Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > History > Vikram Sarabhai: A Life
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Vikram Sarabhai: A Life
Vikram Sarabhai: A Life
Description
From The Jacket

Vikram Sarabhai (1919 -71), the renaissance man of Indian science, visualized the impossible and often made it happen. Founder of India's space programme, Vikram dreamed of communication satellites that would educate people at a time when even a modest rocket programme seemed daring; of huge agricultural complexes service by atomic power and desalinated sea water. He envisioned research technology that would free Indian industry from foreign dependence, and of a world-class management college that would train managers for the public sector. Amrita Shah's Vikram Sarabhai: A Life is the story of this dynamic visionary.

Born into an immensely wealthy and politically conscious business family, Vikram had an early understanding of the power of money and the problems of a newly independent nation, to which he married a deep love for physics. Between 1947 and 1971, he built a thriving pharmaceutical business, conducted research into cosmic rays, set up India's first textile research cooperative, ATIRA, the first market research organization, ORG, the Indian Institute of management in Ahmedabad and the dance academy Darpana. He also headed the Atomic Energy Commission and laid the foundations for the world's first entirely peaceful space programme.

Good-looking charismatic, married to the glamorous classical dancer Mrinalini, and closely associated with the most influential figures of his time-C. V. Raman, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Homi Bhabha, Bruno Rossi, Louis Kahn and John Rockefeller III - Vikram seemed to have led a charmed existence. Yet, his personal life was troubled and his strong resistance to India's move towards a nuclear explosion in the late 1960s put him at odds with powerful lobbies and fellow technologists. Amrita Shah delves into the life and mind of this fascinating, complex individual. This is a vivid and intimate portrait of a multifaceted genius who died young, but whose vision still drives India's ambitious space programme and inspires Indians in all walks of life.

Amrita Shah is a journalist, columnist and writer. Author of a pioneering series of articles on the Mumbai mafia in the 1980s, she has worked for Imprint and the Time-Life News Service and edited features magazines Debonair and Elle. She is currently a contributing editor with the Indian Express. She is the author of Hype, Hypocrisy and Television in Urban India (1997).

Author's Note

I was nine when Vikram Sarabhai died. I remember very clearly the arrival of the newspaper one cold winter morning-31 December 1971, it must have been-and my mother's audible gasp.

'What happened?' I asked, trying to get a peek at the headlines. A great scientist died,' she said, visibly moved.

With a reverence I had never before witnessed in her attitude either to science or to the daily news, she showed me the photograph. And she told me something about his life. She told me about the illustrious business family he had belonged to, a family which had been close to Gandhi and deeply involved in the freedom struggle. She told me about his great contributions to the country, the nature of which she appeared to have only a vague understanding of, but the idea of which clearly inspired in her a deep regard. She also told me, with an animation I could more easily connect to her interest in the classical arts, of his marriage as a young, handsome man to a distinguished Bharatanatyam dancer from the south.

Intrigued, I joined her in tracking the news over the next few days, marveling at the long list of dignitaries who offered tribute and applauding when the teenage daughter took the place of the absent son in lighting the funeral pyre. And so it was that Vikram Sarabhai came to occupy a fuzzy space in my head, an idea of a progressive and romantic figure, a leading light of the intensely idealistic post-independence generation, who had died young and full of promise.

. I next encountered Vikram Sarabhai more than two decades later in a book by mass communication scholars Arvind Singhal and Everett M. Rogers. Or perhaps it was a little before then. I had been working on a book on the proliferation of the audiovisual media starting in the mid-1980s and my research had inevitably led to the ideological concerns that guided the introduction of television in India. I had come across references to Vikram Sarabhai's passionate advocacy of a space programme and its application, through television and other means, for socio-economic upliftment. Somewhere along the way I had also gleaned that he had run a business enterprise and that he had succeeded the charismatic Homi Bhabha as head of the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1960s. And that he may have had, unusually for a person in his position at the time, grave reservations about India's move towards nuclear weaponization. Singhal and Rogers's book, India's Information Revolution, provided other details. From a brief profile in its pages I learned for the first time that Vikram Sarabhai had established a large number of diverse institutions. Among those listed were the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Physical Research Laboratory, the Operations Research Group, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and the National Institute of Design. The book itself was dedicated to the memory of Vikram Sarabhai: 'who saw a revolution coming, and helped to make it happen'.

These revelations, following upon the other bits of information that had come my way, evoked a strangely unsettling feeling in me. I began to wonder what kind of mind could envisage developments of such long-term impact. What kind of man could encompass such a wide range of activities? And what had he really thought of the bomb?

These then were the questions that propelled the writing of this book.

