Kolkata bid a tearful farewell to noted industrialist, former Rajya Sabha member and Chairman of HT Media Ltd Dr Krishna Kumar Birla on Saturday morning. The end came at 7.30 am after a brief illness. He was 89.
He is survived by his daughters Nandini Nopany, Jyotsna Poddar and Shobhana Bhartia. He lost his wife Manorama Devi barely a month ago.
As the news broke, a pall of gloom descended in all quarters of society. Anxious phone calls started pouring into newspaper offices and people started thronging the Birla Park residence where the industrialist spent his last days.
People from all walks of life including politicians and industrialists made a beeline there.
Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi reached Birla Park quite early, followed by Union Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee.
Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee couldn’t make it to Birla Park but she sent her party’s senior leader and MP Dinesh Trivedi with a wreath. Senior Congress leader and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also sent flowers.
Industrialists across the city mourned the death of Dr Birla while some who were elsewhere in the country took early flights to have a last glimpse of the person who stood as an inspiration to many.
His brother, B.K. Birla, looked shattered, while C.K. Birla, Kumar Mangalam Birla and other members of the Birla family seemed distressed. It was just about a month back when the family lost Dr Birla’s wife, Manorama Devi, and it is yet to recover from that shock.
Before the last journey, the body was kept on a flower-bedecked courtyard where people paid their respects.