Based on a true story, SonyLIV’s Indian series ‘Rocket Boys’ revolves around Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, two brilliant scientists who changed the dimensions of Indian scientific research and advancement. The show offers a closer look at the two indomitable men’s careers and personal lives, exploring the challenges they faced and the achievements they earned.
In conjunction with showcasing their intricate lives, the series also delves into a turbulent period in India’s history enthrallingly through several characters. Dibyendu Bhattacharya’s Raza Mehdi is such a pivotal and complex character. Intrigued by the nuances of Raza, we have taken a look at the origin of the character. Let us share our findings! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Raza Mehdi Based on a Real Scientist?
No, Raza Mehdi is not based on a real scientist. Raza Mehdi is a fictional character originally conceived for the show’s narrative. As far as the drama and conflicts of the show are concerned, Raza and Bhabha’s competition against one another to lead the atomic energy sector of Independent India plays a salient part in moving the narrative forward. Raza even contests a forced election against Homi Bhabha to be the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission to guide the government in affairs of nuclear energy.
In the show, Homi and Raza engage in a rivalry that lasts 15 years, starting with their presentations for the Tata Grant. Bhabha convinces JRD Tata to commence Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, which rejects Raza’s efforts to conduct research on his prototype. When then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru chooses Bhabha to lead the AEC, Raza forces Nehru to contest an election for him to compete against Bhabha.
Raza’s defeat in the election motivates him to contest Independent India’s first general election from West Bankura, West Bengal. The nuclear scientist wins the election and holds Nehru’s government accountable for the lack of progress in the atomic energy sector. Since the character of Raza provides intense tension and conflict for the narrative to move forward engagingly, the fictional creation of the character is justified. Raza’s win in the election and the pressure he exerts in Nehru and Bhabha to fasten the procedures to launch the nuclear research station is significantly placed in the show’s narrative.
Such a fictional addition also enhances the drama of the show. As far as real life is concerned, two Bankura constituencies in the 1951 elections were won by Nehru’s ruling party’s candidates. Raza is also an important part of the show’s storyline with respect to the involvement of the CIA. His initial connection with Mr. Prosenjit Dey adds an astounding suspense element to the show’s narrative. In between several real-life characters, Raza Mehdi stands out due to the blend of brilliant characterization and Dibyendu Bhattacharya’s incredible performance.