Dr Abdus Salam is one of two Punjabis to be awarded the Nobel Prize. The other was Dr Hargobind Khorana (from Raipur, Khanewal district, then Multan district…I had misidentified his birthplace as being in East Punjab, its not, its in West Punjab. Thank your Arzan Toshkhani for that correction), who got the Medicine Nobel in 1968 for his work on DNA and RNA (including the triplet code and the synthesis of the first oligonucleotides in a lab).
The Indian Nobel Prize list is about 12 or 13 now, if you count Ronald Ross (discoverer of the malaria parasite life cycle) and Kipling. Kipling maybe we dont want to count, but Ross, who was born in India and did his research in Calcutta?
Anyway, there are 5 science prizes. 3 Tamils, 2 Punjabis. I invite Aaakar Patel to make something interesting of this fact. Incidentally, both Punjabis were graduates of Government College Lahore (now Government College University Lahore), with Punjab University as the degree issuing university. Punjab University is now knows for being the spiritual and actual home of the Islamic students party (IJT). What a fall.
There are 3 Bengalis, all in the soft categories (literature Tagore, economics Amartya Sen, peace Dr Yunus). The only Gangetic plain representative is Naipaul and of course he was neither born in India nor lived there. But his family came from the Gangetic plain So make of that what you will. A professor friend from Canada insists Salam should count as a British Nobel (his critical work was done in England, as was his training) and Khorana as American (well, he DOES count as American since he was a US citizen). Even so, CV Raman would still count as an Indian acheivement, since he did all his work inside India.
Should that Romanian nun count as Indian? You can make up your own mind. See list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_laureates_of_India
The following tribute is from Mr Waseem Altaf (an intrepid researcher in Islamabad and well worth following on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mwaseemaltaf where he seems to post most of his stuff….he is also very interested in Bollywood and Lollywood history btw) and from Dr Assad Bashir.
PS: adding a small anecdote (from my father, who heard it from the artist in question) : An interesting sidelight by our friend the famous Indian Artist Kishen Khanna ..His father was a professor in Govt College Lahore and Dr Salam’s father worked as clerk in the department of which he was the Head ( Physics ?). After Dr Salam got a scolarship in class 8,his fahter requested Dr Khanna to give hima job /clerical in the office . Dr Khanna prevailed upon him to let the kid continue his studies . Dr Salam went on to top in matric exam of the Punjab University . His father was still requeting the good doctor to give him a job . .Jobs were hard to come by . Dr Khanna prevailed second time and got him admitted in Govt College . Rest is history . Thank you Dr Khanna too !
Dr Salam’s birthplace in district Jhang in Pakistani Punjab.