Did you get paid well? Is a question I have found myself faced with each time I have had occasion to mention that I was writing a biography of Vikram Sarabhai. I find the question and its underlying assumptions disturbing. There is something profoundly sad about an environment in which people naturally assume that a biography-of howsoever significant a personality-can only come about, and that a writer will only undertake it, because he or she has been commissioned by a family or institution interested in perpetuating the memory of the subject.

I have no aversion to money. But I have not and would not accept funding from any source which would curb my objectivity and my freedom to write the truth as I find it. In the circumstances I feel the need to clearly state that this is an independent work undertaken by me for the simple reason that it was a story that I felt had to be told and I very much wished to tell it.

That said, I couldn't pretend that the conditions under which the non-fiction writer in India operates are not dire. In this case I confess my meagre resources did not allow me to travel as widely and as often as felt I needed to. The paucity of archival material was another major handicap: no personal effects, letters or diaries were available, and documents involving Sarabhai's last years at the Department of Atomic Energy were out of bounds for reasons of official secrecy. This being the first-ever full-fledged biography of Vikram Sarabhai, I had to be mindful of the need both to introduce Sarabhai and the sheer magnitude of his achievements as well as discuss the more controversial aspect of his personality and career. And lastly, there was the problem, for someone with my limited expertise, of grappling with the varied nature of Sarabhai's interests: physics, management psychology, space technology, atomic power and architecture to name just a few.

I was fortunate, though, to have been helped in my endeavours by a number of people.

Mayank Chhaya appreciated the need for this book and his enthusiasm and support were extremely encouraging. Padmanabh K. Joshi made available to me speeches made by Sarabhai, tributes by distinguished colleagues and other material collected painstakingly by him for the Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Archives at the Nehru Foundation for Development. Vikram Sarabhai's wife Mrinalini, and children, Kartikeya and Mallika, made time for me, were generous with permissions or photographs and quotations, and shared their insights and memories.

Binit Modi and Urvish Kothari sent me cuttings from Ahmedabad. S. Krishnamurthy at ISRO helped out with relevant material. Praful Bhavsar patiently answered my extensive queries about the early years at PRL. Both he and S. M. Chitre were kind enough to offer comments on the sections dealing with Sarabhai's physics while Itty Abraham cast a perceptive eye over the chapters on nuclear power. The responsibility for lapses in these and other areas, though, is mine alone.

Maitreyi Lakhia, Kumudini Lakhai, Shishir Hattangadi, Ayisha Abraham, Satyajit Mayor, Seema Guha, Meenakshi Ganguly and Annie Marie Mathews were warmly hospitable and sustained me greatly with their companionship. Shekhar Gupta introduced me to the world of strategic studies and encouraged me to continue writing about the present even while I worked on long-term projects about the past. Shiraz Rustomjee and Ajay Sharma gave generously of their legal expertise. Sumita Hattangadi was a friend I could always count on. At Penguin Books, Krishan Chopra provided benevolent and supportive guardianship while Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri made valuable suggestions and skillfully ironed out rough edges in the manuscript.

My father Nalin and my brother Hemal were affectionately supportive. And Shailesh Kapadia reminded me as often as I took to convince me that all books, however flawed, must come to an end.

List of Abbreviationsix
Auther's Notexi
1The Crucible1
2 'Starting Processes'36
3Building an Institution61
4Towards a Modern Sensibility88
5Launching into Space120
6Assuming Bhabha's Mantle143
7The Toughest Battle178
8A 'Heroic' Death214
Notes218
Bibliography34
Copyright Acknowledgements242
Index243

Vikram Sarabhai: A Life

Item Code:
IDI803
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2007
Publisher:
ISBN:
0670999512
Size:
8.6" X 5.6
Pages:
262 (B/W Illus: 31)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 470 gms
Price:
$32.50   Shipping Free
Notify me when this item is available
Notify me when this item is available
You will be notified when this item is available
Be the first to rate this product
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Vikram Sarabhai: A Life
From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 11702 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
From The Jacket

Vikram Sarabhai (1919 -71), the renaissance man of Indian science, visualized the impossible and often made it happen. Founder of India's space programme, Vikram dreamed of communication satellites that would educate people at a time when even a modest rocket programme seemed daring; of huge agricultural complexes service by atomic power and desalinated sea water. He envisioned research technology that would free Indian industry from foreign dependence, and of a world-class management college that would train managers for the public sector. Amrita Shah's Vikram Sarabhai: A Life is the story of this dynamic visionary.

Born into an immensely wealthy and politically conscious business family, Vikram had an early understanding of the power of money and the problems of a newly independent nation, to which he married a deep love for physics. Between 1947 and 1971, he built a thriving pharmaceutical business, conducted research into cosmic rays, set up India's first textile research cooperative, ATIRA, the first market research organization, ORG, the Indian Institute of management in Ahmedabad and the dance academy Darpana. He also headed the Atomic Energy Commission and laid the foundations for the world's first entirely peaceful space programme.

Good-looking charismatic, married to the glamorous classical dancer Mrinalini, and closely associated with the most influential figures of his time-C. V. Raman, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Homi Bhabha, Bruno Rossi, Louis Kahn and John Rockefeller III - Vikram seemed to have led a charmed existence. Yet, his personal life was troubled and his strong resistance to India's move towards a nuclear explosion in the late 1960s put him at odds with powerful lobbies and fellow technologists. Amrita Shah delves into the life and mind of this fascinating, complex individual. This is a vivid and intimate portrait of a multifaceted genius who died young, but whose vision still drives India's ambitious space programme and inspires Indians in all walks of life.

Amrita Shah is a journalist, columnist and writer. Author of a pioneering series of articles on the Mumbai mafia in the 1980s, she has worked for Imprint and the Time-Life News Service and edited features magazines Debonair and Elle. She is currently a contributing editor with the Indian Express. She is the author of Hype, Hypocrisy and Television in Urban India (1997).

Author's Note

I was nine when Vikram Sarabhai died. I remember very clearly the arrival of the newspaper one cold winter morning-31 December 1971, it must have been-and my mother's audible gasp.

'What happened?' I asked, trying to get a peek at the headlines. A great scientist died,' she said, visibly moved.

With a reverence I had never before witnessed in her attitude either to science or to the daily news, she showed me the photograph. And she told me something about his life. She told me about the illustrious business family he had belonged to, a family which had been close to Gandhi and deeply involved in the freedom struggle. She told me about his great contributions to the country, the nature of which she appeared to have only a vague understanding of, but the idea of which clearly inspired in her a deep regard. She also told me, with an animation I could more easily connect to her interest in the classical arts, of his marriage as a young, handsome man to a distinguished Bharatanatyam dancer from the south.

Intrigued, I joined her in tracking the news over the next few days, marveling at the long list of dignitaries who offered tribute and applauding when the teenage daughter took the place of the absent son in lighting the funeral pyre. And so it was that Vikram Sarabhai came to occupy a fuzzy space in my head, an idea of a progressive and romantic figure, a leading light of the intensely idealistic post-independence generation, who had died young and full of promise.

. I next encountered Vikram Sarabhai more than two decades later in a book by mass communication scholars Arvind Singhal and Everett M. Rogers. Or perhaps it was a little before then. I had been working on a book on the proliferation of the audiovisual media starting in the mid-1980s and my research had inevitably led to the ideological concerns that guided the introduction of television in India. I had come across references to Vikram Sarabhai's passionate advocacy of a space programme and its application, through television and other means, for socio-economic upliftment. Somewhere along the way I had also gleaned that he had run a business enterprise and that he had succeeded the charismatic Homi Bhabha as head of the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1960s. And that he may have had, unusually for a person in his position at the time, grave reservations about India's move towards nuclear weaponization. Singhal and Rogers's book, India's Information Revolution, provided other details. From a brief profile in its pages I learned for the first time that Vikram Sarabhai had established a large number of diverse institutions. Among those listed were the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Physical Research Laboratory, the Operations Research Group, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and the National Institute of Design. The book itself was dedicated to the memory of Vikram Sarabhai: 'who saw a revolution coming, and helped to make it happen'.

These revelations, following upon the other bits of information that had come my way, evoked a strangely unsettling feeling in me. I began to wonder what kind of mind could envisage developments of such long-term impact. What kind of man could encompass such a wide range of activities? And what had he really thought of the bomb?

These then were the questions that propelled the writing of this book.

Did you get paid well? Is a question I have found myself faced with each time I have had occasion to mention that I was writing a biography of Vikram Sarabhai. I find the question and its underlying assumptions disturbing. There is something profoundly sad about an environment in which people naturally assume that a biography-of howsoever significant a personality-can only come about, and that a writer will only undertake it, because he or she has been commissioned by a family or institution interested in perpetuating the memory of the subject.

I have no aversion to money. But I have not and would not accept funding from any source which would curb my objectivity and my freedom to write the truth as I find it. In the circumstances I feel the need to clearly state that this is an independent work undertaken by me for the simple reason that it was a story that I felt had to be told and I very much wished to tell it.

That said, I couldn't pretend that the conditions under which the non-fiction writer in India operates are not dire. In this case I confess my meagre resources did not allow me to travel as widely and as often as felt I needed to. The paucity of archival material was another major handicap: no personal effects, letters or diaries were available, and documents involving Sarabhai's last years at the Department of Atomic Energy were out of bounds for reasons of official secrecy. This being the first-ever full-fledged biography of Vikram Sarabhai, I had to be mindful of the need both to introduce Sarabhai and the sheer magnitude of his achievements as well as discuss the more controversial aspect of his personality and career. And lastly, there was the problem, for someone with my limited expertise, of grappling with the varied nature of Sarabhai's interests: physics, management psychology, space technology, atomic power and architecture to name just a few.

