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Vijitatma: Founder-Pioneer Ardeshir Godrej

B.K. Karanjia (Author)
Synopsis The story of Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej, founder-pioneer of the Godrej enterprise, is rich and varied. Deeply influenced by the nationalist Dadabhai Naoroji, he believed--like Gandhi later--that the struggle for freedom was both political and economic. Swadeshi became the breath of Swaraj or self-rule for Ardeshir. But he realized that mere boycott of British goods wasn't good enough: they had to be substituted by Indian goods of equal, if not superior quality. Self-respect through self-reliance became his motto. The successful patenting of locks and safes, surpassing in quality even imported goods, followed by soap manufacture were steps in fulfilling this mission. All of these would make Godrej a household name for nearly seven decades thereafter. Besides being a freedom fighter and successful industrialist, Ardeshir was a highly individualistic and exceptional man. Unwilling to twist the truth in a particular case as a lawyer in Zanzibar, he preferred to give up the profession, regardless of the consequences. As a flourishing industrialist, he switched over to farming, setting up an agricultural colony in Gwalior and a farm in Nasik. His personal life, too, was unusual. He believed neither in inheriting wealth, nor in bequeathing it. Having lost his young wife of barely a year, Bachubai, under tragic circumstances, he never re-married, seeking to preserve her precious memory. He found consolation in his religious faith and, not unsurprisingly, in his later years followed the spiritual path of Sri Aurobindo. Written with great sensitivity, this book offers a deeply moving and insightful portrait of a great man whose greatness lay precisely in his utter unselfconsciousness. A humble human being, living a simple and unostentatious life, often taking public transport or walking to his destination, Ardeshir believed he was merely a patriot doing his duty by the country. Though he did not live to see a free India, he found a measure of fulfilment, inspiring four generations of the family to contribute to the country's economic well-being.
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About the author

B.K. Karanjia

B.K. Karanjia, journalist and author, edited Filmfare, a Times of India publication (1961-77), and Screen, of the Indian Express group (1978-88). He was chairman of the Film Finance Corporation (1969-76) and also of the National Film Development Corporation (1988-91). For several years he was a member of the advisory committee of the Film and Television Institute of India and the National Film Archives of India. He has served on various national and international film juries. Among his published books are Portrait of a Citizen, a biography of Rustom Masani; A Many-Splendoured Cinema, a compilation of editorials from Screen; More of an Indian, a novel; Masks and Faces, a collection of short stories; Blundering in Wonderland, a partial memoir; Godrej: A Hundred Years, a history of the Godrej group in two volumes; Give Me a Bombay Merchant—Anytime!, the life of Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy; Final Victory: The Life—and Death—of Naval Pirojsha Godrej; Sohrab Godrej’s memoirs, entitled Abundant Living, Restless Striving; and Vijitatma, a monograph on Ardeshir Godrej, the pioneer-founder of the Godrej corporation.

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Bibliographic information

Title Vijitatma: Founder-Pioneer Ardeshir Godrej
Author B.K. Karanjia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0670057622
length xlii+218p.
Subjects History