RJD president Lalu Prasad on Friday slammed Nitish Kumar government for meting out “undignified” treatment to the renowned mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh whose family was denied an ambulance after his death at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) on Thursday.
The 74-year-old Singh, who once worked at NASA and California University, breathed his last at PMCH after a prolonged illness.
The mathematician’s mortal remains were consigned to flames at Mahuli ghat on river Ganga in Bhojpur district Friday with full state honour.
Mukesh Singh, maths wizard’s nephew, lit the funeral pyre.
Science and Technology minister Jai Kumar Singh represented the state government on the occasion.
Condemning the “insensitive” attitude of the state government towards the mathematician, Prasad took potshots at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying, “Does it behove a chief minister to pay tributes to the mortal remains on the road. Did the cm ever meet Singh while he was in the hospital?”
Prasad, who is in Ranchi serving sentences in fodder scam cases, condoled Singh’s death on his official Twitter handle operated by his office in consultation with the family.
Prasad further mentioned how he during his chief ministerial tenure had accorded respect to the legendary mathematician by getting him treated at the best hospital and provided job to his family members, who looked after him.
A video clip, which was aired on various news channels and in social media after the death, showed Singh’s younger brother Ayodhya Prasad Singh standing with his body on a stretcher outside the emergency ward of the premier Bihar hospital.
He alleged that the hospital authorities did not provide him with an ambulance to take the body to his house in Patna and that’s why the body was kept in the open in the hospital premises.
On why did not he contacted any official for help, Ayodhya Singh, while showing the death certificate provided by the PMCH, said, “Whom should I tell my problem. There is no one to listen to my problem. I will take the body to my native village Basantpur in Bhojpur in hired private ambulance. The government never paid attention towards Singh’s treatment.”
While condoling his demise, the cm had said it has caused an irreparable loss to the state and the country.
Kumar had announced a state funeral for the noted mathematician. He also visited his younger brother’s house near Kulharia complex in Patna and paid floral tributes to him.
Prominent leaders from all political parties including deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, union ministers Giriraj Singh, Nityanand Rai, former cm Rabri Devi, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal had also expressed grief over the death of “Vashishtha babu” as the mathematician was fondly called by the people.
Hitting out at the state government, the RJD supremo said, “Death is a reality in everyone’s life. The manner in which Nitish Kumar government treated his (Singh’s) body is highly condemnable.”
“The loudmouthed double engine government (NDA rule in Delhi as well in Patna) is not able to provide even an ambulance to the great mathematician,” Prasad quipped.
Singh was born in Basantpur village of Bhojpur district and he did his schooling from Netarhat school of then undivided Bihar. He also studied at Patna Science College from where he straightway went to California university in 1965 and did his Ph.D from the University in 1969. After receiving his Ph.D on Cycle Vector Space Theory, he worked at NASA. He returned to India in 1971.
Singh taught at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He also worked at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
He married in the year 1974. The mathematics wizard suffered from schizophrenia. After a few years of marriage, his wife left him due to his illness.