Homi Nusserwanji Sethna – R.I.P

Former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman and one of the guiding lights behind India’s first nuclear test, Homi Nusserwanji Sethna, died on Sunday at his Walkeshwar residence after a prolonged lung ailment. He was 87 years of age.

Sethna passed away on Sunday night, surrounded by some of his family members, around 11.15pm. His funeral will take place on Tuesday morning at Parsi Tower of Silence in Malabar Hill. Sethna’s family has made allowance for non-Parsis to pay their respects to the legend between 8 and 9am on Tuesday, after which the Parsi ceremonies would begin.

A pillar of India’s nuclear programme, Sethna’s career started neither in a laboratory nor a workshop, but in the swimming pool of the Wellington Club near Haji Ali.

Legend goes that legendary nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha met Sethna while the two men were enjoying a swim at the club circa late 50s.

His talk with Sethna impressed Bhabha so much that he invited the young man to his office. The next day, a brief interview later… Click here to read more in The Times of India.

“I witnessed his inspirational leadership during this period which motivated our scientific community to rise to the challenges and successfully pursue our atomic energy programme. I will cherish warm memories of Dr Sethna not only as an outstanding nuclear engineer but as a great patriot whose paramount goal was to promote India’s national interests.” Ronen Sen, Former Indian Ambassador to the United States of America