J.N Tata

The Tatas’ are a household name today.

They have been contributing to the growth of the nation even before the  independence . They are a source of pride to our country.


Check out some information about the Tatas.

Homi .J. Bhabha


Homi Jehangir Bhabha   — The architect of India’s nuclear energy program.

He was a multifaceted personality   a scientist, visionary and institution builder.

Homi Bhabha’s father and uncle wanted him to become an engineer, so he could eventually join the Tata Iron and Steel Company in Jamshedpur. At Cambridge, his interest shifted to theoretical physics and in a letter to his father, he wrote –

I seriously say to you that business or job as an engineer is not the thing for me…… I am burning with a desire to do physics. I will and must do it sometime. It is my only ambition….”It is this realisation that has given India a  great scientist and visionary  .

In 1939, he came to India for a brief holiday in India and was unable to go back as World War II had started.

He took up  the post of Reader in Theoretical Physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bangalore under Nobel laureate Sir C.V. Raman. Here he established the Cosmic Ray Research Unit.

He founded two world-class research institutions He played a big role in the establishment of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.

A significant factor that contributed for the growth of nuclear sciences and its applications was Bhabha’s rapport with the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who reposed complete confidence in him. There was a great synergy in thinking between Nehru and Bhabha with respect to industrialization and scientific research, evolving hand-in-hand. He advocated  the peaceful use of atomic energy and was against manufacturing atomic bombs.

Bhabha was a person of perfection, purpose and excellence. He ensured these qualities in all his endeavours  -research, management, buildings and environment.

His total conviction, never-accepting mediocrity, never compromising on excellence, meeting the challenges head-on with confidence made him a unique personality. Bhabha was a great scientific manager and followed the mantra of the right man for the right job

His life  is an example for all of us, which stood for three concepts – deserve, desire and demonstrate.

Bhabha was also a painter and a classical music and opera enthusiast and an amateur botanist.



Vallabai Patel



The makers of India.

Sardar   Vallabhai Patel -The ‘Iron Man’ of India

India’s first home minister and also the first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is known as the “Iron Man” of India. Patel was instrumental in uniting the country through  the merger of small princely states.

There is no record of his date of birth. Vallabhbhai himself  put in a date, while filling in a form for his Matriculation . He  wrote October 31, 1875,  and this has been the date for all records. He travelled to attend schools in Nadiad, Petlad and Borsad.

He passed Class 10 at the age of 22. At the age of 36 he journeyed to England and enrolled at the Middle Temple Inn in London. Completing a 36-month course in 30 months he came out in flying colors

He was a man of great courage and restraint. His wife, Zaverbai, died early in 1909 after an operation for some abdominal malady. When the news of the bereavement reached Vallabhbhai, he was cross-examining a witness in a murder case at Anand. With an impregnable composure for which he became known later, he did not show grief but went on with the cross-examination in hand.

Later he was elected   to the Municipalitty of Ahmedabad. He worked hard and set up Health Labs. When corruption charges were pressed against Sardar Patel and 18 other councillors in Ahmedabad municipality, he sought Jinnah’s help and came out unscathed.

He accepted Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership and took active part in many struggles in the freedom movement.

As Deputy Prime Minister  he was responsible for the Home, States and the Information and Broadcasting portfolios. He used his powers of persuasion and his statesmanship  in the’ integration of states into the Union of  India.

Patel was a great worker. He did not believe in statues and memorials.


He was a born leader. Once as a sixth-form boy he organized a successful strike of his classmates that lasted for three days to teach a lesson to one of the teachers who was unduly fond of the rod.

Both Nehru and Patel played a vital role in the decision-making process  They enjoyed a unique relationship. The two leaders frequently disagreed on many issues, publicly and privately but they had immense respect for each other .Differences were always resolved through discussions.

 He once asked, “Has India organised a new state and society to replace the old order which she wants to discard?”B.K. Ahliwalia and Shashi Ahluwalia has rightly commented that “Nehru had faith in the goodness of human nature, Patel was not blind to the Satan in man. Nehru took things for granted, Patel valued them at the market price. Nehru was satisfied with assurances, Patel needed proof  . Both worked together to lay a strong foundation for India.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891)

He was a scholar, academician, philosopher and above all a social reformer

After his death, Rabindranath Tagore wrote about him thus: “One wonders how God, in the process of producing forty million Bengalis, produced a man!”.

There were many great qualities in Vidyasagar. He was a man of great simplicity and humour.


A popular story.

Once  Vidyasagar was invited as a chief guest to a meeting and a dinner. He went dressed in simple clothes. The guard at the gate did not allow him to enter. He said that Ishwar Chandra Vidsyasagar was expected and hence only special guests would be given entry. Vidsyasagar left quietly. He returned dresses in formal attire and was escorted inside with great formality.  During the course of the dinner, he refrained from eating. He was heard saying softly, ‘coat eat ‘, ‘tie eat’ —–  When he was questioned, he simply replied that he thought that the dinner was meant for  his good dress or clothing, but not for him. However he did not get angry.


Simple and Selfless.

Once a rich gentleman  got down from a train at a small station and was looking for a coolie or porter to carry his luggage.   There was no  porter available at such a small station . He was  annoyed.Observing the  situation, a simple and ordinary looking man came to him and presented himself as a porter.. Later  he came to  know that the person who offered to carry his luggage was none other than Vidyasagar. When he apologised to Vidyasagar t , he was told smilingly “Son, there is no harm in doing one’s own job, I only wanted to show you that”.

Dignity of labour.

A lover of learning.

The first book a Bengali child is handed is Vidyasagar’s “Barna Parichay” (Introduction to Bengali letters). This is followed by a text written by Rabindranath Tagore, “Sahaj Path .”He  simplified the Bengali Alphabet. His original publication on the subject is called Barna Parichay, literally, An Introduction to the Alphabet.   He then made a rhyme for each letter to introduce  it in an easy way   to the child-learner. He also  published the alphabet accompanied by beautiful wood-cut illustrations.

A man of liberal views.mixed with sarcasm.

He was once asked at an informal get-together to weigh the pros and cons of English colonization in Bengal.   In clever satire he replied: “On the whole, I feel that we have received three good things from the English.” First on the list  is English literature. “The literature of Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon, Sir Walter Scott and others that we have got from them — do not underestimate their value,” he had said. He went on: “Second gain — ‘ice.’ In the searing heat of summer, put one piece of ice in a tumbler of water, and your relief is immense.” Finally: “And the third is sliced bread…  At that time many people did not eat bread.


Poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta while writing about Ishwar Chandra said he was a combination of : “The genius and wisdom of an ancient sage, the energy of an Englishman and the heart of a Bengali mother.”



 Many great reformers put in a lot of effort to change  some of the customs in India  like Sati and Child Marriages that were inflicting a lot of misery and suffering on women. There was a lot of superstition and some age old practices had to be abolished.

Leaders like Ram Mohan Roy stood at the forefront and worked to bring about a change in the mindset of the people. It was not an easy task.


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