‘Rocket Boys’ web series points to alleged CIA role in plane crash that killed Homi Bhabha

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Kalam was the last person Sarabhai spoke to before his death on December 30, 1971.

Despite these historical figures moving in and out of its frames, the series is far from a hagiographical account of Bhabha and Sarabhai.

It honestly delves, for example, into Vikram Sarabhai’s rocky marriage to dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai (Regina Cassandra) and his relationship with Kamla Choudhary (Neha Chauhan), the first teacher to be hired by IIM-Ahmedabad, who was l one of the many institutions created by the space pioneer.

Interestingly, the Sarabhais first met when Mrinalini came to perform at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, headed by an awesome CV Raman, who went on to win the Nobel Prize, for a fundraiser after New Delhi, then still under the British Raj, withdrew its support because Bhabha and Sarabhai had unfurled the Congress flag at the premises of the first research center.

A talented Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, Mrinalini Sarabhai, whose sister was Lakshmi Sehgal, leader of the Indian National Army of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, went on to found the famous Darpana Performing Arts Academy in Ahmedabad. When first meeting Vikram Sarabhai, it was Bhabha who played Cupid.

The series also exposes the CIA’s opposition to the atomic energy program led by Bhabha with the support of Nehru (in fact, after his death, his successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, questions Bhabha’s active advocacy for an India nuclear). Sarabhai, as shown in the series, also argued with Bhabha over the latter’s dream of nuclearizing India and he quit the Atomic Energy Commission.

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