Talking about the scientific progress of India today, not mentioning ISRO keeps the subject incomplete. For the last several decades, ISRO has achieved such achievements which no country in the world has achieved. But the concept of an institution like ISRO was done many years before its establishment by its founder and great scientist of India, Vikram Sarabhai.
Today the country is remembering him on his death anniversary. The conditions at the time of his death were very normal. The atmosphere in the country at that time was such that many questions had arisen due to the death of Dr. Sarabhai.
How were the circumstances at the time of his death?
On December 30, 1971, the country had defeated Pakistan in the war, and at that time, Bangladesh had become a new nation. India was considering the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But no one expected that the next day the newspapers would be giving the sad news to the country that Dr. Vikram Sarabhai had died.
Died in Thiruvananthapuram
Dr. Sarabhai died at his favorite resort of Kovalam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram. The time had seen the launch of the Russian rocket and was resting after inaugurating the Thumba railway station, after which he was about to leave from Thiruvananthapuram to Bombay (today’s Mumbai).
Vikram Sarabhai had a conversation with Kalam
On December 30, Sarabhai was to review the design of the Space Launch Vehicle. An hour before leaving, he had a telephonic conversation with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, and within an hour of this conversation, Sarabhai, 52, died. It is said that he died of a heart attack.
Why no investigation?
But the surprising thing is that even the death of an important person like him was not investigated. His close aide Padmanabhan Joshi says that the seat next to him in the flight was also kept empty. And if for some reason he had to travel by train, a whole team was kept with him.
Dr. Sarabhai was not ill
Till a day before his death, Dr. Sarabhai had promised the famous architect Charles Correa, who was then working on the Kovalam Palace, to swim with him in the sea. After this, he met the scientists, and then he had to leave for Ahmedabad (via Bombay) to celebrate the new year with his family.
Why no post mortem was done?
Dr. Sarabhai’s daughter Mallika Sarabhai wrote in a book on her father that “we did not see any reason to conduct his post-mortem”. At the same time, his son Kartikeya Sarabhai said that the decision of not conducting the post-mortem was that of his grandmother (Dr. Sarabhai’s mother). But Vikram Bhai’s IIM Ahmedabad aide Kamala Choudhary says Dr. Sarabhai told her that she was being monitored by both Americans and Russians.
India’s own space program
India’s ISRO was established in 1969 due to the efforts of Sarabhai, who was born in Ahmedabad on August 12, 1919. He was the first chairman of ISRO. Vikram Sarabhai persuaded the Indian government that India should start its own space program. Because of his contribution, he is called the father or father of the Indian space program.