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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Nagpur | Dec 29, 2016:: Eminent Industrialist and Tata Sons’ interim chairman Ratan Tata and was on a cordial visit to RSS Headquarters at Nagpur on Wednesday afternoon.
Ratan Tata offered floral tributes to RSS founder Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar at ‘Smruti Mandir’, RSS Headquarters at Reshimbagh, Nagpur. Later, Ratan Tata had a cordial discussion with RSS Sarasanghachalak (Chief) Mohan Bhagwat on various social matters.
The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of ongoing boardroom battle after unceremonious removal of Cyrus Mistry from the group’s chairman post and subsequently from boards of a few Tata companies.
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Tata went to Mahal, the RSS headquarters at 3pm and was there till 3.40 pm. Insiders said he had one-to-one conversation with Bhagwat. Mumbai BJP leader Shaina NC who escorted him, told TOI that it was a courtesy call and Tata and Bhagwat exchanged notes on social work projects undertaken by the respective organisations. Tata, who turned 79 on Wednesday, visited the RSS founder K B Hedgewar’s memorial (Smriti Mandir) at Reshmibagh before proceeding to the Mahal office.
Senior leader and RSS observer Dilip Deodhar said Tata-Bhagwat discussion on social work was an indication that Tata Sons may commit a sizeable fund of its CSR funds to RSS which has thousands of ongoing initiatives ranging from education to social harmony. The RSS’s pet project of “one temple, one crematorium and one well for all in each village” particularly impressed Tata, said sources. The social service wing of RSS, Seva Bharati has been working for a social change with such projects in rural and urban areas of the country over three decades.
Seva Bharati was established in the year 1979 under the initiative of 3rd RSS Chief Balasaheb Deoras who was very much famous for his mission of social equality and human development.
“Over 50 industrial houses in the country may follow suit and align with the RSS by providing funds for their social work. During decades of Congress rule, RSS was treated pariah and there was pressure on all to keep distance from the saffron fountainhead. The business magnates now seem sure that the BJP would stay in power for a long time and it makes more sense to cultivate RSS,” observed Deodhar.
Tata is currently in a legal battle with predecessor Cyrus Mistry. On October 24, the board of Tata Sons ousted Mistry from the chairman’s post. In the last two months, Tata has met several political personalities including Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Devendra Fadnavis and Akhilesh Yadav. The government has been observing the turn of events but has maintained a silence on the matter so far. “I would not like to wade into current controversies and …we have no intention to intervene or take sides in the Tata issue,” Fadnavis had reportedly said recently.
A senior pracharak (whole timer) of RSS said Tata sought an appointment from Bhagwat and subsequently arrived here by a special plane. He flew back to Mumbai at around 4 pm.