In The Indian Express, C. Raja Mohan reviews a book on Homi J. Bhabha (A Masterful Spirit: Homi J. Bhabha; Penguin) by Indira Chowdhury & Ananya Dasgupta:
Homi Jehangir Bhabha was unquestionably one of the most refined modernists of 20th century India. As the architect of independent India’s science and technology institutions, Bhabha’s legacy will endure .
He is often cited and always praised. And his name is invoked with reverence, not necessarily for the right reasons. Recall how Bhabha’s three-stage programme for India’s nuclear energy development was made the ultimate criterion for judging some of the terms of the controversial civilian nuclear deal with the United States. As an authentic internationalist and cosmopolitan, Bhabha might have been shocked by the provincialism and knee-jerk anti-Americanism of his successors at the Department of Atomic Energy.
As a man committed to scientific temper, he might have been saddened by the uncritical chanting of his three-stage formula, without any reference to the changed conditions and improved knowledge of reactor physics. More: