The makers of the biographical streaming series ‘Rocket Boys’ announced a new season of the show through a special Independence Day promo. Creator and producer of the series Nikkhil Advani took to his Instagram and shared the video as he wrote in the caption: “Milestones. Architects. Let’s never forget. The countdown begins for #RocketBoysSeason2 (sic).”
The video shows glimpses from the Pokhran village of Rajasthan before the Republic of India conducted its first nuclear bomb test in 1974. It builds up the anticipation for the test through imagery of sandstorm, banging window panes and a vehicle stuck deep in the sand before it cuts to the blast and subsequent cast reveal for the second season.
Actors Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh will reprise their respective roles of India’s space and nuclear programme pioneers – the Nobel Prize winner Homi Jehangir Bhabha and Padma Vibhushan awardee Vikram Sarabhai along with other cast members such as Regina Cassandra and Saba Azad.
The first nuclear bomb test was conducted in India in 1974 in Pokhran under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who popularity peaked after the tests. The Ministry of External Affairs, which designated the test as Pokhran-I, later characterised the test as a “peaceful nuclear explosion”.
Also known as ‘Operation Smiling Buddha’, the test led to India becoming the first nation to conduct a nuclear test outside the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. India started its own nuclear programme in 1944 when Homi Jehangir Bhabha founded the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
However, the nuclear programme was partially slowed when Lal Bahadur Shastri became Prime Minister. Having faced the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, Shastri appointed physicist Vikram Sarabhai as the head of the nuclear programme but, because of his non-violent Gandhian beliefs, Sarabhai directed it toward peaceful purposes rather than military development.
A second successful nuclear test was conducted in 1998 under the name Pokhran-II when a series of five nuclear blasts were conducted. The John Abraham-starrer historical action film ‘Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran’ is based on the events leading upto Pokhran-II.