Industrialist Rahul Bajaj to be given state funeral in Pune

Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj

‘Hamara Bajaj’ was the iconic jingle that resonated with the aspirations of the middle class in a pre-liberalised India. And the man behind that brand was one of the biggest and bravest industrialists — Rahul Bajaj. The Chairman Emeritus of the Bajaj Group died at a hospital in Pune on Saturday afternoon. He was 83. The last rites will be held on Sunday.

Bajaj will be accorded a state funeral, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday as he and Governor B.S. Koshyari condoled the demise of the veteran industrialist. They said Bajaj’s contribution to industrial development in the country was unparalleled.

Mr. Thackeray said the country had not only lost an industrialist but also an individual who was socially aware, fearless and an inspiration to young industrialists. “He was never narrow-minded about his own business. He always took a clear and firm stand on problems faced by industries all over the country. As a true patriot, he commented on issues concerning the country,” he said in his condolence message.

Mr. Koshyari said the contribution of the Bajaj family in the nation’s freedom movement and in its industrial and social development was immense. “The group has been a leader in discharging its social responsibility,” he said.

‘A lighthouse’

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said Bajaj was a “lighthouse” for entrepreneurs. “I am deeply shocked to learn about the sad demise of Padma Bhushan Shri Rahul Bajaj! The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought transformation in society especially in poor and middle-class people with his two-wheel technology - a Bajaj Bike!” he tweeted. Mr. Pawar said the passing of his very close friend filled him with grief. “India has lost an industrialist, a philanthropist and a lighthouse for young entrepreneurs! Hamara Bajaj.”

The affordable vehicle increased mobility, eased the struggle for getting means of livelihood and became the tool of socio-economic change, he added. “We Indians are deeply indebted for his immense contribution to the industry,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said Bajaj gave a new identity to the country in the auto sector. “His extensive experience, knowledge and far-sightedness proved vital not only to the growth of Bajaj group but also to the automobile industry in India,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 6:04:41 pm |