Opinion: India’s Rocket Boys series dangerous science and atomic bomb fetish

It’s 1962. China attacked India. At a frantic meeting of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, President and scientist Homi J. Bhabha convinces the group to build India’s first atomic bomb. “We can stop thinking of attacking any other country again,” Bhabha told the group forcefully.

Not everyone agrees. Bhabha’s longtime friend and member of the Atomic Energy Commission, Vikram Sarabhai, has left the meeting and resigned in protest. “How can you do that with a good conscience?” he asks Bhabha.

These are the opening scenes Rocket BoysThe website, released on February 4, tells the story of three scientific leaders behind India’s nuclear and space programs: Homi J. Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, and APJ Abdul Kalam. Rocket Boys shows similarities ParmanuThe film premiered in 2018. No. Parmanu It examines the pre-nuclear test of India in 1999 and its implications, Rocket Boys It represents the situation in which India decided to take the path of nuclear power. Meanwhile Rocket Boys it makes for an engaging drama, does it tell this story with due diligence to scientific and historical facts? Unfortunately, the answer is completely no.

The web series received positive reviews in the media. But scholars who are well acquainted with the history of these programs soon revealed the obvious flaws of science and the problematic ways in which they present key personalities. The narrative plays comfortably in the major hyper-nationalist narratives prevalent in India and deepens the lines of error in Indian society.

Twisting reality. “As a historian of the nuclear program, I can only laugh with howls.” Rocket Boys“Politician Itty Abraham cites a scene of a fully-fledged Bhabha jumping into a radioactive pool reactor to fix malfunctioning fuel rods. He will have to put the reactor in time for Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s visit. without it it is not credible, a nuclear physicist would not do so.

Author of Abraham The creation of the Indian atomic bomb: science, secrecy and the postcolonial situation—It also criticizes the sequences that show the way to launch the first rocket in India, scenes that portray Indian scientists as irresponsible and inept. “Bhabha and Sarabhai would be horrified to think that their pioneering vision and extraordinary achievements were being eroded decades later, celebrating last-minute screwdriver and rope-throwing platforms,” he wrote.

Journalist Gita Aravamudan, who was closely associated with the Indian space program and personally knew the many people portrayed in it. Rocket Boys, writes: “Because of the freedoms that have been taken for granted. ⁇ [T]science has fully internalized the need to cool the two main rocket boys. ‘ The irony, Aravamudan added, is that the true story of India’s space program is so dramatic and intriguing that it is fictional decorations. Rocket Boys they were not necessary.

Sly script. Aravamudan writes this observation a deception Rocket Boys It feels like a bad Bollywood movie in which iconic scientists have become the worst stereotypical scientists.

To add more drama to the web, Bhabha pits himself against an opponent, Mehdi Raza, a fictional character inspired by Indian astrophysicist Meghnad Saha. However, Raza’s portrayal is terribly problematic, stealing the Sahara’s formidable reputation and personality to twist it in a horrible way. Saha was one of the greatest scientists of India’s time, in the same league as Bhabha. He built India’s first cyclotron, which is said to be the Raza series, and founded the Kolkata Institute of Nuclear Physics.

Of particular note, Rocket Boys It distorts the background of the Sahara in a wicked way. Saha dalit was the most repressed and discriminated social group in India, formerly known as intangible and treated as marginalized. However, the authors of the web series borrow from the Saharan professional background to flesh out a Muslim rival, deliberately defeating the dominant anti-Islamist currents in India. In a further manipulation of the truth, Raza shows that Raza was teaming up with the CIA to overthrow India’s nuclear program — when Saha was a socialist, inspired by Soviet planning, and trying to replicate India.

Rocket Boys It tries to take a look at the personal lives of Bhabha and Sarabhai, examining their relationships with their families and the women in their lives. But since the two men are the main protagonists of the series, the women appear as romantic props, instead of completely juicy characters, and suddenly disappear to reappear in some scenes.

Good actor. There is a recovery feature Rocket Boys-The superlative performance of Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh starring Bhabha and Sarabhai.

The discussions between Sarabhai and Bhabha as some of the best friends and sparring members are some of the most spectacular moments. Rocket Boys. The two scientists come to life as they discuss the future of an independent India, scientific progress, their intentions and their love life. Homi Bhabha is portrayed as an elegant maverick and prodigy, and Sarabhai as her role: calm, sharp, and without fear of being challenged by her mentor, Bhabha.

Anyway, especially Rocket Boys science praises the role of raising a new poor and independent nation in the 1960s. “The science of the end of the colonial was overflowing with an unrealistic set of hopes. It was considered how India would overturn centuries of underdevelopment, “Sankaran Krishna wrote in the 2009 edition of the book. South Asian bomb cultures: atomic audiences and the state in India and Pakistan. India’s elites offered to achieve nuclear power status in response to the country’s dire state of overall economic development, he added.

release Rocket Boys the beginning of the year has come at a time when India’s growth, prosperity and progress are being seriously questioned. His nostalgic tones and the fetishism of science — and the atomic bomb — match the rhythms of the ultranationalist and jingoistic media and political narratives that dominate India’s current public discourse. Unfortunately, this discourse and Rocket Boys both series release events and bend in potentially dangerous directions.

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