the Jewel of India
Read to understand
A. Answer these
questions with reference to the context.
‘It was a decision that saddened him.’
Who does ‘him’ refer to?
Ans. ‘Him’ refers to JRD Tata.
What decision is referred to here?
Nehru’s decision to nationalize Air India is referred to here.
What action did he take after the decision
Air India was nationalized in 1953, JRD did not lose interest in the airline
but continued as a very dedicated chairman.
‘“I am not prepared to oblige the government on the former and I am not the latter.”’
Who is ‘I’?
Ans. ‘I’ is JRD
What does not obliging the government ‘on
the former’ mean?
meant that he is not dead.
What does the speaker mean by ‘I am not the
Ans. He meant that he
is not a politician.
What situation prompted him to say this?
Ans. He said
this so because the Bharat Ratna is usually given to people who are dead, or
it is given to politicians.
B. Fill in
the blanks with information from the text. Write not more than three words in
1. JRD Tata was the first Indian to get a commercial pilot’s licence.
2. The first flight of Tata Aviation
Service connected Bombay, Ahmedabad, and Karachi.
3. Air India was nationalized by Jawaharlal Nehru in
4. JRD used his personal wealth to set up JRD Tata Trust and other institutions.
Chawla and Sudha Murthy were
among those inspired by his spirit of adventure and his humility.
How did JRD develop an interest in flying?
Ans. JRD had grown up in France watching the famous aviator
Louis Bleriot’s early flights and had taken a joyride in an aeroplane as a
fifteen-year-old. That was the beginning of a lifelong fascination for flying.
What distinction did JRD achieve in his mid-twenties? How did he respond? Why?
Ans. In his mid-twenties, JRD earned the distinction of becoming
the first Indian to be granted a commercial pilot’s licence. The blue and gold
certificate made him extremely happy as it signaled the beginning of a dream
coming true for him.
What according to JRD was the solution to India’s poverty?
Ans. JRD was grieved by the
poverty he saw around him and concluded that the country’s progress lay in
controlling its population and in ensuring its people were educated. He
fervently believed that India had great intellectual talent.
4. What steps did he take that made him a
true nation builder?
Ans. Nation building wasn’t mere rhetoric for him. He proved his
genuineness by transferring his personal wealth to the JRD Tata Trust that he
set up in 1944 to aid educational and other institutions. A few years later, he
sold a part of his share in one of the Tata companies and an apartment in
Bombay. He used this money to establish the JRD and Themla Tata Trust, which still
works to improve the lot of India’s disadvantaged women.
What personality traits did JRD dislike? Why?
Ans. JRD disliked pomposity, carelessness, and a casual
attitude. He disliked these attitudes because he believed that excellence could
only be achieved by taking care to do things correctly and giving attention to
seemingly small things as well.
Why were all sorts of people drawn towards JRD?
Ans. JRD was a humble man who always upheld his principles of trust,
sincerity and diligence. He valued diligent workers and encouraged others to do
their best. He was never interested in receiving honours, preferring instead to
get things done and ‘practice what he preached.’ These qualities drew others to
Discuss and write
These are some of JRD’s personal qualities. Put them in an order of importance,
1 is the most important. (Answer will vary)
of humour 10
of these qualities do you think you already have?
Ans. Do it yourself.
Which of these qualities would you like to develop?
Ans. Do it yourself.