living in a fool's paradise. Pakistan was created so that there should be perpetual enmity between us, and thereby India should remain weak and poor. Whenever it appears that relations between us are improving there is some incident of hostility.
 Look at the amount of money we spend on arms purchases abroad. India spends about 40 billion dollars every year on arms purchases, and Pakistan also spends a huge amount on them. Much of this money could be saved and spent on the welfare of our people. Can a poor country like ours afford such huge amounts on unproductive matters ?

 Of course reunification will take time, may be 15-20 years, firstly because those who divided us will not let us easily reunite, and secondly because the poison of the divide and rule policy ( communal hatred ) which was injected into our society consistently by the British after 1857 ( see my article ' The Truth about Pakistan ' and the speech 'History in the Service of Imperialism ' by B.N. Pandey, available online ) will take time to remove. However, I am injecting the anti-dote, though it will take time to have effect, as the poison of one and a half centuries cannot be eliminated in one day.

 (2) The Kashmir issue will automatically be resolved on the reunification of India and Pakistan under a strong, secular government. Then both parts of Kashmir will be united, and have a democratically elected state government, but within a federal Indian government. I am myself a Kashmiri, and have the welfare of Kashmir at heart. I know what the Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits have suffered. My message to Kashmiris is not to be misguided by the separatist leaders who have their own vested interests and agenda, and who do not really care for the welfare of Kashmiris. Talk of independence for Kashmir is nonsensical, and will result in more suffering. Instead of the slogan of independence, Kashmiris must raise the slogan of reunification of India and Pakistan under a strong secular government.

 Secularism does not mean that one cannot practise one's own religion. It means that religion is a private affair, unconnected with the state, which will have no religion.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Sir William Jones ( 1746-1794)

Sir William Jones was an English philologist, orientalist and jurist, who is renowned for his seminal discovery that Sanskrit is so closely related to Greek, Latin and other European languages that the similarities could not possibly be coincidental, and could only be explained by accepting that they were all derived from a common ancestor, an ancient language, which does not now exist. This led to the creation of a branch of knowledge called comparitive philology.

 Sir William was a child prodigy. He had learnt Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, and some rudimentary Chinese at a very early age. By the end of his life he knew 13 languages thoroughly, and 28 reasonably well.

 He graduated from Oxford University in 1768, and joined the Middle Temple in 1770, completing his law studies and becoming a barrister in 1773, the year in which he also obtained his M.A. degree.
 In 1783 he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Calcutta, on which post he remained till his death in 1794.

 On arriving in Calcutta Sir William was told by someone that there was an ancient language in India called Sanskrit, which was still used by native scholars. His curiosity having been aroused, he decided to study it, and within a short time he had mastered it.

 Soon after his arrival, Sir William, along with Colebrooke, established the Asiatic Society, whose purpose was to study Oriental culture.

 Sir William's Third Annual Discourse before the Asiatic Society, (delivered on 2 February 1786 and published in 1788) contains the famed "philologer" passage, which is often cited as the beginning of comparative linguistics and Indo-European studies. In this lecture Sir William said :

 "The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists. "
 This theory provided the impetus for the development of the branch of knowledge called comparitive linguistics, and can be compared to the discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin in their respective fields.

 Sir William noted that Sanskrit had such striking similarities to Greek, Latin and other European languages that the connection could not possibly be coincidental.

 Thus, 'pater' ( which means father) in Latin is similar to 'pita' in Sanskrit, mater ( mother) in Latin is similar to 'mata' in Sanskrit, ' daughter ' in English is similar to ' duhita' in Sanskrit, 'agnus' ( fire) in Latin is similar to 'agni' in Sanskrit, 'horse' in English is similar to 'ashva' in Sanskrit, 'hand ' in English is similar to 'hasta' in Sanskrit, 'est' in Latin ( 'is' in English ) is similar to 'asti' in Sanskrit. Hundreds of other similarities can be shown.

 The Hindi word 'tu' means exactly the same as the word used by Julius Caesar when he said "Et tu Brute "

 Sir William translated the Sanskrit works, 'Abhigyan Shakuntalam' and ' Ritusamhar' of Kalidas, 'Geet Govinda' of Jayadev, the 'Hitopadesh', etc into English. Goethe, the great German scholar was full of praise for ' Abhigyan Shakuntalam '.

  Sanskrit is also similar to Persian, e.g. the word 'trishna' ( thirst ) means the same as the Persian word ' tashna '. The Rigveda uses similar words as in the Zend Avesta.

