We’ve been an independent country for 74 years. It’s taken a great deal of grit by the only the best of the best minds to get us to this place today. And two people who definitely played an integral role in helping India advance and step into the future, were Homi Jehangir Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, the founding fathers of the Indian Nuclear and Space Program.
Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was an Indian physicist and astronomer born on August 12, 1919. The renowned scientist finished his education from the University of Cambridge and on returning to India he urged the charitable trusts he had connections with to establish a research institution. He was only 28 back then.
Homi Jenhagir Bhabha was also a physicist who completed his education from Cambridge University. He was also quite the art connoisseur. It just goes to show that for all those who believe in pitting science against art, the bottom line is, both are equally valuable for people who know their merits.
Both Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai were leaders in their own rights. Bhabha established institutions such as Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in1945, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 1954 and organized the first UN Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in 1955.
While on the other hand Sarabhai set up institutions such as Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad (along with other industrialists) and the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts (in collaboration with his wife Mrinalini) in Ahmedabad in 1949.
Vikram Sarabhai and Homi Bhabha met each other at the Indian Institute of Science. Sarabhai was on his way to completing his PhD under the supervision of CV Raman, the director of IISC, while Homi Bhabha was appointed as a professor at the institute’s at the newly set-up Cosmic Ray Research Unit in 1942.
After India’s independence, Homi J. Bhabha wrote to the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in order to persuade him to create a separate branch of science, that would specialize in atomic energy. Ultimately the Atomic Energy Commission was formed, and then led by both Bhabha and Sarabhai, one after the other.
The two were also responsible for creating the Indian Space Program, and basically launching India’s first ever rocket into space! It is because of these two that India has advanced as much as it has in terms of nuclear power.
And it makes so much sense that we now have web-series based on the life and achievements of these two. You can catch Rocket Boys starring Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh, which is available to stream on SonyLIV, now.
We’re so grateful for all the work they put in to make our country as independent as it is today.