I was fortunate, though, to have been helped in my endeavours by a number of people.

Mayank Chhaya appreciated the need for this book and his enthusiasm and support were extremely encouraging. Padmanabh K. Joshi made available to me speeches made by Sarabhai, tributes by distinguished colleagues and other material collected painstakingly by him for the Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Archives at the Nehru Foundation for Development. Vikram Sarabhai's wife Mrinalini, and children, Kartikeya and Mallika, made time for me, were generous with permissions or photographs and quotations, and shared their insights and memories.

Binit Modi and Urvish Kothari sent me cuttings from Ahmedabad. S. Krishnamurthy at ISRO helped out with relevant material. Praful Bhavsar patiently answered my extensive queries about the early years at PRL. Both he and S. M. Chitre were kind enough to offer comments on the sections dealing with Sarabhai's physics while Itty Abraham cast a perceptive eye over the chapters on nuclear power. The responsibility for lapses in these and other areas, though, is mine alone.

Maitreyi Lakhia, Kumudini Lakhai, Shishir Hattangadi, Ayisha Abraham, Satyajit Mayor, Seema Guha, Meenakshi Ganguly and Annie Marie Mathews were warmly hospitable and sustained me greatly with their companionship. Shekhar Gupta introduced me to the world of strategic studies and encouraged me to continue writing about the present even while I worked on long-term projects about the past. Shiraz Rustomjee and Ajay Sharma gave generously of their legal expertise. Sumita Hattangadi was a friend I could always count on. At Penguin Books, Krishan Chopra provided benevolent and supportive guardianship while Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri made valuable suggestions and skillfully ironed out rough edges in the manuscript.

My father Nalin and my brother Hemal were affectionately supportive. And Shailesh Kapadia reminded me as often as I took to convince me that all books, however flawed, must come to an end.

List of Abbreviationsix
Auther's Notexi
1The Crucible1
2 'Starting Processes'36
3Building an Institution61
4Towards a Modern Sensibility88
5Launching into Space120
6Assuming Bhabha's Mantle143
7The Toughest Battle178
8A 'Heroic' Death214
Notes218
Bibliography34
Copyright Acknowledgements242
Index243
Post a Comment
 
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Vikram Sarabhai: A Life (History | Books)

Life, Mind and Consciousness
Item Code: NAE757
$30.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Eminent Indians: Dancers
by M.L. Ahuja
Paperback (Edition: 2006)
Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDK709
$12.00
SOLD
Canakya On Management
by Ashok R. Garde
Paperback (Edition: 2011)
Jaico Publishing House
Item Code: NAG457
$21.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Gender, Space and Resistance (Women and Theater in India)
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: NAG905
$57.00$45.60
You save: $11.40 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Vision of India: Profiles in Excellence-1
Deal 20% Off
by Swarn Khandpur
Paperback (Edition: 1999)
Navneet Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAJ323
$11.00$8.80
You save: $2.20 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Cultural Heritage of India (Set of 9 Volumes)
Item Code: NAF605
$595.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Sentinels of Glory
by C.R.Sathya
Hardcover (Edition: 2012)
The Heritage
Item Code: NAD827
$16.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Over the years, I have purchased several statues, wooden, bronze and brass, from Exotic India. The artists have shown exquisite attention to details. These deities are truly awe-inspiring. I have been very pleased with the purchases.
Heramba, USA
The Green Tara that I ordered on 10/12 arrived today.  I am very pleased with it.
William USA
Excellent!!! Excellent!!!
Fotis, Greece
Amazing how fast your order arrived, beautifully packed, just as described.  Thank you very much !
Verena, UK
I just received my package. It was just on time. I truly appreciate all your work Exotic India. The packaging is excellent. I love all my 3 orders. Admire the craftsmanship in all 3 orders. Thanks so much.
Rajalakshmi, USA
Your books arrived in good order and I am very pleased.
Christine, the Netherlands
Thank you very much for the Shri Yantra with Navaratna which has arrived here safely. I noticed that you seem to have had some difficulty in posting it so thank you...Posting anything these days is difficult because the ordinary postal services are either closed or functioning weakly.   I wish the best to Exotic India which is an excellent company...
Mary, Australia
Love your website and the emails
John, USA
I love antique brass pieces and your site is the best. Not only can I browse through it but can purchase very easily.
Indira, USA
Je vis à La Martinique dans les Caraïbes. J'ai bien reçu votre envoi 'The ten great cosmic Powers' et Je vous remercie pour la qualité de votre service. Ce livre est une clé pour l’accès à la Connaissance de certains aspects de la Mère. A bientôt
GABRIEL-FREDERIC Daniel
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2020 © Exotic India