How Nehru Killed JRD Tata?
Out of the Many Tragedies the First PM of India gave to the Gullible Indians from Kashmir to Chinese War,talking Pancha sheel and surrendering huge Indian Territory to th Chinese,his outstanding ‘Contribution was also to have personally Killed the Enthusiasm of a Great Patriot,JRD Tata…’
JRD Tata’s passion as an youngster of 15 when he flew with Louis Bleriot,was always to become an ace Pilot.When Charles Landberg made his pioneer Trans Atlantic flight,JRD made his own ink drawing of the ‘Spirit of St.Louis,Landberg’s Plane and copied a poem in French by Maurice Rostand in his red Scrapbook.
When Sir Victor Sassoon opened the First Flying Club in 1928,JRD immediately signed for taking training under a Trainer,E.D.Cummings and he signed the first recipt of his first Pilot’s Logbook on 22nd Jan1929!After 3Hrs45 mts of dual flying on Feb3rd he went on a solo!His diary says:
Feb3rd1929..Time in Air,15 Mts.
One can imagine the real passion in JRD when he gets an envelope with a blue card with Golden letters,an viator’s Certificate issued by Royal Aero Club of India and Burma on behalf of the Aeronautique Internationale (FAI)signed by Victor Sassoon,in his capacity as Chairman.It bore the NO 1(see pic)being the First Indian to get this Pilot Licence!
This passion is so immeasurable and later on we will see how JRD’s passion is single handedly killed by a man called Nehru!
JD writes in his diary “No document has ever given me greater thrill than this blue card with Gold letters,deliverd on 10th Feb1929.The fact that it bore the NO 1 added to my pride in owning it,even tho’ it meant nothing except that I was the First Indian to be qualified!”
It is pertinent to note here that his elder sister,Sylla,was the First Indian woman to get this Licence later,his younger sister,Rodabeh ,being the IInd woman .His younger brother Jimmy was prolific as a Pilot,and to the shock of JRD he gets killed in an Austrian Flying daredevilry!JRD’s passion to be learning all intricate mechanical details was so immense that he used to keep all his tools even in the late 90s in an organised manner in his Bungalow(see pic).Once when he was bedridden with a fracture,he needed a particular spanner,he directed his friend, “Second Shelf,third item from th Right!”..
A Man of meticulous planning and execution!
By March 1929 he had flown in excess of 20 Hrs and he wanted to buy his own plane,a Gypsy Moth from De Havilland for 1200 Pounds(Sir Geoffery of De Havilland was so obsessed with animals and moths,he named all his plane as Moths!)By now he had obtained the A licence and was frequently flying between Croydon,London to France with family and friends.Unfortunately when he took possession of his own plane ,he fell ill at Naples and cdn’t fly his own plane o Bombay.He sailed in Victoria with his plane to reach Bombay!
JRD was flying from Mumbai to Nagpur,and all other places but was always was, meticulous to keep all the imp instruments like Compass etc., well maintained.JRD was not happy with an Engineer,Major Vatch,who was not keeping the attention he ought to have given for the compass,tho’ he was a superb instructor!
JRD and Man Mohan Singh!
On Nov 1929,there was an ad in Times,London,announcing Aga Khan had offered a prize of 500 Pound Sterling,for the First Indian to fly solo between England and India,starting at either end.The conditions were:
1.Flight must be Solo.
2.Must be completed within 6 weeks from the Dt of starting.
3.Prize Open for One Year from 1st Jan 1930!
Among the competitors was an young Sikh called Man Mohan Singh!
He ,acc to Mr.Grey,an English critic in Aviation Journal ,was very highly enthusiastic that he made 3 attempts from Coydon but cdn’t proceed beyond Europe and returned to London.His plane was named as Miss India and Grey wrote in the journal
“He has named the plane Miss India and he is likely to do so!”
JRD quotes in his biography that Grey was cryptic and some of his comments are to be remembered for ever,like this one at that time, when Planes were carrying Mails :
“Mails may be lost,but never delayed!Passengers may be delayed but never lost!”
(Sorry to see Two rcent Malaysan Airlines’ .tragdies!)
Another competitor was Apy Engineer,18 Yr old ..
He also had a co-pilot Chawla,tho’ it was not allowed!They completed the flight from London to Bombay in 4 weeks and got a consolation prize from the Dir Civil Aviation!
The Third participant was JRD Tata..
All others were flying from London to Bombay but JRD was flying from Bombay to London,which acc to experts was much tougher due to wind speed etc.,
On May 1st 1930,JRD took off from Juhu to Karachi,where from the Aga Khan Prize race was to start.JRD had planned so well that he had asked the instructor King to check thCompass and all Map and other details.The flight path was a closely held secret except his Two sisters and Jal Naoroji,his colleague,who was supposed to be in touch with JRD all thro the Race.
On 3rd May JRD took off from Karachi and via Gawdar stopped at Jask.He spent the first night at th Rep of Burmah Shell Representative..From Jask he flew to Hormuz,Lingeh,Bushire,and Basra.JRD departed from Rutbah on 6th May and he shd have been crossing the Mediterranean Coast,but JRD smelled something was wrong looking below!He still flew north,attributing th drift to the wind.,but he grew suspicious of hs compass!It turned out that he has been flying over Sea of Galilee,a 100 miles North of what ought to have been his correct path!He force landed in a small I World War strip and with great difficulty found out from a local Peasant,who didn’t know English,it was Haifa!JRD knew it was the compass and he wrote in his diary:
“My thoughts flew back to Juhu immediately,and I didn’t have any kind feelings about a certain Mr.King,the Flying Club Engineer!He was supposed to have checked the compass after the last Jamshedpur Flight.Obviously,he hadn’t done a damned thing.As aresult I lost nearly a whole day with this unnecessay delay!”
