With Tata Sons will regain control of Air India, senior congressional leader Jairam Ramesh shared a letter from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to the founder of JRD Tata after being asked to step down as chairman.
“In February 1978, JRD Tata was unconditionally removed by the government of Morarji Desai as Chairman of Air India, a position he had held since March 1953. Here is an exchange of views between the JRD and Indira Gandhi, who was in power at the time. Her letter was handwritten, ”the leader of the Congress tweeted.
On February 1, 1978, the then government of Morarji Desai removed JRD Chairman Tata from the boards of directors of Air India and Indian Airlines. He was later reinstated on the boards of directors of both airlines in April 1980 by Indira Gandhi. But he did not return as chairman.
In February 1978, JRD Tata was promptly removed by the Morarji Desai government from his post as Chairman of Air India, a position he had held since March 1953. Here is the exchange that followed between the JRD and Indira Gandhi, who was then in power. Her letter was handwritten. pic.twitter.com/8bFSH1n6Ua
– Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) October 9, 2021
In a handwritten letter in 1978, Gandhi expressed condolences for the government’s decision and praised Tata’s efforts to build airlines. “You were not just a chairperson, but also a founder and educator who felt deeply personalized,” her memo reads. “It is this, along with the meticulous attention to the smallest details, including decor and hostess sarees, that have taken Air-India internationally and even to the top of the list.”
“We were proud of you and the airline. Nobody can take this satisfaction from you or diminish the national debt to you in this respect, ”she wrote. While acknowledging the “misunderstanding” between the two, Gandhi said she had to operate under intense “pressure” and also pointed to “rivalry within the Civil Aviation Ministry.”
Ramesh also shared Tata’s response to a letter sent almost two weeks later. “I was touched by your kind mention of my role in the creation of the airline. I have been fortunate in the loyalty and enthusiasm of my colleagues and employees, as well as the support I have received from the government, without which I would have achieved little, ”he said.
In 1953, the government took control of the airline from the Tata Group, which founded an airline called Tata Airlines in 1932.