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

With Tata Sons is expected to regain control of Air India, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh shared a letter written by former prime minister Indira Gandhi, addressed to the airline’s founder, JRD Tata, after he was asked to resign as chairman.

“In February 1978, JRD Tata was summarily removed by Morarji Desai Govt as Chairman of Air India – a position he had occupied since March 1953. This followed an exchange between JRD and Indira Gandhi, which was out of force on the meal. Her letter was handwritten, ”the Congress leader tweeted.

On February 1, 1978, the then government of Morarji Desai removed Chairman JRD Tata off the boards of Air India and Indian Airlines. It was later restored on the boards of both airlines in April 1980 by Indira Gandhi. But he did not return as chairman.

In a handwritten letter in 1978, Gandhi offered her sympathy for the government’s decision and praised Tata’s efforts to build the airlines. “You were not just the Chairman, but the founder and nurturer who felt deep personal concern,” his note read. “It was this and the meticulous care that you gave to the smallest detail, including the decoration and saris of the receptionist, which elevated Air India to the international level and indeed to the top of the list.”

“We were proud of you and the airline. No one can take this satisfaction from you or belittle the government’s debt to you in this regard, ”he wrote. Acknowledging the “misunderstanding” between the two of them, Gandhi said she had to operate under great “pressure”, and also noted “competition in the Civil Aviation Administration”.

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

The government, in 1953, had taken over control of the airline from the Tata Group, which established the carrier as Tata Airlines in 1932.