AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Prof. (Dr.) NIRMAL CHANDRA SUKUL, M. Sc., Ph.D.
Born November 20, 1935
Dr. Saurav Arora
Dr. NC Sukul is a well-known name in fundamental and basic research in ultrahigh dilutions and homeopathy. He has to his credit various elite, professional positions which he handled and justified academically and scientifically. Some of his key positions held by him are:
- Lecturer, Reader Dept. of Zoology, Visva-Bharati University (VBU), 1985.
- 1985-2000 Professor of Zoology, VBU.
- 1987-90 Head, Dept. of Zoology, VBU.
- 1993-95-Dean, Faculty of Science, VBU.
- 1977 Visiting scientist, M cGill Univ., Canada.
- 1987 Fulbright Fellow. Texas A & M Univ., USA.
- 1989 Visiting Professor. Leningrad state Univ. USSR.
- 1995 Visiting Professor. Inst. of Nuclear Physics. National Centre for Scientific Research. Democritos, Athens, Greece.
ParticipatedasSpeaker / Chairperson
- In many national / international seminars / congress held at Toronto (1982), Brisbane (1986), Urbion (1992, 1997) Napales(1997), Brussels (2000), London (2002), Bankok (2000), Mexico (2011), Florence, Italy, 2012, Bern, Switzerland, 2013, Amsterdam, 2016.
Ph.D.’s Produced: 32
Professional Distinction / Awards
- Recipient of Dr. G.D. Bhalerao Memorial Gold Medal, 1984. (1981-83).
- B.B. Sarkar Memorial Medal 1994.
- Joy Gobinda Law Memorial medal by the Asiatic Society, Kolkata in 2008.
- 200 papers including two reviews in national and international journals. 70 papers on Homeopathy.
- Nature (London, 1970), Nematologica (Leiden), J. Helminthol. (UK), J. Nematol (USA), Phytopathology (USA), Nematotropica (USA), Tropical Doctor (USA), Nematol M edit. (Italy), Sericologia (France), Psychopharmacology (Berlin), Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn. (Belgium), Br. Hom. J. (U.K.), Experientia (Basel), Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. (USA), Phytoterapia (Italy), Trans. Royal Soc. Trop. M ed. Hyg. (U.K.), Int. J. Pharmacog. (USA), Trop. Med. (Japan), Jpn. J. Pharmacol (Japan), Pharmaceutical Biol., Homeopathy (UK), Ind. J. Phytopathology., Ind. J. M ed. Res., J. Bombay Nat. H ist. Soc., Ind. Agric., Curr. Sci., Sci Cult., J. Exp. Bio. J. Altern Complement M ed (USA), Int. J High Dilution Res (GIRI), JAltern Med Res(USA).
- Soil and Plant Parasitic nematodes’ in Bengali State Book Board, Govt. of West Bengal, 1985.
- High Dilution Pharmacology and Homeopathy, A Sukul, Santiniketan, West Bengal, 1997.
- High dilution effects: physical and biochemical basis. Kluer Academic Publishers, Dordrecth, 2004.
- Consciousness in Physiology and Philosophy. Ashadeep Publishers, Kolkata, 2017.
- Hahnemann, Pratibhas, Kolkata, 2013 (a drama on the life of H ahnemann in Bengali).
Excerpts of the Interview
Saurav Arora: Please tell us how and when you developed your interest in homeopathy and research in homeopathy?
NC Sukul: In 1949, when I was a school boy I got a fever with coryza. A local homeopath gave me a dose of Arsenic alb. 30 and I was cured in a day. Later, I read books on homeopathy, prescribed medicines to my neighbors and consulted senior homeopathic doctors in my locality at Ghatal, Meidnapur, West Bengal, India. When I joined Visva-Bharati University as a lecturer in 1968 I pursued research in homeopathy, developed an animal model and published a paper in a famous international journal Psychopharmacology in 1986. The paper was also translated into German with my permission.
Saurav Arora: What was your motivation to pursue research in homeopathy despite constant onslaught on homeopathy?
NC Sukul: As a physician, I see the therapeutic effect of homeopathic medicines on my patients, every day. For this, I have never been influenced by any anti- propaganda. There were many failures in this research, but all these simply
to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.
Saurav Arora: Over the time we have seen your team as a team full of scientists, professional and homeopaths. H ow and when this team was founded? Did you start research on your own and build up a team over the time?
NC Sukul: I had a good laboratory and research projects on parasitology funded by University Grants Commission, Department of Science and Technology, CIDA, Indian Council of Medical Research, Indian Council of Agricultural Research etc. I could engage my research scholars to work on homeopathy in addition to their main research programmes. The team members changed over time as in a relay race, but research on my main field and homeopathy continued.
Saurav Arora: What has been the biggest challenge to convince your own team members to undertake research in homeopathy and high dilution?
