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When President Narayanan said, 'Stephen Hawking represents triumph of human spirit over matter'

By Satya Narayan Sahu | PUBLISHED: 14, Mar 2018, 17:27 pm IST | UPDATED: 19, Mar 2018, 15:49 pm IST

When President Narayanan said, 'Stephen Hawking represents triumph of human spirit over matter' New Delhi: Today professor Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76.  He was an outstanding physicist and the reputation he earned as a scientist and cosmologist can be said to be equal in importance to a popular movie star.

His serious books on science are being read across the globe like popular fictions and novels by generations of people cutting across age profile.  

I recall his visit to India in 2001 when he was scheduled to deliver a lecture in Siri Fort auditorium. The auditorium was full and there was no space even to stand. Many distinguished personalities who got invitation cards could not enter the auditorium.  I had an invitation card and yet could not enter the hall as it was full beyond capacity.  

During Hawking's visit to India he called on President K R Narayanan and the meeting lasted almost an hour.  After the meeting President Narayanan came out to see off professor Hawking and media persons waiting outside asked Mr. Narayanan about his experiences in interacting with professor Hawking.  Mr. Narayanan famously said, "Stephen Hawking represents triumph of human spirit over matter".

That one line uttered by President Narayanan was used as headline by many newspapers in the front pages.  As the world mourns the sad demise of Stephen Hawking one pays tribute to the genius that he was and to his legacy of extraordinary study and research which he pursued in face of challenges flowing from his paralytic body.

# Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by him are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
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