  It was a great tragedy that Sir William died at the relatively young age of 48. It was a great loss to India, and to the world.

Newton, Einstein and the quest of The Holy Grail

There is a striking analogy between the later years of two of the greatest scientists of the world, Isaac Newton ( 1642-1726 ), and Albert Einstein ( 1879-1955 ). Starting from brilliant scientific discoveries in their younger days, both wasted several decades of the later years of their lives in fruitless, quixotic work, which can only be called the quest of the Holy Grail, i.e. useless endeavours.

Isaac Newton the creator of classical physics, is renowned for his great discoveries of the laws of motion and the law of gravity. In his later years,however, he spent most of his time on alchemy, a pseudo-science, which claimed to know how to transform the base metals into gold, on finding the ' elixir of life ', a substance which can ensure permanent youth and life. and a ' philosopher's stone ', and on occult, which was all humbug.

  Albert Einstein, too, had a similar phase in his life. After his brilliant discovery of the photo-electric effect ( for which he got the Nobel Prize ), the Special Theory of Relativity ( 1906 ) and the General Theory of Relativity ( 1919 ), he went on his fruitless quest of creating a Unified Field Theory, which would present all the forces in the Universe as one..

 In the 1920s two forces were known in the world, electro-magnetism and gravity. Later, two more forces became known, strong nuclear forces and weak nuclear forces.

 Strong nuclear force is what keeps the nucleus together. In a nucleus within the atom there are several protons ( except in the hydrogen atom, which has only one proton in the nucleus ). Protons are particles having positive electricity. Now positive electricity repels positive electricity, so theoretically if an atom has several protons ( which all atoms have except the hydrogen atom which has only one proton ), the nucleus should blow apart, due to the repulsion of the protons with each other, but the fact that it does not means that there is a strong force keeping them together. This is the strong nuclear force.

 Weak nuclear force is the force responsible for beta decay.i.e. emission of radiation by radioactive substances.

 Thus it is now accepted broadly that there are four forces in the Universe. Einstein suggested that all these four forces are really different features of one single force, and for the last 30 years of his life he pursued the quixotic goal of creating a Unified Field Theory, because he strongly felt as an intellectual need that all of nature must be run by a single field theory.

  Einstein's downfall came because he could not accept new ideas, e.g. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, ( though Heisenberg had demonstrated it mathematically ), and his grave doubts about the correctness of the principles of quantum mechanics. Having himself been an original and seminal thinker when he propounded the Theory of Relativity, Einstein later seemed unable to accept the new, radical ideas of quantum mechanics.
 The Quantum Theory of Max Planck said that light could be conceived of as discrete packets of energy ( which Einstein called photons ). This was in contrast to Huygen's theory that light consisted of waves.

 Quantum mechanics, as propounded by De Broglie, and as developed by Heisenberg, Dirac, Schrodinger, Pauli, etc, on the other hand, said the reverse. It said that particles ( e.g. electrons, protons, neutrons, etc) can be conceived of as waves, since they undergo diffraction, interference, and polarization, which are qualities peculiar to waves.

Einstein split with mainstream physics at the height of his career, because he could not accept these new ideas. In 1927, when all the top physicists of the world were gathered at a conference in Brussels, he dismissed quantum mechanics as if it were a pseudo-science, and clashed with Niels Bohr ( see the Einstein-Bohr Debates online ).

As a result, Bohr, who was ordinarily a very soft spoken man, told Moffatt in an  interview " As far as I am concerned, EInstein has become an alchemist. In  search of a transcendental theory ( the Unified Field Theory ), he has lost touch with experimentation, and drifted off into the field of metaphysics ".

When Moffatt met Schrodinger, a great physicist and renowned for the famous Schrodinger's Equation in quantun mechanics, and mentioned Einstein, the latter got very angry and remarked :  "Einstein is a fool ".

 Both Newton and Einstein were victims of their own success. What went wrong with them in their later years ? It is difficult to say. May be they became arrogant because of their early success, and arrogance is the death of a scientist. Perhaps they started regarding themselves as gods, and any new idea coming from anyone except themselves was nonsense.

 Also, Einstein seems in his later life to have become a Platonist.

 In science, theory must conform to facts. The Greek philosopher Plato, however, believed that facts must conform to theory.

  Plato relied mainly on reason, and did not give much importance to knowledge acquired by the senses. On the other hand, his disciple Aristotle, laid equal importance on reason and knowledge acquired by the senses, i.e. by experimentation.

 True scientific knowledge is that which comes from a combination of both.