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Did Nehru Played Politics with Tata Group over Air India?

Recently TATA sons became the successful bidder of AIR INDIA(WHICH WAS FOR LONG A GOVERNMENT AIRLINE) and brought it back at 18000 crore Indian rupees ($2.4billion) after 68 years.

IN APRIL 1932, TATA WON A CONTRACT TO CARRY MAIL FOR IMPERIAL AIRWAYS (BRITISH AIRLINE). At that time they had DE HAVILLAND PUSS MOTHS AIRCRAFTS. On 15 October 1932, Tata flew a puss moth carrying air mail from Karachi to Bombay (currently Mumbai) and the aircraft continued to MADRAS (currently Chennai).

AIR INDIA was founded by JEHANGIR RATANJI DADABHOY TATA ( J.R.D TATA).

In its first year of operation, the airline flew 160000 miles(260000km), carrying 155 passengers and 9.72 tonnes (10.71 tons) of mail, and made a  profit of ₹60,000 (US $930). Later, the airline launched a domestic flight from Bombay to TRIVANDRUM. Hence it remained TATA AIR Service and later Tata Airlines.

Everything was going fine, Delhi and Colombo were added to the destination in 1938. During the second world war, the airline helped the ROYAL AIR FORCE with troop movements, shipping of supplies, the rescue of refugees, and maintenance of planes.

And after world war 2, tata airlines became a public limited company on 29 July 1946 under the name AIR INDIA. AT that time TATA group was the only one who was in the airline business. Hence after the Indian independence in 1947, 49% of the airline was acquired by the government of India, 25% by TATA, and the rest for the public in 1948.

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Then came nationalization, nationalization is the process of talking about privately controlled companies, industries and putting them under the control of the government. After world war 2 there were several discussions on nationalizing privately owned airlines in INDIA.

Jawaharlal Nehru, Former Prime Minister of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, Former Prime Minister of India

And hence the NEHRU GOVERNMENT decided to nationalize air India. The airline founded BY JRD TATA was now of the government. JRD TATA was shocked and angry over the decision made by the government. In 1953 the government paid ₹2.8 crores and brought AIR INDIA.

However again after 68 years again TATA sons brought back AIR INDIA after winning the bid of ₹18,000 CRORE. Air India was already in debt of ₹61562 crores as said by the government on AUGUST 31, hence TATA takes over RS15300 crore of the debt.

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Kushagra Pathak
Author of Worldly Voice

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