The quest to become Ambani of academics
When Amar Bahadur Singh was born an astrologer predicted that he would be an embarrassment in academics. Before his class 10 exam his father Rajendra Pratap reminded him about the prediction a note of caution and encouragement in equal measure.
Amar Bahadur went on to earn a D Litt and nearly three dozen academic honours. He motivated his younger brothers twins Amar Jyoti and Amar nath to follow suit. The three brothers have now bagged 35 laurels each in various academic fields. “We want to prove that education and not money is everything” says Amar Bahadur a research fellow at Indian Council of Social Science Research Delhi. Amar Jyoti isa senior researcher at ICSSR.
Together this Varanasi based family of five including Amar Bahadur’s wife Vandana has bagged nearly 150 national and international literary awards including three Bhartendu Harishchandara awards. “We knew that whatever we do we can never become as famous as the Tatas Birlas or Ambanis. But yielding the power of education and talent I could be the Ambani of the academic field” says Amar Bahadur.
Amar Bahadur as local people fondly them lead a simple life. Trophies on pelmets and certificates on corner tables are the only adornment in their house. “We believe in the Hindu way of living” says Amar Bahadur as he walks in with a tray of cold water and sweets. Amar Nath a lawyer at the Allahabad High Court is at work preparing for a case. “We believe in the joint family system. All our bank accounts are joint accounts” says Amar Bahadur.
The family begins their day with meditation and puja followed by discussions over newspaper and tea about literature and national issues. Dinner table conversations revolve around academics. “When you have a single aim as a family the support you get increases the chances of success manifold” says Amar Bahadur. After so many accolades does the prospect of a new award still excite the family? Of course he says. “Every award increases our hunger”.
So what is the flip side of being knowledgeable? “It’s difficult to find the right partner with matching intellect” says Amar Bahadur who found his match when he was 44. The twin brothers now 35 are still waiting.
COURTESY THE WEEK