Memorable Letter To A Schoolteacher - Book Extract

Here is the extraordinary letter that JRD Tata wrote to K.C. Bhansali, an educationist who lived in Howrah, on 13 September 1965:

Dear Mr Bhansali,

I thank you for your letter of the 6tof h August, enquiring what have been the guiding principles which have kindled my path and my career. I do not consider myself to be an 'illustrious personality, but only an ordinary businessman and citizen who has tried to make the best of his opportunities to advance the cause of India's industrial and economic development.

Any such guiding principles I might unconsciously have had in my life can be summarized as follows:

That nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without deep thought and hard work;

That one must think for oneself and never accept at their face value slogans and catch phrases to which, unfortunately, our people are too easily susceptible;

That one must forever strive for excellence, or even perfection, in any task however small, and never be satisfied with the second best;

That no success or achievement in material terms is worthwhile, unless it serves the needs or interests of the country and its people, and is achieved by fair and honest means;

That good human relations not only bring great personal rewards but are essential to the success of an enterprise.

Yours sincerely,

J.R.D. Tata

"I think this extraordinary letter, and the principles it sets forth, withstand the test of time." Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian Tata Companies and author of the book #Tata Stories

Shared with students and teachers at My Good School to help them understand the meaning of a good life and how we need to look at values and ethics in the world and aspire to make it a better place. We have contacted Mr Harish Bhat and hope to hear from him soon.

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