Paying tributes to eminent industrialist Dr K K Birla,who died last August,UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday released a commemorative postage stamp on him,hailing him as one of the pillars of Indian industry.
She said Birla recognised that in a country such as ours,business is not only about making profits but also about helping the society. After Indira Gandhi lost the election in 1997,when a number of colleagues had deserted her,his loyalty never wavered and he stood by her throughout,said the Congress president,after releasing the stamp and a first day cover at a function at the Gandhi Smriti here. He was a witness to history and achieved more than most can in his life, she said.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee,who presided over the function,recalled his four-decade long association with Birla,whom he remembered as a distinguished parliamen-
tarian,prominent educationist,and a man of letters who worked tirelessly in many diverse areas and retained enormous zeal for life and progress.
The most distinguished aspect was his inspiring and innovative approach to nation building,which combined tradition with modernity, said Mukherjee. Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia,who was the Guest of Honour at the function,said Birla selflessly worked for the transformation of the society.
Among others who attended the function were Birlas family members,including brother B K Birla and daughter Shobhana Bhartia,Gandhis political secretary Ahmed Patel,Home Minister P Chidambaram,former home minister Shivraj Patil,Union Minister Oscar Fernandes,and a host of eminent persons from different walks of life.