Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Mar 15, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus
Published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Neurology and the spiritual

THOUGH "The Quest for the Spiritual Neuron" will be available in a few bookshops in the city, its release function last Saturday was strictly private attended mainly by friends of the soft-spoken author. Dr. Jacob Abraham, former Professor of Neurosurgery and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Sciences, CMC Hospital, Vellore, has been living in Madras ever since his retirement and, here, he has been one of the most regular members of the Madras Book Club. Whether the Club inspired him to write the book or not, I'm not quire sure, but he did give me his manuscript after a club meeting and asked me to comment on it. Unfortunately, the Big Bang, neurons and the spiritual are all realms beyond me and I sadly had to pass. The situation had not improved at the time of the launch, though there were many present who appeared to know all about them.

What I did discover at the launch, however, were a few facts more up my street. Just a few weeks earlier I had read a rating list of the best hospitals in the country, and the specialities they offered. Among the top ten hospitals in the country, the only two from Tamil Nadu to be ranked were Apollo, Madras, and CMC, Vellore. And CMC Vellore figured among the best in Neurology, which was not surprising considering the department's history.

Vellore's Department of Neurological Sciences was set up in 1949 by India's first neurosurgeon, Dr. Jacob Chandy, on his return from the Montreal Neurological Institute. He was joined in the early 1950s by Dr. Baldev Singh of Amritsar, who returning from the U.S. set up the Neurology Section. And in 1957 Dr. B. K. Bachhawat joined them to set up the first Neurochemistry Department in India. The first and second trainees of the department were Drs. K. V. Mathai and Jacob Abraham who went on to head it in succession. When the department celebrated its golden jubilee in 1999, it reported that it had trained over 80 neurosurgeons and 30 neurologists, most of whom were practising in different parts of India. In 1961, the first stereotaxic surgery, involving positioning of probes in the brain, was done here and since 1995, stereotaxic radio surgery is done routinely. What Dr. Chandy started has developed as a centre of excellence in training and research and is perhaps unsurpassed in patient care.

Dr. Abraham's scientific experience with the physical world during his decades in Vellore is what he attempts to link with the spiritual world in his book. In his attempt to logically explain man's heritage and destiny in the world, he interweaves physics, biology, neurological sciences and theology with scientific data. The scientific inputs undoubtedly come from Vellore; the spiritual insights he no doubt owes to his father, the Rev. Dr. C. E. Abraham, one of India's leading Christian theologians and the first Indian principal of Serampore Theological College.

S. MUTHIAH

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu