The French Revolution

Navsari, 1856. In a nondescript house, a midwife had to work hard to save a premature child who was christened Ratan, a popular name those days. At the time of his birth, his family name, Tata, in Gujarati literally derived from tikha tamtamta or short tempered, was just emerging from ordinariness. His uncle, Nusserwanji, had broken with the family tradition of practicing priests, and begun a trading firm in Bombay to sell among other things, opium to the Chinese. Nusserwanji’s son, Jamsetji, born in 1839 in Navsari, would become India’s first industrialist, the legendary founder of the Tata Group. Young......

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