Media mogul Ramoji Rao no more; Prez Murmu, PM Modi, CMs of several states condole death

Ramoji Rao
Ramoji Rao

Hyderabad | Media baron and Ramoji Group chairman Ch Ramoji Rao, who revolutionised the news and entertainment industry, passed away at a hospital here early on Saturday.

He was 88.

Ramoji Rao, who was admitted to the hospital on June 5 following respiratory problems, breathed his last at 4.50 am, according to Eenadu sources.

The mortal remains were shifted to his residence in the famous Ramoji Film City near here.

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, chief ministers of several states including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and film personalities mourned the death of Ramoji Rao.

Former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, former Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan, BRS leader K T Rama Rao, superstar Chiranjeevi, several leaders from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and film personalities paid homage to Rao at the Ramoji Film City.

Ramoji Rao, who created a sensation in the media industry in undivided Andhra Pradesh with the Eenadu newspaper and ETV group of channels, was a recipient of Padma Vibhushan.

Ramoji Rao's rise to become the founder of Eenadu, the largest circulated Telugu daily, and a media mogul, from humble beginnings is legendary.

The firms founded by him -- Eenadu newspaper, ETV bouquet of channels, the world's largest film city Ramoji Film City, Dolphin group of hotels, Margadarsi Chit Fund, film production company Ushakiran movies, Priya Foods and others provided jobs to thousands and continue to impact the lives of millions in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and elsewhere.

He also made several films some of which got awards at the national level.

According to reports, Ramoji Rao's net worth is estimated at over USD four billion (over Rs 32,000 crore).

He is survived by his wife and a son. Another son passed away a few years ago due to ill health.

President Murmu said Ramoji Rao's contributions to the industry will be long remembered. "With the demise of Shri Ramoji Rao, India has lost a titan of the media and entertainment sector," President Murmu said in a post on X.

Expressing grief at the death of Ramoji Rao, PM Modi described him as a 'visionary' who revolutionised Indian media.

Rao's rich contributions have left an indelible mark on journalism and the world of films, Modi said on X, adding that through his noteworthy efforts, he set new standards in innovation and excellence in the media and entertainment world.

"Ramoji Rao Garu was extremely passionate about India's development. I am fortunate to have got several opportunities to interact with him and benefit from his wisdom. Condolences to his family, friends and countless admirers during this difficult time. Om Shanti," he said.

Rahul Gandhi said Ramoji Rao's contributions to journalism, cinema, and entertainment have left a lasting impact and transformed the media landscape.

Sitharaman said PM Modi sent her as his emissary to pay his respects, the

TDP Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu pays his last respects to mortal remains of entrepreneur Ramoji Rao, in Hyderabad.
TDP Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu pays his last respects to mortal remains of entrepreneur Ramoji Rao, in Hyderabad.

Union Government's respects to Ramoji Rao and also to place a wreath of homage.

She said she met the family members of Ramoji Rao and expressed Modi's condolences and also placed a wreath to pay homage.

Chandrababu Naidu described Ramoji Rao as a "Yug Purush" and recalled the departed media mogul's stellar contributions to society and the high standards he maintained.

Telangana Governor C P Radhakrishnan called Ramoji Rao a 'true legend', who revolutionised Indian media and cinema with his profound and extensive contributions.

Telangana CM Revanth Reddy termed Ramoji Rao's death as a "great loss" to the Telugu newspaper and media industry.

The CM, who is in Delhi to attend the CWC meeting, directed state Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari to conduct Ramoji Rao's funeral with state honours, a CMO release said.

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to observe state mourning on June 9 and June 10. During the state mourning, the National Flag will be flown at half mast from June 9 to 10 throughout the state and there will be no official entertainment, an official communication said.

Noted producer D Suresh Babu said film shootings will not be held on Sunday as a mark of respect to Ramoji Rao.

Mourning the passing of Rao, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin hailed the media mogul's contributions to journalism and film industry.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a post on his X handle, said Rao's curiosity, foresight and determination left an indelible mark on every field he ventured into, serving as an example and inspiration to all.

The Editors Guild of India said Ramoji Rao, who headed the Guild in the past, would be best remembered as being a media owner who on several occasions took on the establishment and fearlessly spoke truth to power.

Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan and Jr NTR, ace director SS Rajamouli and several other prominent cinema personalities also expressed grief over the demise of Ramoji Rao.

Rajamouli said the only way tributes can be paid to Ramoji Rao is by conferring Bharat Ratna on him.

"ONE man with his 50 years of resilience, hardwork 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 said on X.

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