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:


"Mr. Raha's vision changed the fortunes of ONGC, India's one of the Navratna. His honesty, HR management skills and winning attitude makes him an icon for the people of modern India, who believe in values and ethics."
~ Sanjay Kade, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I have known Mr. Subir Raha personally. My father had worked under him in Indian Oil Corporation during the early eighties in Haldia. We have also met him later as our families shared a close relationship. My father was and still remains an ardent admirer of Mr. Raha. I have heard numerous stories about his talent, intellect and his strength of character. He truly was an exceptional human being. I offer my deepest condolences to the breaved family. May his soul rest in peace."
~ Anirban Dasgupta, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"Mr. Raha took over the reins of the gigantic public sector, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation on the 25th of May, 2001 at a time when ONGC was written off by all business analysts as an organisation with a limited future. The existing Directors had serious reservations against an outsider from the downstream petroleum sector taking over. The then, Dir (Fin) resigned in protest. Some of the other directors, also very senior in the board, also made their unhappiness felt. It was in this very trying moment that Mr. Raha joined office in Delhi.

Within a day or two of joining ONGC, Mr. Raha came over to Dehradun and conducted a meeting with senior officers, of which I was one. It is pertinent to mention here that I joined ONGC as a graduate trainee of the 1976 batch. I was posted as a General Manager in the Geodata Processing and Interpretation Centre in Dehradun which provided G&G services to the work centres. We were all very curious to meet him since we had heard numerous stories, the most notable being, a statement credited to Mr. Ram Naik, the then Minister of Petroleum.

Quote.
You had a gentleman in Mr. Bora as CMD ONGC. You will now have a Chairman.
Unquote.

This meeting was different from any meeting I had attended earlier. Most of us were from various institutes and we provided services to the operational area. Domain knowledge was our forte and we prided ourselves on that. (incomplete)"
~ ONGCian Gautam Sen, via Anjana Sen, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"He was truly a grt leader and a visionary. I remember reading in newspapers his contributions made to ONGC and taking it global. May he rest in peace."
~ Ankit Gupta, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I salute Mr. Raha for his extraordinary contribution towards the oil industries. People will always remember him for his work. He was one of the jewels for the development of our nation. May his soul rest in peace. I convey my heartiest condolence to his family."
~ S K Das, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"Subir Raha was indeed a great leader responsible for turnaround of ONGC. May his soul rest in peace. Vande Mataram."
~ 'Deshbhakta Hindustan', via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"I will remember his contribution in ONGC. He brought ONGC to become first Indian Company which has crossed land mark and given Rs 5000 crs profit in a quarter."
~ Praveen, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"Yes... I used to follow Subir Raha and his comments in Newspapers. He was all over the action a few yrs back. May his Soul Rest in Peace."
~ Yellapragada SivaRam, via rediff.com article, A Tribute To Subir Raha


"He was a great professional, leader and visionary. It indeed is an irreparable loss not only to the family but to the entire Hydrocarbon fraternity worldwide and to India in particular."
~ Naresh Kumar, Managing Director, Jindal Drilling & Industries Limited, via post


"You are one of the very few Bengalis, perhaps the loner in the country, whose conduct takes us back to the glorious days of Bengal’s past: the days of raw guts (Sir Ashutosh, Netaji, Khudiram, Matongini Hazra, Master da etc). Alas, now the trait is almost extinct. Neither I’m equating you, nor comparing you with them, what I intend to say is, you have the traces of such courage in you: reminiscent of them and that is why you are a totally different person in my eyes, who deserves special deference. In present days, amidst thriving sycophancy, it is so difficult to give clarions call where clandestine whisper is the order of the day, and you opted for the former.

I always aspired for a brave superior in my life (also tried to reach out to you in your ONGC days), but never got it: may be I don’t deserve, but certainly you deserve a better time: for us, for the society, for the country as a whole."
~ Santanu Chakrabarty, Marine Environment, Essar Energy Services Limited, via post


"A man of principle and great vision, he would be respected for his pioneering work for the promotion of social responsibility towards disabled persons. His noble ideas, services to humanity and devotion towards the cause of the disadvantaged will always be remembered fondly. We received his kind attention and generous help in installing the Computerised Braille Press at the Blind Boys' Academy here."
~ Swami Suparananda, Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys'Academy, Narendrapur, Kolkata, via post


"He was a wonderful friend and the founding President of our organization, and we greatly benefited from the leadership that he had provided to us. Mr. Raha's legacy at Global Compact Network has many aspects, but the most important one was his visionary support to our cause for creating a Responsible Business movement in India, at a time when Corporate Social Responsibility had not caught the attention of most business leaders in India. He was a remarkable man, and he made a difference in the lives of the many people in this country and beyond."
~ Uddesh Kohli, Executive Board Member, Global Compact Network, India, via post


"He has been a very active member of the Center of Organisation Development at Hyderabad and he actively contributed to the Center. He was very pragmatic and always helped with new ideas. We will greatly miss him at the Center. At a more personal level, I also had an opportunity to know him as he was on the Board of our Workhardt Hospitals for a brief period."
~ Habil Khorakiwala, Chairman, Wockhardt Limited, via post


"He was a fine gentleman, a management genius and someone we journalists always liked."
~ Jayanta Roy Chowdhury, Bureau Chief, The Telegraph, via email


"The Indian oil & gas industry has lost a visionary leader. He will be remembered not merely by the employees of ONGC and IndianOil but by all those who have been connected in any manner with the hydrocarbon industry anywhere in the world."
~ A K Arora, Director General, Petrofed

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