25 June, 2021

Science: Homi Bhabha

The British left an India saddled with huge problems, economic and social. Many of these are still with us, so I don't need to pretend that anything Bhabha did helped to solve them...

Science: Homi Bhabha
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Who was India's most influential scientist, post-Independence? My vote goes to Homi Bhabha. The British left an India saddled with huge problems, economic and social. Many of these are still with us, so I don't need to pretend that anything Bhabha did helped to solve them. I don't need to pretend, either, that his scientific research was amongst the best, since he stopped doing research in theoretical physics when he dared to organise large-scale, advanced scientific research.

It was an activity the country had never done before, a full-time job which few others dared to undertake. It could easily have ended in a total fiasco, since nuclear physics or atomic energy or nuclear energy—give it what label you like—was never even conceivable in pre-independent India. Even if it was, few would have had the gumption to undertake it. Today's Indians, who never deny they are an ancient civilisation, prefer to forget they are also rather timid. Organised activity in frontier areas meant creating scientists to compete with the best worldwide. "Globalisation" is the fashion in the...
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