A group of youngsters, allegedly science students, has smeared a portrait of the only Nobel laureate physicist from Pakistan and champion of science in the developing world, Dr Abdus Salam.
A video doing rounds over the internet showed the group, consisting of State Youth Parliament Pakistan members, painting the portrait black while raising slogans against the minority Ahmadiyya community, of which Dr Salam was a member, outside Gujranwala’s National Science College.
“They are students of so-called science colleges, what a shame,” read a strongly-worded post by Facebook page ‘The Hoodbhoyist’ that describes itself as a “social club for liberal, secular, humanists and progressive”.
When he won the Nobel prize in 1979, Dr Salam became the very first Pakistani to achieve this distinction, and only the fourth from the subcontinent.
Born in 1926 in a remote village in Punjab, British India, Salam was a child prodigy. He came from humble beginnings, growing up in a small brick house with a large family of eleven. While Salam’s legacy looms large in the world of physics, he is largely forgotten in Pakistan because of his faith.
“Salam — The First ****** Nobel Laureate” — a feature-length film on Dr Salam’s life — was released on Netflix in October last year.
It has won accolades on the international film festival circuit, including DFW South Asian Film Festival, South Asia Human Rights Festival, South Asian International Film Festival and the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal, among others.