RE­MEM­BER­ING A KING

GOVIN­DRAM SEK­SARIA

Marwar - - Front page - Text Joseph Rozario

Un­like so many il­lus­tri­ous Mar­wari in­dus­tri­al­ists whose roles in In­dia’s eco­nomic growth con­tinue to be re­mem­bered, Govin­dram Sek­saria’s name at best con­jures faded mem­o­ries from a by­gone era and largely re­mains un­sung. In re­mem­brance of his many con­tri­bu­tions, MARWAR pays trib­ute to this gi­ant among men.

ASK THE AV­ER­AGE IN­DIAN, EVEN those from en­tre­pre­neur­ial cir­cles, about the most con­se­quen­tial Mar­waris to dom­i­nate the business hori­zon in prein­de­pen­dence In­dia and it is un­likely that there will be any men­tion of Govin­dram Sek­saria who, de­spite hav­ing earned the so­bri­quet ‘The Cot­ton King of the World’, has been all but erased from our col­lec­tive mem­ory.

Yet this was a man whose in­flu­ence spanned three con­ti­nents—a man who was con­sid­ered one of the bright­est stars that ever il­lu­mi­nated the In­dian business hori­zon, whose in­nate business sense was leg­endary and whose life­long com­mit­ment to char­ity and phi­lan­thropy is de­serv­ing of many adu­la­tory ep­i­thets. Here, in fact, was a man who, in his mod­esty, so much shunned af­fec­ta­tion, os­ten­ta­tion and pub­lic­ity that very few records of his life and con­tri­bu­tions ex­ist. All we have to­day to im­mor­talise his name are mere hearsay from mem­bers and as­so­ciates of the Sek­saria clan, es­pe­cially his grand­son, Ra­jku­mar Sek­saria (who was barely a year old when Govin­dram Sek­saria breathed his last in 1946), news­pa­per clip­pings that date back to the pre-in­de­pen­dence era and the ed­i­fices of learn­ing he founded, many of which stand tall even to­day.

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