tributes: 95
Since my father Subir Raha passed away on February 1, 2010, my family has received hundreds of letters, emails and texts from his friends and associates - professional and personal, and also many people who had never met him in person or interacted with him directly, but have yet been moved in some way by his work and his personality. Words cannot express the pride and amazement we feel at the tributes we have received, at the fond reminiscences, and at the genuine outpouring of regret that he is no more. I'm sharing as many of the tributes as has been possible for me to digitise at this moment, since the bulk of the letters and memorial notes have to be manually keyed in, and a warm thank you to everyone for taking the time to write in and share your thoughts. ~ Shuva Raha


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From the Government of India:

"I am deeply grieved to learn about the passing away of Shri Subir Raha."
T K A Nair, Principal Secretary, Prime Minister's Office, New Delhi, via post


"Shri Raha has been one of the well-known and most knowledgeable technocrat oil industry had ever known. His tenure in the oil industry started from being a Marketing Executive to reach the peak of heading India's number one 'Navratna Company' is in itself a milestone. The imprint that he has left in oil industry will inspire many to learn from his vast knowledge and experience. The industry has lost a doyen and a good human being."
Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, via post


"We lost a great son of our State. He was of great help in our strive towards the industrial development of our State. As Chairman of the Expert Committee of PCPIR constituted by the Government of West Bengal, his contribution will always be remembered."
Nirupam Sen, Minister-in-Charge, Department of Commerce & Industries, Industrial Reconstruction, Public Enterprises and Development & Planning, Government of West Bengal, via post


"I had known Subir for quite a while. He spoke his mind freely without fear or favour. He was one of the finest Chief Executives I have seen."
B K Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission


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From mentors, peers, colleagues, associates, friends and the general public, in random order:


"I have worked with Mr Subir Raha in 1995-97, when he was in IOC and he was an unparalleled personality as a PSU Executive. His managerial skills as well as care for the employees are still admired in IOC. He will always be remembered for his effective management style."
~ Akhilesh Gupta, IOC, Panipat Petrochemicals Marketing Complex, via The Economic Times


"Subir Raha will certainly be remembered as one of the best business leaders independent India has ever produced. Very seldom, we have seen an article on him, about him, about his vision - the lack of it only reflects the stupidity of our media dealing with business who has a lop-sided focus on IT, some "branded" individuals, some "crooks", some "not-so-clean" folks but not on Mr. Raha and alike.

He was fiercely nationalist - did not have that classic Indian penchant for regional parochialism. He was extremely blunt about the political masters of India 2000, the likes of the Deoras of the world and he had to pay the price; just like Mr Sam Pitroda (luckily he was resurrected) faced with Unnikirishnan; like Dr. Satish Dhawan faced with Morarji Desai; like Russy Mody faced with Gulam Nabi... These hapless 2 penny political maniacs and in the current atmosphere they would be breeding fast; would always ensure that the leaders do suffocate if not they fall in their line. That's true for Indian and Indians in general; of course there are exceptions.

I had the privilege to listen to Mr. Raha in an academic circle - I was deeply impressed with his great raw belief in his organization, his people and in himself. A person full with life, intelligence and a great sense of humor and a deep respect for meritocracy. We truly lost a leader."
~ Sudip Majumdar, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I had various opportunities to know about Raha and ONGC. One thing came out during my discourses with various people in ONGC and the oil sector is that, the entire PSE oil sector is thoroughly corrupt, starting from all the ministers who have been in the helm to the last peon. It seems that at its nadir, in ONGC employees paid the accounts section bribes to get their travel bills passed!!!

Subir Raha stopped that, and paved the way for the inefficient and corrupts to leave the organisation. And I know people who belonged to both categories, the good and the bad. He stood up to Deora and his corrupt stooge, Sibal, and paid the price. He kept other efficient hyenas in check and got work out of them and personally worked 18 hour days.

They have not made another PSU CEO like Raha and probably there will never be another like him. It's a pity that, however liked he was in a limited circle, he never got the hero's appreciation which have been given to much lesser persons."
~ Subir Naq, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"When today evening I saw the tribute to Mr. Raha I was shocked what happened to him which has called for the tribute. Through this only I came to know that Mr. Raha is no more. I had retired from Bhilai Steel Plant (SAIL) and hence don't have much knowledge about his personality and his style of functioning. But through the newspaper report and the performance of ONGC I realised that Mr Raha must be exceptionally good in Leading and Managing such a vast organisation which had become Navratna and now MahaRatna public sector.