NC Sukul: Actually research on homeopathy is neither glamorous nor lucrative. For this, a few scholars left my laboratory after working for 1 or 2 years, and I had to appoint new scholars. All good scholars look for a bright future, and homeopathy does not provide any beacon. Some scholars, though not much interested, continue work only for a Ph.D.
Saurav Arora: Can you briefly introduce your team member’s name here?
NC Sukul: Prof. S. P Sinhababu, Dr. Anirban Sukul, Dr. Soma Sukul, Dr Raj K. Singh, Dr. Souvik Ghosh, Prof. W.R.Klemm (Collaborator, USA), Prof. A.S. Batuev (collaborator, Russia), Dr. Sabanov Victor (collaborator, Russia), Prof. Coloe Taddei Ferretti (collaborator, Italy), Dr. Swapan Rudra, Prof. P. Sen (Collaborator), JNU, New Delhi, Dr. Sudeshna Ghosh, Dr. Sandhimita Mondal, Dr. Indrani Chakraborty, Dr. Achintya Singha (collaborator, Bose Institute, Kolkata), Dr. Paramita Sarkar, Atheni Konar, Tandra Sarkar, Prof. P. Dhummapakorn (collaborator, Thailand) and some others.
Saurav Arora: Since you belong to Kolkata where homeopathy is very popular amongst masses, is it so with the research in homeopathy? Did you have any difficulty in procuring resources for research in homeopathy?
NC Sukul: There are good laboratories in Kolkata like Bose Institute, Cultivation of Science, Calcutta University where we can get instrumentation facilities. Procuring fund is a big problem now. I have developed a good laboratory in Santiniketan with my personal fund, pay for my scholars and for outsourcing instrumentation facilities.
Saurav Arora: What was your experience of research in India and outside India?
NC Sukul: Scientists from Italy, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany and France are doing good work on homeopathy. In India, there are a few workers who are really interested in fundamental research.
Saurav Arora: We have heard many scientists and researchers being ignored by mainstream research bodies, did this happen to you also? I f yes, how did you manage to continue research in homeopathy?
NC Sukul: In general, researchers of homeopathy are neglected. I t is not a problem with me because I enjoy research on homeopathy.
Saurav Arora: You are the one who proposed Global Molecular Network of Water that explains information transfer from high dilutions to biological systems. Can you throw light on this aspect?
NC Sukul: There is a global molecular network (GMN) of proteins covered with water in all living bodies. There are both free and bound water molecules. It is the free water molecules inside and outside cells that play important role in mediating the action of homeopathic potencies. We have demonstrated that different homeopathic potencies contain different amounts of free water molecules.
Saurav Arora: What has been your best research/model in high dilutions/homeopathy?
NC Sukul: My best research models are:
(i) mouse model on catalepsy,
(ii) righting reflex model with mice and toads,
(iii) in vitro tests with homeopathic potencies in a cell-free medium in test tubes.
My best research is the discovery of free water molecules in homeopathic potencies by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy and also by differential scanning calorimetry. Before that, I proved that water is the carrier of information of homeopathic potencies.
Saurav Arora: We have read your research in aquaculture, agronomy and physical science. Which area was the most challenging area to research upon?
NC Sukul: The most challenging area is
(i) to differentiate homeopathic potencies and
(ii) to find out initiation of action of a potency in a living body.
Saurav Arora: What are your future plans to establish homeopathy as a plausible science?
NC Sukul: Homeopathy is an ever-elusive subject for a researcher. I met with constant failures in my experimental studies when I suddenly got success with the catalepsy model in 1968. Homeopathic drugs will act only when symptoms agree. Therefore, we have to produce a disease in a living model to elicit the action of the right remedy. M y future plan is to pinpoint the exact physical basis of a homeopathic potency. Unless we establish this we cannot put homeopathy in the arena of science.
Saurav Arora: Can you share your experience with your failures in homeopathic research?
NC Sukul: Potencies do not have drug molecules, and it is here where major criticism against homeopathy has fallen.
Saurav Arora: Homeopathy has been attacked many times for its modus operandi, what according to you can be the short and best description for modus operandi in homeopathy?
NC Sukul: While major emphasis should be on the physical basis of a potency, other areas like clinical and experimental studies with animals and plants must not be neglected.
Saurav Arora: How far you see future of homeopathy in India?
NC Sukul: Homeopathy would flourish not only in India but also in other countries because of its efficacy and absence of side reactions.
Saurav Arora: Your message for the homeopathic fraternity especially students and clinicians.
NC Sukul: Homeopathy is a very difficult therapeutic system and has immense potential to cure diseases. Students must read classical works of homeopathy, work with experienced physicians and have an open mind to accept modern development in diagnostics and pathology.