Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Jul 08, 2002
Corporate - People
Dhirubhai: `The sun has set today'
MUMBAI, July 7
THE rear entrance of 39, Cuffe Parade today buzzed like never before, playing host to a string of VVIPs eager to pay homage to the patriarch of the Reliance Group.
Taking count of those who came reads like a virtual who's who list of the political, business and social circuits of the country. The Chairman, Tata Group, Mr Ratan Tata, was one of the first to arrive at the Ambani residence.
He was followed by the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh. Mr Deshmukh said: ``With Mr Dhirubhai Ambani's death, Maharashtra, and especially the business world, has suffered a major setback. In his lifetime, he was an example of what can be achieved with hardwork. Maharashtra and the business community will not forget his contribution, not just in business but also on the social front. He was always ready to help, be it the Latur earthquake or the one in Gujarat. He was the first to offer help.''
Later in the day, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, flew into the city to pay his respects. ``Mr Ambani was an embodiment of initiative, enterprise and determination. In business he was courageous and a visionary. He was truly one of India's great achievers who helped India make its mark on the global map. For anyone involved in the field of business, Dhirubhai Ambani's life will always be an inspiration,'' Mr Advani said.
The Prime Minister's representative, Mr Vijay Goel, described Mr Ambani's demise as a great setback to the business community. ``He was born the son of a school teacher but through sheer hardwork scaled the heights of the business world. Even when he achieved success, he did not forget his past,'' he said.
The Congress Spokesperson, Mr R.K. Dhawan said, ``I have come here to offer condolences on behalf of Opposition leaders and the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Mr Ambani was very close to the Congress Party and I have myself been closely associated with him for the past 25 years. Mumbai will not be the same without him.''
Then came the Shiv Sena chief, Mr Balasaheb Thackeray, who solemnly said, ``the sun of the industrial (business) sector has set today.''
The steady flow of personalities through the day included Mr Harsh Goenka, Mr Rahul Bajaj, Mr Jamshed Godrej, Mrs Rajshree Birla, Mrs Parmeshwar Godrej, Sahara's Mr Subrata Roy among others from the world of business.
Political luminaries included the likes of Mr Sharad Pawar, Mr Ved Prakash Goyal (Union Shipping Minister), the former Prime Minister, Mr Deve Gowda, the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, the Maharastra Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chhagan Bhujbal, the Rajasthan Chief Minister, Mr Ashok Gehlot, the Minister of State for Power, Ms Jayawantiben Mehta, the Samajwadi Party leaders, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Mr Amar Singh.
Bollywood found representation in stars such as Mr Amitabh Bachchan, his wife Ms Jaya Bachchan apart from Ms Karisma Kapoor, Mr Vinod Khanna, Ms Shabana Azmi and Ms Dimple Kapadia.
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