The well known palynologist, G. Thanikaimoni, was on his way to do some research in the US. The airplane
in which he was flying was hijacked. During the gun battle which followed at Karachi Airport, he was shot to death.
Since my first meeting with him in 1976, I became a close friend and developed a deep respect for Dr
Thanikaimoni, who proved to be an outstanding palynologist as well as a person who would spare no
effort to help others and promote friendship and co-operation among scientists throughout the world. It
is particularly sad that he, who harboured no animosity towards anyone, should become a victim of racial
hatred in Karachi on September 6, 1986.
I shall always remembed Thani for the great kindness and hospitality that he and his family extended to my
wife and me during our visit to India, when he assisted me in my research and introduced me to others
who shared similar interests. As I became familiar with his palynological achievements, I came to regard
him as possibly the most able Indian palynologist in his field. Unfortunately, his most significant work
had only just begun.
Thani's initiative in starting and supporting the joint project compiling palynological information
on the Tertiary of India and developing comparisons with previously described floras of Africa was an
enormous achievement, both in palynology and public relations. He hoped that this would be the
beginning of a major international collaborative effort. Thus it is gratifying to report that the
French Institute in Pondicherry plans to continue this project which was so dear to his heart.
S. A. J. Pocock
Note: This article appeared in CAP Newsletter 9(2):21, 1986.