Monday, January 31, 2011

Viral Rumours in Pre-Internet India

An important event in Bangalore during this period was the celebration of the centenary of the great visionary, Sir M. Visveswaraya. Every few weeks before the centenary, there would be a rumour that Sir M.V. had passed away. On one such occasion, C.V. Raman went with his wife to Sir M.V.'s house to express condolence. When he knocked on the door, Sir M.V. opened it. A shocked Raman recovered quickly and just blurted, "I thought that I should just say hello to you," and left immediately.

That's from Prof. C.N.R. Rao's autobiographical memoirs, Climbing the Limitless Ladder -- A Life in Chemistry. Going by the Wikipedia entry, this would have been during 1959-60.