Curated By: Business Desk
Last Updated: August 16, 2023, 19:36 IST
Bajaj is a name with which the majority of Indians are familiar with. Most of us have had an appliance from Bajaj in our homes. Today, let us know about the founder of the Bajaj Group of companies, who was also one of Mahatma Gandhi’s close associates. Jamnalal Bajaj was born on November 4, 1889, to a poor family, in a village called Kashi Ka Bas, Rajasthan. In 1894, he was adopted by Seth Bachharaj Bajaj, a rich businessman. By 12 he was married to Janki Devi, and he got involved in the family business of his adoptive parents at age 17, in Wardha (Maharashtra). Jamnalal Bajaj established many factories and companies after he took the reins of the company. When Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa, Bajaj became a fan of his teachings and wanted him to make Wardha the centre of his freedom movement. Jamnalal Bajaj later donated 20 acres of land to Mahatma Gandhi. Bajaj was adopted as a son for the second time in his life by Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi considered Bajaj his fifth child because he was so fond of him. Even though he was a very wealthy man, Jamnalal had ethics and principles which he stuck to. Being an owner of a lot of properties did not make him lose his values, and he kept himself aware of the truth of life. According to the Free Press Journal, “Bajaj really took into his own the Gandhian way of life and principles.” It was his persuasion that brought Gandhi to Wardha and made it the capital centre of the freedom struggle. Along with managing his business empire, Bajaj was also very active in the freedom struggle in princely states like Sikar, Bijolia and Jaipur in 1939. He died at the age of 52 on February 11, 1942.
A special commemorative stamp was issued by the India Postal Department to honour Jamnalal Bajaj for his patriotic acts towards the country during the freedom struggle. The Bajaj family’s net worth in 2022 was 14.6 billion dollars, according to Forbes. They climbed to number 10 in the Forbes list of India’s richest.