Organic Chemists of Pre-Independence India: With Special Focus on Natural Products
Indian Journal of History of Science
Using materials obtained from plants and animals for medicinal, community and technical purposes has been going on in Indian and other ancient civilizations for millennia. With the introduction of western scientific methods into colonial India, isolating, purifying and determining the chemical structures of the components in these materials, and some understanding of the basis of their action became possible. We focus here on the birth and growth of the chemistry of natural products of
... roducts of medicinal and technical value. We discuss here the roles of three pioneers in organic chemistry who started their work in colonial India and enabled the blossoming and growth of outstanding research the field, once the colonial bondage was freed: Professors T R Seshadri, who was single-handedly responsible in generating excellent schools of medicinal products chemistry across the country, K Venkataraman who catalyzed many Indian-initiated chemical industries through his research and mentorship, and Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, who became the father of organic chemistry as well as modern scientific research in Pakistan in particular.