JRD halted at the GAZA airstrip for fuelling.He saw another De Havilland Gypsy Moth approaching.After landing it taxied at full throttle,and turned to park along side JRD’s plane,missing it by inches!It was the irrepressible and perpetually ebullient Manmohan Singh,who had made it this far in his 3d attempt!JRD says, ‘A remarkable character who hunted desert Gazelles,flying low and shooting them downwith a Revolver!He joined the Royal Air force as a Pilot Officer during II WW and was tragically killed in Australia in 1942’ JRD took off after checking refuelling and the plugs from Gaza for Cairo!JRD got help from an Engineer to get his Compass repaired,at Alexandria.It was full 25 Deg out and the Engineer marvelled at JRD’s navigational skills having flown from Bombay all the way without a proper Compass!
Gesture to a Competitor:
At Alexandria,JRD noticed another Moth beig parked and surmised it must be Aspy who was also participating in the competition.Aspy came out and greeted JRD and said
‘He was waiting for spare plugs to arrive as he didn’t have them.’
JRD gave his spares saying “Since mine is a 4 cylinder and I have 8 as spares,I can spare the 4 for you!”An overjoyed Aspy insisted JRD to take his Mae West Life jacket with which JRD crosses the Mediterranean!Both Aspy and JRD flew off in opp. Directions.
Due to adverse weather from Rome,JRD arrived at Croydon on 12th May 1930,whereas Aspy had arrived a few hours earlier at Karachi to win the Aga Khan prize!The difference in time taken was just 2.5 hrs only!Manmohan Singh also made it to Karachi but was disqualified for having taken more time than allowed!Aspy became an Engineer in Airforce later on!JRD regretted having lost the race mainly due to bad compass and the oute selection!
When JRD came back to India thro an Imperial airline at Karachi,a group of Scouts greetd JRD and it was Aspy who received him with a Silver Medal ,engraved with the words “To JRD Tata –For Sportsmanship!”
One can imagine JRD’s great passion for flying from this episode.
He brought Neville Vincent to start Tata Airlines in the 36s.Tata Airlines was so successful that this anecdote wd reveal its reputation:
One day in 1937 ,a Swiss Lady enquired about the Time in Zurich Airport.Some one replied : “See Tata Airlines is arriving.It must be 11 AM!”
This Tata Airlines was Naionalised in 1953 by Jawaharlal Nehru.JRD unable to bear this,writes in his diary “my own close friend stabbed me on my back!”Adding insult to injury,Nehru sends word thro a Joker called Jagajivan Ram to convey this Nationalisation.History knows what wd have happened if Tata Airlines had continued..
Air India wd have saved Trillions of Tax Payers money,which is now lying with many Ministers’ Swiss Accts and Praful Patels’ Seaside Resorts!Pathetic indeed!
Mr.K.G.Appusamy,my close friend ,Srinivasa Naidu’s Father :-
In 1962,JRD got the idea of Re-enacting the First Flight of 1932 from Karachi to Bombay.But he faced many hurdles like the Puss Moth is so rare that a fly worthy plane is impossible.Also JRD has become such a celebeirty in India,people advised him not to venture out.Still he asks his trusted Air India’s Dynamic Engineer,Mr.K.G.Appusamy,to visit Associated Airworks at Dum Dum,Calcutta,where a Leopard Moth was found. ‘It is to the credit of Mr.Appusamy,’JRD writes, ‘that he procures all parts necessary and makes it Airworthy.Mr.Appusamy’s report in this regard makes intresting reading,wherein he mentions in some detail,what Murad Fycee has described as a ‘virtual rebirth!’His report includes an astonishing shopping list of repairing an airplane like,Timber,plywood,fabric and glue!’Just 11 days before the test flight,a mishap happened,while Leopard being ferried to Bombay,when badly damaged the Rt Hand landing gear.JRD writes, ‘when every one has given up hopes,not Appusamy!His team worked round the clock in shifts,and a few days later,a second report from him dispersed the gloom brought on by the pessimissm of the first!’Mr.Appusamy had successfully converted the Leopard to a real 1932Puss Moth,excepting for the Murphy VHF Radio,which was not there in 1932!
The plane ferried to Karachi and exactly on 15th Oct 1962,along with an ace Pilot of Air India,Mr.Viswanath,JRD piloted the plane and landed in Ahemedabad for re-fuelling as done in 1932.One can see the refuelling pic enacted with a Burmah Shell Bullock Cart! On his successful landing in Juhu Airport,he was cheered by a huge crowd of well wishers and recd congratulatory messages from Sir Geoffery De Havilland himself!
The entire credit for this journey goes to Mr.K.G.Appusamy,acc to JRD,an engineer from Coimbatore, with a very humble beginning!
He later on became the MD of Air India too.He recently passed away in Srinivasa Naidu’s house!
Acc to me ,Nehru has literally killed JRD’s enthusiasm of tata Airlines and also his famous Bombay Plan of 1946!JRD joined Swatantra Party of Rajaji,only to caution Nehru,that India was going in the wrong Direction.That was in 1962!
Arnab Goswamis and Sardesais,must debate to what extent India wd have prospered,if only Tata Airlines had been continued instead of Nationalisation by that wonderful First PM of India!It is regrettable that the damages done by Nehru is still not known to many gullible Indians!Majority of Indians are so Brain washd that when Chandrayan Lands on the Moon on Nov14th,we don’t have the guts to ask those Scientists “Why Not on Oct 2nd?Why Not on Abdul Kalam’s Birthday!”
JRD is an amazing man ,every Indian must be proud of for ever!
Today,July 29th is his birthday!