Padma vibhushan G.D.Birla.
Ghanshyam Das Birla was born on 10 April 1894 in Pilani of Rajasthan, It is history that how he made a big empire with a small capital he had with him. Whenever we hear the name Birla we enter in to a prejudice based on many issues but G.D.Birla was totally different from others both in heart and in attitude.
I wish to share 3 all-time inspirational stories which I recall when I hear the name “Birla”.
1) It was somewhere in 1912, when Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya decided to setup a world class university in Banaras. He started to approach rich people seeking fund. It was once he addressed a session where many kings and Rich people were present. Malaviya stated that he need fund to start university, interested people can contribute, and Malaviya decided to tell their name with their contribution loud in Dias. Many people contributed and Malaviya too announced their name with the amount they contributed, as everyone expected King of Gwalior announced 3 Lakhs which was huge those days, as top kings and businessmen were in first few row as Malaviya approached next rows contribution were also decreased. Malaviya finally came to last row and asked a 21 year old young industrialist about his contribution and came back to Dias and announced that “our young Industrialist sitting in last seat of last row has promised us to give 3Laks” entire crowd including Kings were stunned and turned to see him, he was none other than Ghanshyam Das Birla..
2) Apart from Business G.D Birla had interest in drawing and painting, even his son Basanth kumar inherited his interest, Basanth kumar and G.D.Birla’s elder brother’s son Madhav prasad were of same age. It was once during the time of their middle school they came up with a subject of drawing, to encourage and improve their drawing talent G.D.Birla had appointed a private tutor. Once their drawing teacher in school gave all students to draw a drawing and submit it as homework. Both these lads were too drawn a sketch and shown tutor that. Tutor was not happy with that and made some correction and gave them back and asked to submit to their school. School teacher became very happy seeing the drawing and applauded both of them quite heavily. The happy kids went back to Birla and narrated entire incidence of how their teacher failed to notice the drawing corrected by tutor and how teacher applauded them in front of class. G.D.Birla became uncomfortable hearing it and said “Dear kids this will be similar to cheating, you should not cultivate this habit , please go tomorrow to your principal and class teacher and say them the truth and request them to disclose truth in front of your class”. Even kids did same the principal became happy seeing the honesty of Birla and applauded G.D.Birla’s honesty. This was how apart from business G.D.Birla remained as honest and a great father.
3) It was during 1950’s there was a popular weekly tabloid newspaper named Blitz which used to circulate in Mumbai. The chief editor Russi Karanjia (an ex journalist of Times of India) had an assertive communist ideologies, he had apathy over Rich Industrialists like TATA and BIRLA, regularly he used to write on them. Once An American Company came with cunning thought of buying maximum shares and to take Blitz into their control. Getting this hint R.Karanjia became upset and the quality of his writing stared to abet gradually as he needed Rs.1.5 Lakhs to keep Blitz in his control, Knowing this G.D.Birla called him personally for breakfast and while leaving he gave the required money to R.Karanjia and advised him to come out of his problem first..
Apart from above G.D.Birla was served many philanthropic causes like,
1) Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani.
2) Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences in Bhiwani.
3) G.D.Birla became founding president of Harijan sevak sangh founded by Mahatma Gandhi.
4) Mahatma Gandhi spent last 4 months of his life in Birla’s house in Delhi.
Looking at his contribution, Govt of India felicitated G.D.Birla with Padma Vibhushan in 1957.
Let us come out of all our prejudice and it’s our duty to remember the great soul Padma vibhushan G.D.Birla.