The country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the father of India’s nuclear program Dr. Bhabha both understood each other very well.
Homi Jehangir Bhabha: On 24 January 1966, Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, known as the father of India’s nuclear program, died in a plane crash. By the way, Homi Bhabha’s death has been under suspicion because his death happened at a time when he had said during an interview three months ago that if he gets the green signal, he will give India a nuclear bomb within 18 months. Can Therefore, there is every possibility that intelligence agencies of other countries may have got him murdered to give a big blow to India’s nuclear program.
In fact, just a few months after India got independence, the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru stepped up efforts to build a nuclear power plant. In this effort Prime Minister Nehru met Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha. Who, after a trip to Europe, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in April 1948 on the need to take the first but important step towards a peaceful nuclear programme. This was the beginning of India’s first Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
Dr. Bhabha had already attracted the attention of the country with his knowledge. In fact, in 1945, he was instrumental in setting up the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in association with the Tata group at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in Colaba.
Dr. Bhabha was the ‘brother’ of Prime Minister Nehru
Regarding the friendship between Prime Minister Nehru and Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the founder of Archival Resources for Contemporary History and Indira Chowdhary, who wrote a book on Bhabha, writes that only two people called Nehru ‘brother’. One of which was Jaiprakash Narayan and the other was Homi Jehangir Bhabha. He has also shown in his book the letters in which Dr. Bhabha is addressing Prime Minister Nehru as ‘Dear Bhai’ while the Prime Minister is writing to him as ‘My dear Homi’.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also once mentioned in her speech that Dr. Bhabha used to call Prime Minister Nehru often late at night and he always took out time to talk to her. Prime Minister Nehru always looked happy and satisfied after talking to Dr. Bhabha.
British scientist Patrick Bankett was an advisor to DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation). He used to say that Jawaharlal Nehru loved intellectual company and used to meet him with Homi Bhabha. The scope of Bhabha’s thinking was very wide. He used to give equal importance to present as well as future events and needs of the time.
Prime Minister Nehru used to follow the advice of Dr. Bhabha
According to a report in IANS, it was Homi Bhabha who told Jawaharlal Nehru that the Atomic Energy Commission should be a small group of three eminent scientists and should be under the direct jurisdiction of the Prime Minister instead of any other department of the government. which remains till date.
This is how Prime Minister Nehru and Dr. Bhabha met
A Masterful Spirit: Homi j. In Bhabha, (1909–1966), Annaya Dasgupta and Indira Chowdhary write that the first meeting between Bhabha and Nehru was not a historic one, of which there is no record. Citing a speech by Indira Gandhi, he writes that the Prime Minister, in his speech at the inauguration of the Homi Bhabha Auditorium in Bombay, said, “The young Bhabha would have first met Nehru at the house of his uncle, Sir Dorabji Tata, where the Indian National Many Congress leaders used to gather.” Prime Minister Indira said on her meeting with Dr. Bhabha that I met Bhabha for the first time when in 1938 I was traveling by ship to Marseilles with my father. Then Nehru and twenty year old Bhabha went to Cambridge. Bhabha was then a schoolboy in Bombay.
Prime Minister Nehru had full faith in Dr. Bhabha
Prime Minister Nehru not only understood the importance of science but always went a step ahead and cooperated in its promotion. At least in this case they did not get disheartened easily. At the same time, Dr. Bhabha also used to inform him about every small and big thing about science. An example of which is found in a letter written on 29 February 1948 to the then Union Defense Minister Baldev Singh. Nehru writes, “I have just had a conversation with Dr. Homi Bhabha. He has given me a detailed report on atomic energy research. I am very interested in it and I am sure that we should start taking steps in this direction in earnest.” However, this will not yield any immediate results but the future will belong to those who are capable of generating nuclear power.” Let us inform that the first scientific research of independent India started from here, which was headed by Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha.
Dr. Bhabha was also interested in the space program
When Indian nuclear energy research was in its initial stages, in 1959, Russia launched the Sputnik satellite into space. Dr. Bhabha soon realized that space would now become an important area for research. Therefore, in 1963, at the first Symposium on Space Physics, he emphasized India’s efforts to start a space programme, saying, “If we do not do this (space research) today, later we will have to seek information from other countries at a higher cost.” have to depend on.”
Therefore, on the approval of Prime Minister Nehru, the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established in 1962 itself, which was converted into the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 1969, for the smooth conduct of space research. Meanwhile, in 1963, under the leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, India started its space program by launching a sounding rocket from Thumba village in Kerala. Unfortunately, Dr. Bhabha passed away on January 24, 1966, before this idea could be turned into a basic reality.
JRD Tata mentioned Dr. Bhabha and Prime Minister Nehru
Paying tribute to Bhabha after his death, JRD Tata had said that Homi Bhabha is one of the three great personalities whom I have had the privilege of knowing in this world. One of them was Jawaharlal Nehru, second was Mahatma Gandhi and third was Homi Bhabha. Homi was not only a great mathematician and scientist but also a great engineer, builder, gardener and artist. Homi was the only person who can be called a ‘whole man’.
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Story first published: Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 14:57 [IST]