Tata to Activism
"The past week has seen unprecedented acts of violence, hatred and fascist-like fanaticism. Innocent people have been brutally massacred ... human life has been snuffed out in seconds. Large areas have been under siege by marauding mobs of frenzied hooligans, allegedly unleashed by political warlords, and self-styled followers of a great regional warrior, whose sole purpose is the creation of chaos for personal gain. To these people, Bombay means nothing but a means of livelihood through extortion, the spread of communal hatred and passion -- shamefully, in the name of God!
Through all this carnage, where were the real people of Bombay? Young and old citizens, unarmed, stood together to protect people in their area who were being singled out and attacked. These are the real citizens of Bombay.
The organised groups who undertake these dastardly acts care little for human life, for Bombay -- or, for that matter, for the nation. These are the people who are our enemies -- not our neighbours or our fellow citizens of a different religion of community.
The time has come for all citizens of Bombay to stand up and be counted, regardless of our religious faiths and whether we are rich or poor. The courage and unity displayed in certain parts of our city needs to be displayed by each of us, by joining hands in fighting back the attackers of our neighbours and our fellow citizens. Bombay is not for burning."
Dated January 15, 1993, when Mumbai was still aflame with the post-Babri Masjid riots, this letter to the editor is signed 'Ratan N Tata, a concerned citizen.'
A few days before writing it, Ratan Tata had accompanied Keshub Mahindra to the then CM to urge him to put an end to the riots. According to a statement issued by Tata Services Ltd, during the discussion "the Shiv Sena's name was constantly mentioned as having been involved in inciting passions and also spearheading violence in various areas. In this context, Mr Tata mentioned that if such parties were responsible, action must be taken against their leaders."
In April 1993, Ratan Tata wrote a letter to JB D'Souza, commending him and offering support for the High Court petition filed by the latter, along with Dilip Thakore, urging action against Thackeray for his writings in Saamna.
Is this the same man who hugged Narendra Modi last fortnight?