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Ramoji Rao, Pioneer in Indian Media and Cinema, Passes at 87

by theparliamentnews.com
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Hyderabad, India – Ramoji Rao, the esteemed head of the ETV Network and the visionary behind Ramoji Film City, passed away at the age of 87 while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Hyderabad. Rao, who had been admitted to Star Hospital on June 5 due to high blood pressure and breathlessness, succumbed to his ailments in the early hours of today.

Rao’s remains have been transported to his residence at Ramoji Film City, where numerous political leaders and prominent personalities from the film industry are expected to gather to pay their final respects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Tribute

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences, highlighting Rao’s transformative impact on Indian media. “The passing away of Ramoji Rao is extremely saddening,” PM Modi stated on X. “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.”

PM Modi further acknowledged Rao’s dedication to India’s development, mentioning his personal interactions with the media baron. “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 added.

A Legacy in Media and Film

Born in 1936, Cherukuri Ramoji Rao was a towering figure in Indian media. As the head of the Ramoji Group, he established Ramoji Film City, recognized as the world’s largest film production facility. His influence extended to print media through the Eenadu newspaper, one of the most widely circulated Telugu-language dailies.

In the 1980s, Rao’s media empire played a pivotal role in the rise of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), reflecting his close associations with prominent political figures like NT Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu. His contributions to journalism and media earned him respect and admiration from both political and film fraternities.

Rao also led the ETV Network, one of India’s most extensive television networks, and the production company Ushakiran Movies. His production portfolio included around 50 films and telefilms, and his work earned him prestigious accolades, including two Filmfare Awards and a National Award.

Honors and Recognitions

In 2016, Rao was honored with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, in recognition of his contributions to journalism, literature, and education. This honor underscored his role as a transformative figure in Indian media, celebrated for his innovative spirit and commitment to excellence.

As the nation mourns the loss of Ramoji Rao, his legacy continues to inspire future generations in media and entertainment. His visionary leadership and dedication to promoting journalistic integrity and cinematic excellence have left an enduring impact on India’s cultural landscape.

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