As was mentioned by those who has got opportunity to work with him that he had got exceptional courage to be truthful and honest which is becoming a rare quality nowadays. Most of the person whom I have seen lack the two and yet have gone far up as this happens only in India. But persons like Mr. Raha must be saluted and honoured through our heart for his moral disposition.

After having know his quality I could not stop my self in paying my tribute to him and praying God to give India such personality in India which is required in all the person who goes to the top and heads the organisation or the dept. Because of their indifferent attitude nation is losing crore of rupees in not getting the job done properly. They should learn from person like Mr Raha and have confidence that they too can go to the top with truthfulness and honesty.

My hats off to Mr. Raha and my condolences to his family. His untimely death is a grave loss to the Nation."
~ Arun Shrivastava, ex-SAIL, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I remember when I joined Indian Oil Corporation in 1983, I had got an opportunity to attend a meeting of LPG heads in Delhi when he was LPG head of Northern India. At the dinner, he approached me and asked 'you did not participaet in discussions much?' Being new, I told that I was absorbing the things. He immediately reacted and told 'like a Black Body'! However, I immediately replied 'Black Body is good reflector too'. He always respected the intelligent answer and all important postings of mine were done by him without any requests. He was a true protector of merit, honesty and hard working persons. MAY GOD GIVE PEACE TO HIS SOUL."
~ V K Verma, IOCL, New Delhi


"A truly great man."
~ Sanjeev Sen, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I worked with Mr. Subir when he was the Deputy General Manager (LPG) at IOC in Mumbai. He was a person with foresight. Mr. Raha was responsible of bringing ERP system in to IOC which is a great Kudos for him. In my entire career I would rate Mr. Raha as the best person to work with. Right now I am in USA and I am still to find anyone better than him. India has really lost the best person. May god bless his soul."
~ Harry, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I am sad to know the passing away of Subir Sir. Having been closest with him at Indian Society of Training and Development for many years especially at the 33rd IFTDO World Conference and Exhibition was a pleasure and a proud moment for me.

I have lost a leader, guide and a mentor. May the Almighty grant peace to the noble and a unique soul and grant strength to the members of family to bear the loss which is very personal to them.

Seeing and glancing through some of my album, tears rolled down my eyes in remembrance to a tearful shradhanjali to Him."
~ Narendera K Gupta, GM HRD & Training, Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt Ltd


"I happen to know Mr. Raha for his stubbornness which cost quite a few young careers! Mind you, these young guys themselves were no push overs. But Mr. Raha probably was in lot of hurry and had no stomach for a task finished with a slight imperfection. The PSU working probably was not cut out for him. I remember when he left IOC for ONGC, there were many who heaved a sigh of relief. In ONGC too, he was considered an outsider for a long time till he made his place. He was very very against complacency and faced lot of opposition in ONGC.

He had his own world outside office hours, many of us would scoff at! Yet this is how probably creative people are made of! Mr Raha, you remained enigmatic character! May you be in peace finally!"
~ Chander Sharma, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"May his soul rest in Peace."
~ Ramneek Goyal, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I am sure he could buy any young guy with a passion into his vision of the PSU. I can only wish if I could get a chance to meet him."
~ Abhi Ganguly, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I had the privilege of interacting with Mr Raha & being part of certain important discussions & meetings with him while I was working with FICCI. Mr Raha was an active member of the Hydrocarbon Committee. He had in him something that would take just about any discussion to an altogether different level! May his soul rest in peace!"
~ Richa Sinha, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"Subir Raha was great. But he had one folly. He was a smoker. And that too a heavy one. He would never take a long haul flight, but always break into smaller sectors. Because he wanted to smoke. Alas, its smoking that snatched his precious life at an age which is nowadays termed as most "able". He was just in his early sixties. My tribute to you Mr Raha and may your soul rest in peace."
~ A K Kumar, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"He still lives in all ONGCIANS."
~ Girish Kumar, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"He may no longer be with us but such people live their life as a symbol of the values they stand for. Long live..."
~ Kartik Swaminathan, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha

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