Prayers, Messages Pour In For The Ambanis

Updated: Jun 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
Abraham Lincoln once said: The better part of ones life consists of his friendships. As Indias business icon Dhirubhai Ambani fights the battle of his life in the intensive care unit of Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai, the Whos Who of Indias political, business and bureaucratic world have come together to offer their moral support to the Ambani family.

There are thousands of others who are praying that the 69-year old patriarch of the Rs 65,000 crore turnover (over $13 billion) Reliance group stages a comeback, just as he has done successfully scores of times during his unrivalled and eventful business life.

Masses were held in churches in Delhi and Mumbai on Thursday. At Golden Temple in Amritsar, the seat of Sikh religion, an Akhand Path (uninterrupted recital of holy book Guru Granth Sahib for 48 hours) began at 4 pm. A large congregation of devouts, led by Shahi Imam Maulana Syed Ali, gathered at the Shahi Shia Mosque in Delhi to pray for Mr Ambanis recovery.

Presidential candidate APJ Abdul Kalam rang up Mr Ambanis younger son Anil Ambani to enquire about his health on Thursday. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made his second call on Wednesday. Home Minister LK Advani spoke to Mr Anil Ambani on Tuesday night. Mr Vajpayees principal secretary and national security advisor Brajesh Mishra did so on Wednesday. Cabinet secretary TR Prasad led the bureaucracy in expressing concern over Mr Ambanis health.

Several Cabinet ministers too have been in touch with the Mr Mukesh and Mr Anil Ambani. Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and disinvestment minister Arun Shourie called up Mr Anil Ambani on Wednesday. Health minister CP Thakur offered the expertise and services of top government doctors and hospitals to the family on governments behalf.

Almost all chief ministers have called up the Ambanis during the last three days. Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu visited the hospital on Thursday while Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah rang up Mr Anil Ambani. Concerned politicos amongst the callers included Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, Uttaranchal chief minister ND Tiwari, Chattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao rang up to enquire about Mr Ambanis health while another ex-PM HD Deve Gowda visited the hospital on Wednesday. Delhi Bar Associations president Ved Prakash Sharma led nearly 10,000 lawyers in the Capital in sending their best wishes for speedy recovery of Mr Ambani.

Another VIP who called on the Ambanis was Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi.

Shankaracharya of Kanchi mutt Jayendra Saraswati also visited and blessed the ailing Reliance Group chairman. The seer prayed for an early recovery of the business tycoon. Religious gurus of the Vaishnava and Swaminarayana sects also came and offered special prayers for his early recovery.

Tata Power deputy managing director Firdoz Vandrevala too visited the hospital. Trinamool Congress MP Nitish Sengupta, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, State Bank of Indias chairman Janki Vallabh, the Industrial Development Bank of India chairman PP Vora and former Union minister Buta Singh also visited Breach Candy hospital to meet the family and enquire about the patriarchs health.