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Russi Mody – a tribute

Russi Mody (RM), son of Sir Homi Mody, Governor of Bombay Presidency and UP and brother of Parliamentarian Piloo Mody, passed away on 16 May at the age of 96.

RM joined Tata Steel in 1939 at the age of 21 and retired as chairman in 1993 serving a total of 53 years. Old timers refer with nostalgia to his rich contribution to the transformation of Jamshedpur (JSR) into a famous industrial town. His varied interests included sports. He set up the Tata Football Academy in 1987. Tata Sports Academy groomed several sportspersons who won national and international acclaim.

RM had to quit Tata Steel after Ratan Tata set 75 as the limit for one serving on the board of a Tata company and obviously was not happy. Much was expected of him when he was appointed chairman of Air-India and Indian Airlines. Quite disappointingly, he could not make much contribution. His tenure was marked by bitter differences with the government . At 81, he contested the Lok Sabha elections from JSR, but lost.

RM, groomed succession of steel managers at Tata Steel and is remembered as a colourful, multi-faceted leader. Sadly, in line with the Indian psyche, he failed to retire gracefully.

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