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PM Modi’s tribute to Ramoji Rao: ‘He revolutionised the media space’

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New Delhi, June 9 : Amid the bustle of forming a fresh government at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to media baron Ramoji Rao, saddened by his demise.

Translated from Telugu, PM Modi, in his tribute expressed: “When I think of Ramoji Rao Garu, I recall a multifaceted luminary whose brilliance had no parallel. He hailed from an agrarian family and went on to make a mark in diverse worlds – cinema, entertainment, media, agriculture, education and governance. But what remained common during his entire life journey was his humility and connect with the grassroots. These traits endeared him to a broad spectrum of people.”

Pointing to the standards he set for journalism, the Prime Minister said: “Ramoji Rao Garu revolutionised the media space. He set new standards for integrity, innovation and excellence. He moved with the times and he moved ahead of the times too. At a time when newspapers were the most prevalent source of news he started Eenadu.”

In the 1990s, when the popularity of TV soared in India, Ramoji Rao ventured into channels, also in languages other than Telugu. In the words of PM Modi, this showed Rao’s “remarkable commitment to boosting the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.”

Ramoji Rao Garu was passionate about India’s development beyond his professional milestones. Going beyond the newsroom, he had an impact on education, society and business as well.

Explaining how he was a staunch believer in democratic principles, PM Modi, mentioned an incident when “the Congress Party harassed the great NTR and unceremoniously dismissed his Government in the 1980s. At that time the Congress was in power in the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh, but he was not someone to be scared…he resisted these undemocratic attempts tooth and nail.”

PM Modi had interacted with Ramoji Rao on several occasions and “deeply valued his views on diverse issues.”

Mentioning the time he was Chief Minister of Gujarat, PM Modi said: “I have received valuable insights and feedback from him. He was always keen to know about good governance efforts, especially in agriculture and education in Gujarat. Sometime in 2010, he invited me to Ramoji Film City. During that interaction, he was curious to know more about Gujarat’s efforts to establish a Children’s University, as he felt that such a concept was unheard of previously. His encouragement and support were always unwavering. In 2012, when I had the opportunity to become the Chief Minister for the fourth time, he sent me a very touching letter, expressing joy.”

Lauding Ramoji Rao’s support for Swachh Bharat Mission, the PM said: “He was one of the strongest votaries of this effort, supporting it personally and through his media network. It is stalwarts like Ramoji Rao Garu who ensured that we are able to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream in record time and also ensure dignity to crores of fellow Indians.”

The Prime Minister expressed pride for heading the government that conferred upon the media giant Padma Vibhushan. “His courage, resilience and dedication will continue to inspire generations. From his life, the younger generation can learn how to turn obstacles into opportunities, transform challenges into triumphs, and convert setbacks into stepping stones for success,” he said.

“As we mourn Ramoji Rao Garu’s passing, my heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and countless admirers. Ramoji Rao Garu will forever remain a beacon of inspiration,” concluded Prime Minister Modi.

–IANS

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