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Jasmit Singh
posted on: 09 Feb, 2022
A "Singh" writes to Prof. J.B.S Haldane in 1949 to work on Mathematics (probabilities) in London

This is one of the early letters written on 18th Nov. 1949 by a supposedly Sikh man, Mr. J. Singh, to Prof. J.B.S Haldane.


It is quite uncommon for the world to see a Sikh in academics outside India, let alone in science or mathematics. However, the fact is that despite being always less than 0.5% of the world population (at given point in time), Sikhs have achieved quite a tremendous feat in almost all areas of work.

Today, I present to you an official letter correspondance from Mr. J. Singh, Railway Superintendent Officer of Transportation, East Indian Railways, who lived at 6 Queens Gate, SW7, South Kensington, London.



Although my search has ended with no further information about the forename of Mr. Singh, but I highly accurately speculate that the given person is a Sikh for the following 2 reasons:

  1. Sikhs formed a large part of East Indian Railways division, as oppose to others bearing the name "Singh", such as Western Rajputs (Rajasthan area) or those from UP & Bihar.
  2. The gentleman in question did NOT use any surname, which was highly uncommon for men of above areas (and Hindu religion) during old times, due to the strong hold of Caste system within India.

If anyone could confirm my speculation, or disprove it, I will be highly obliged eitherways. So please fee free to reach out to me here



I have attached the photograph from the Wellcome trust archives which clearly shows the copy received by Prof. J.B.S Haldane, and that Prof. Haldane also responded to the letter and returned on the same copy (

Mr. J. Singh writes on 18th Nov. 1949 to Prof. Haldane, that he is serving as an officer at the Railways (in London) and has deep interest in the Mathematics. In fact, Mr. J. Singh provides a 15 page discussion on his views, ideas and theories, along with some mathematical proofs of concept on certain concepts. This is a 16 page PDF which I am happy to provide, in case you are unable to lay your hands on the Wellcome Collections Archives. If you are a Maths enthusiast with a drive on the topic of Probabilities, then you would love to read this.

If one must know, Prof. J.B.S Haldane is a very big name in the field of genetics, phisiology, mathematics and evolutionary biology. He was born in Oxford, UK and died in Bhubaneshwar, India. You can read more about him here -- >

Prof. Haldane responds to Mr. Singh stating that he is not a master of probability and just like Mr. Singh mentioned, he too learns from practicising and as a hobby. But Prof. Haldane further approves Mr. Singh's request to grant him an interview and also suggests connecting him to Scottish-Jewish Prof. Hyman Levy from the Imperial College of London ( ) and Mr. Bernard (unknown).


Closing Comments

For those of us, who have no role models of Sikhs coming abroad and performing well in Academics, this website is going to prove a blessing. So we should all join SikhScientists Network and bring all our knowledge, passion and findings here to share with our Sikh Community.

I have some more jewels to share with you all. But feel free to reach out to me, if you would like to talk on other topics as well, such as Sikh Entrepreneurship and Medical Industry.


Have a good day smiley