India has paved a long path for itself on the road of development. Whether it be medicine, technology or nuclear energy, India is excelling and making progress on each step. Talking about nuclear energy, it is mandatory to bring the name of Homi Bhabha. He was the principal architect of India’s nuclear energy program.

Reason Behind The Demise Of India's Nuclear Energy Pioneer: Homi Bhabha
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Early Life And Education

Homi Bhabha is one of the most prominent scientists India has ever had. He pioneered India’s nuclear energy programmes and was a well-known nuclear physicist. Born on 30th October 1906, the Indian scientist achieved a lot in his life and took India to a whole new level.

Bhabha studied in Cambridge, where he was internationally recognized for his work with cosmic rays. He was also working in the famed Cavendish Library where many discoveries of the time were taking place.

During the time of World War II, Bhabha was in India. He was asked to join Nobel Laureate C.V. Raman’s laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science. He was then made the founder-director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay.

Homi Bhabha’s Belief On Development

Bhabha had believed that for India to emerge as a power to reckon with, it had to develop its nuclear capabilities, as well as an atom bomb if it needed to defend itself. He had convinced his close friend Jawaharlal Nehru of the same – that science was the way to progress. Bhabha eventually became the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission.

Reason Behind The Demise Of India's Nuclear Energy Pioneer Homi Bhabha
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Bhabha had said if he had the green signal, India could make a nuclear bomb in 18 months.”

The Plane Crash: Death Of Bhabha

Homi Bhabha died in the Air India Flight 101 crash on January 24, 1966. But seems like some people came up with different theories of his death. It is somewhat believed that Homi’s death is not just a mere accident but a conspiracy.

To what extent is this news true is still not sure. On 24 January 1966, around 7:02 am, Air India flight 101 from Bombay to New York crashed into Mont Blanc in the Alps, killing all 117 passengers on board.

One of the passengers on the Boeing 707 named ‘Kanchenjunga’ was India’s foremost nuclear scientist, Homi Jehangir Bhabha. He was just 56.

As of now, people know the official reason for this crash as miscommunication between the aircraft and Geneva airport. However, the disaster remains mired in conspiracies.

Reports On The Crash

Daniel Roche, a Swiss climber shared his views on the accident:

“If Kanchenjunga had crashed in the mountain, there should have been a huge fire and explosion as there was 41,000 tonnes of fuel in the aircraft, but that was not the case.”

He added:

” It collided with an Italian aircraft and as there is very little oxygen at that height, there was no combustion that could cause an explosion.”

After the investigation, a report was generated which gave another angle to the case. They concluded that, based on the wreckage, that the crash was the result of a miscalculation, rather than another plane intercepting it. 

One of the receivers on the plane was not working, and the pilot miscalculated the verbal data sent to him on the plane’s position.

These are some of the reports which said that the death of Homi was not just an accident. It was a conspiracy by the CIA, as India was moving towards greater development.

Was CIA involved?

In 2008, an alleged conversation between the CIA officer and Robert Crowley came into the limelight. It led people to believe that the American intelligence agency had a hand in the Air India crash and Homi Bhabha’s death.

The theory was that America was unsettled by countries such as India gaining nuclear capabilities, or making atomic bombs and weapons. In 1945, America was the sole possessor of the technology. By 1964, both the Soviet Union and China had tested atomic bombs.

The CIA official was quoted as saying, “We had trouble, you know, with India back in the 60’s when they got uppity and started work on an atomic bomb.”

This can be one of the reasons behind the conspiracy of Homi’s death.

The Legend

Bhabha’s contribution to the development of atomic energy made him a significant figure in international scientific circles. He served as president of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in 1955 and as president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1960 to 1963.

The death of Homi Bhabha was a big blow to India. During his lifetime, Bhabha helped India gain a significant position in the world and we can’t help but be thankful for that.

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