By Kartik Rai:
The grim, pale expression on his face on the eve of 26/11 became something that the media broadcasted for days to come after the most gruesome terrorist attack the country had ever witnessed. Glaring at one of the biggest jewels in the crown of Indian hotels being ripped apart, the heritage blown away in smoke and armed men entering rooms without prior bookings what so ever, one wondered what must be going through this man’s mind. After all, it was him that brought the whole Tata Regime on its feet standing tall above others, from a situation where the entire business was in a state of plunder.
There is a famous saying, “Some men are born great, some inspire greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”. Mr. Ratan Tata sir, you had it all. Being born in one of the wealthiest and most respected families in India, he was destined to become the head of India’s biggest conglomerate founded by the legendary figure of Jamshedji Tata. And when destiny did unfold itself, the world stood up and uploaded the genius of the man they call Tata… Ratan Tata.
For all his critics, and I can safely say that unlike most succesfull people he indeed has very few, his Resume’ says it all. Chairman of Tata steel, Tata motors, Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, The Indian Hotels Company and Tata Teleservices; recepient of the country’s highest awards like The Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan, Honorary Doctrates from Universities of Cambridge and Warwick, Fellowship from The London School of Economics and an appointment of the Honorary Knight Commander in 2009 being just the handful accomplishments the man has managed to achieve in such a short life span. Need i say more?
But sadly, his stinct at the helm of Tata Affairs is going to be over. He plans to retire by the end of 2012 leaving his million dollar enterprise to his successor. The heir to the throne — which he rightfully sat upon for decades and marshalled his Tata Empire expertly, seems to be his half brother, Noel Tata who himself is quite a magician. Its in their genes, I Guess. But come what may, the charm, elegance and subtle simplicity of Ratan Tata can never be substituted for. For when this gentleman extraordinaire drives himself in an old Merc Sedan to office everyday, he carries with him the hopes of an entire nation, the burden of being the role model of millions and the single source of income for many a thousand house holds who take his name in every prayer they make.
“Question the unquestionable” he would always say with the hints of the slightest of grins on his face and who fails to remember “A promise is a Promise” on successfully delivering the world its cheapest car and a symbol of pride for every Indian — The Tata Nano.
Having said all this I still wonder what he was thinking on that eve of 26/11, what was going through his mind as terror unleashed itself on his empire?
Some questions I guess, are best left unanswered.
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The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student of Delhi University.