Books: Homi J. Bhabha

Indira Chowdhury, Ananya Dasgupta, A Masterful Spirit: Homi J. Bhabha, New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2010

« Scientist, citizen, artist—the Renaissance man of India Homi Jehangir Bhabha, one of India’s outstanding scientists, shouldered the beginnings of India’s nuclear programme. He was the first chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, and the builder of two of India’s most significant scientific institutions—the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Atomic Energy Establishment, renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1966. A Masterful Spirit presents the life and achievements of the man through previously unpublished letters, and photographs and paintings, and the recollections of his family, friends, colleagues and students. Designed to convey the flavour of Bhabha’s life and times, this book tells the inspiring story of a man whom Sir C.V. Raman described as ‘the modern equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci’. It acquaints us with the many facets of Bhabha’s personality: physicist, institution-builder, concerned citizen, artist, connoisseur of the arts, designer of gardens and, above all, a charismatic and compassionate human being. »

Book Review:

Atri Mukhopadhyay, « A Masterful Spirit: Homi J. Bhabha », Science and Culture, July-August 2011. Available here.


R.K. Shyamasundar, M.A.Pai, Homi Bhabha and the Computer Revolution, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2011

« In February 1960, India’s first full-scale digital computer—the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Automatic Calculator (TIFRAC)—was launched largely due to the efforts of Homi Jehangir Bhabha (1909–1966). Paying tribute to the remarkable vision of Bhabha, this book looks at India’s past, present, and future in global IT and telecommunications. Tracing the country’s growth trajectory from Bhabha’s time, N.R. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Sam Pitroda, F.C. Kohli, and M.G.K. Menon among several leading scientists, policymakers, and industry leaders address indigenous efforts in telecom revolution and how computer and IT can bring about positive changes in our lives. From computerization of services and e-governance to the computer’s impact on biotechnology, IT for power infrastructure, and transport—the essays address wide-ranging issues of tremendous topical relevance. Setting the tone of the volume, the Introduction looks at the contribution of Bhabha and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) to the computer revolution in its nascent stages, and later, when India gained prominence as a global player. With a Foreword by Ratan N. Tata highlighting the country’s journey towards self-reliance in IT and telecom, this volume will appeal to students and teachers of computer science and telecommunications, IT and telecom industry professionals, policymakers, and anybody interested to know more about the India story. »


See Also: 

Itty Abraham, The Making of the Indian Atomic Bomb. Science, Secrecy and the Postcolonial State, London & New York, Zed Books, 1998

Richa Malhotra, B.V. Sreekantan, « Homi Jehangir Bhabha: A Visionary », Resonance, May 2010. Available here.

G. Venkataraman, Bhabha and his magnificient obsessions (Vignettes in Physics), New Delhi, Sangam Books, 1994