Rajamouli Requests Bharat Ratna for Ramoji Rao
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Rajamouli Requests Bharat Ratna for Ramoji Rao

The Telugu film industry and the broader Indian media landscape are mourning the loss of Ramoji Rao, a towering figure whose contributions have left an indelible mark. The news of his passing on Saturday morning has prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from various sectors, including film, sports, and politics. Among the many voices paying homage to Rao, filmmaker SS Rajamouli has made a significant request: he has called for the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, to be conferred upon the late media mogul.

Taking to his X handle, Rajamouli expressed his deep respect and admiration for Ramoji Rao. “ONE man with his 50 years of resilience, hard work, and innovation provided employment, livelihood, and hope for millions. The only way we can pay tribute to Ramoji Rao garu is conferring him with ‘BHARAT RATNA’,” Rajamouli wrote. His heartfelt plea underscores the immense impact Rao had on various industries and the lives of countless individuals.

Rajamouli also visited Ramoji Rao’s residence in the Film City to pay his last respects. He emphasized that Rao’s contributions spanned multiple sectors, making him a role model for many. “One man put up so many institutions in so many sectors… He stood as a role model to many… We can pay tribute to him by conferring him with Bharat Ratna. I request both the state government and the central government that he definitely deserves it,” Rajamouli added.

The call for Bharat Ratna has resonated with many in the Telugu film industry. Telugu film director Srinu Vaitla also expressed his grief over Rao’s passing, highlighting the profound loss felt by many. “I cannot describe my love towards Ramoji Rao… He’s a great man. It is extremely saddening. It is a great loss. I convey my condolence to his family and pray to God that may his soul rest in peace,” Vaitla said.

Ramoji Rao passed away while undergoing treatment at Star Hospital in Hyderabad. He was 87. His legacy is vast, encompassing numerous successful business ventures and media productions. Under his leadership, Eenadu became a major force in Telugu media. His other business ventures include the film production house Usha Kiran Movies, the film distribution company Mayuri Film Distributors, the financial services firm Margadarsi Chit Fund, and the hotel chain Dolphin Group of Hotels. He was also the head of the ETV Network of television channels. In 2016, he received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India, from then-President Pranab Mukherjee.

The news of Ramoji Rao’s death has sent shockwaves through the Telugu film industry. Celebrities like Chiranjeevi, Jr NTR, Ram Gopal Varma, Vishnu Manchu, and Manoj Manchu have expressed their grief on social media. Chiranjeevi, a Padma Bhushan awardee, compared Ramoji to Mount Meru, a symbol of steadfastness and strength. “Mount Meru, which does not bow to anyone… Divi Kegindi. Om Shanti,” he wrote on his X handle.

RRR star Jr NTR penned a long note expressing his sorrow. “Visionaries like Sri Ramoji Rao are one in a million. A media tycoon and a giant of Indian cinema, his absence is irreparable. The news that he is no longer with us is very sad,” he wrote. Jr NTR also reminisced about his introduction to the Telugu film industry through the film ‘Ninnu Chhadalani,’ a memory he cherishes deeply.

Ram Gopal Varma described Ramoji Rao’s death as unbelievable, stating that Rao had transformed from an individual into an institution. “The Telugu states won’t be the same without his towering personality looming over the horizon. More than a man, he is a force, and I find it difficult to imagine the death of a force,” Varma wrote.

Actor Manoj Manchu shared his sorrow, stating, “Deeply saddened by the loss of Ramoji Rao Garu. Since I was a child, I always looked up to him. His remarkable journey and legacy inspire us all. May his soul rest in peace. Sending strength to the family and loved ones. Om Shanti. Will miss you dearly sir.”

Vishnu Manchu, who is currently shooting for Kanappa, also expressed his condolences. “Deeply saddened by the passing of Ramoji Rao garu. Every time I had the fortune of meeting him, it was a profound life-learning lesson. His wisdom, courage, and righteousness left an indelible mark on me. He also was always supportive of the film industry. He built an empire that set unparalleled standards in journalism and entertainment. Today, there is a great void in the hearts of Telugu people and all who knew his immense contributions. India has lost one of its greatest media barons. His legacy will forever inspire us. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” he wrote.

Prime Minister Modi also took to his X handle to share a photo of himself with Ramoji Rao from one of their meetings. “The passing away of Shri Ramoji Rao Garu is extremely saddening. He was a visionary who revolutionized Indian media. His rich contributions have left an indelible mark on journalism and the world of films. Through his noteworthy efforts, he set new standards for innovation and excellence in the media and entertainment world,” Modi wrote.

Born on November 16, 1936, into an agricultural family, Cherukuri Ramoji Rao went on to become a business tycoon, media entrepreneur, and film producer. He was the head of Ramoji Group, which owns the world’s largest film production facility, Ramoji Film City, Eenadu newspaper, ETV Network, and film production company Usha Kiran Movies. His legacy is a testament to his vision, resilience, and innovation, making the call for Bharat Ratna a fitting tribute to his monumental contributions.