Tata-Air India deal: Jairam Ramesh shares Indira Gandhi’s letter to JRD Tata after he was eliminated as chairman

With Tata Sons set to regain management of Air India, senior Congress chief Jairam Ramesh shared a letter written by former prime minister Indira Gandhi, addressed to the founding father of the airline, JRD Tata, after he was requested to step down as chairman.

“In February 1978, JRD Tata was summarily removed by the Morarji Desai Govt as Chairman of Air India—a position he had occupied since March 1953. Here is an exchange that followed between JRD and Indira Gandhi, who was then out of power. Her letter was handwritten,” the Congress chief tweeted.

On February 1, 1978, the then-Morarji Desai authorities eliminated Chairman JRD Tata from the boards of Air India and Indian Airlines. He was later reinstated on the boards of each airways in April 1980 by Indira Gandhi. But he didn’t return as chairman.

In a handwritten letter in 1978, Gandhi provided her condolences for the federal government’s resolution and lauded Tata’s efforts in constructing the airways. “You were not merely Chairman, but the founder and nurturer who felt deep personal concern,” her word learn. “It was this and the meticulous care you gave to the smallest detail, including the decor and the saris of the hostesses, which raised Air-India to the international level and indeed to the top of the list.”

“We were proud of you and of the Airline. No one can take this satisfaction from you nor belittle government’s debt to you in this respect,” she wrote. Acknowledging the “misunderstanding” between the 2 of them, Gandhi stated she needed to operate underneath nice “pressure”, and in addition indicated that there have been “rivalries within the Ministry of Civil Aviation”.

Ramesh additionally shared Tata’s response to the letter, despatched nearly two weeks later. “I was touched by your kind reference to the part I played in building up the airline. I was fortunate in the loyalty and enthusiasm of my colleagues and staff and the support I got from government without either of which I could have achieved little,” he stated.

The authorities, in 1953, had taken management of the airline from the Tata Group, which based the service as Tata Airlines in 1932.


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