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Jamnalal Bajaj-a humanitarian, philanthropist, social reformer

"It is not kingdom I desire, nor heaven, nor release from rebirth; what I desire is the destruction of the pains of creatures scorched by suffering."

Jamnalal Bajaj was born November 04, 1889, into a poor family in a village named Kashi Ka Bas, near Sikar. He was adopted by a distant relative, Seth Bachhraj, a rich Rajasthani merchant from Wardha. He was later adopted as a grandson by Seth Bachhraj(bajaj) and his wife Sadibai Bachhraj(bajaj), a rich Rajasthani merchant couple hailing originally from Rajasthan but settled in Wardha, Maharashtra. Seth Bachhraj(bajaj) was a distant relative on his father's side and was a well-known and respected trader in the British Raj, thus Bajaj got involved with the family business Seth when grown up.

During this time, he learnt the techniques of business including how to sell goods and how to keep strict accounts, He was one of the earliest industrialists and businessmen from India also Jamnalal Bajaj was a philanthropist and freedom fighter. Before the death of his adopted father, he learnt everything and thus he founded a business firm in 1926 that came to be later known as Bajaj group of industries.

The group now has 24 companies, including 6 listed companies Bajaj Auto Ltd, Bajaj Auto, Mukand Ltd, Bajaj Electricals Ltd and Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd. Several institutions in India are known by his name, including the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. JB Nagar of Andheri, Mumbai is named after him. Jamnalal Bajaj Award was established in 1978 by the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation given away every year on his birth anniversary. He was also a close associate and follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Gandhi had adopted him as his son.

"Honesty over profits, action over words, and the common good over personal gain' was Jamnalalji's motto. Gandhiji 'adopted' him as his fifth son since he exemplified Mahatma Gandhi's principles to such an extent."

He wanted Gandhi to move to Wardha and make it the centre of his activities. After the Dandi March in April 1930, Gandhi moved to Sevagram, a small village near Wardha, since he wanted to live close to the rural populace. Gandhi vowed not to return to Sabarmati Ashram until freedom was achieved. Jamanalal was named the president of Gandhi Seva Sangha, a group of workers who dedicated their time to constructive work. He was later elected a member of the Congress Working Committee and as the treasurer of Congress in 1933.

Along with C. Rajagopalachari, he formed the Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha to promote Hindi learning throughout the country, He was the first Treasurer of the Managing Committee of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, starting in 1927. While still acting as treasurer, he became a life member of the university in 1928, The Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation was founded in 1976 to promote Gandhian constructive programmes and aid constructive workers dedicated to the national cause. The foundation has established four annual prizes, each with a cash prize of Rs. 500,000/- or its foreign currency equivalent, a citation, and a trophy, During the First World War, he was approached by the British for monetary help and in return, he was conferred on the title of Rai Bahadur, a title he later surrendered during the non-cooperation movement of 1921.

He got attracted to Gandhi’s freedom struggle movement and principles of Ahimsa. Deeply impressed by the routine activities of the ashram, he brought his wife Jankidevi and his children to live there. He also dedicated much of his wealth to the poor and it was in line with the trusteeship concept proposed by Gandhi. He also took initiatives in the removal of untouchability, promotion of Hindi, Khadi and Village Industries.

He was one of those millionaires who worked for underprivileged citizens lf this land.


Jamnalal Bajaj was honest with himself and others and attempted to be as realistic as possible.

India Lost this Son on 11 February 1942 (aged 52), Wardha, Maharashtra .

"A difference between Businessman and industrialist, businessman focuses on profit & losses about his business but industrialist taking care of his employee family too"

And this eminent personality will be the epitome of those core values of respect, honesty, integrity and hard work at the heart of all we do forever and ever.

Written By - Raghavendra Anand Jangam


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