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Ghanshyam Das Birla (Manoj Publications)

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  • Ghanshyam Das Birla was born on 10 April 1894 at Pilani village, in the Indian state then known as Rajputana, as a member of the Marwari community.[1] His grandfather, Shiv Narayana Birla, had diversified from the traditional Marwari business of moneylending against pawned items. He had left Pilani for Calcutta, using his modest capital to establish a dealership in cotton.

  • The venture was successful and he came back to Pilani to build a mansion (or Haveli), which still stands by the name Birla Haveli. G. D. Birla's father, Baldeodas Birla, was adopted from the Navalgarh Birla family. Baldeodas's fortune was made in partnership with his nephew, Fulchand Sodhani, through speculation in the opium trade running into more than 10 million rupees, in which his elder brother Jugal Kishore Birla had earned a name.He was involved in the so-called Rodda-Catridge affair and went underground for three months in 1916.

Manoj Publications


  1. In 1905, Ghanshyam was married to Durga Devi, daughter of Mahadev Somani, in a match arranged in the normal Indian way by parents. The Somani family hailed from Chirawa, a village not far from Ghanshyam's native Pilani, and belonged to the same community Maheshwari as the Birlas. Just like the Birla brothers, Mahadev Somani had moved to Calcutta in pursuit of business
  2. . Indeed, in future years, it was he who would teach the nuances of the Brokerage system to the young Ghanshyam. In 1909, Durga Devi gave birth to a son who was named Lakshmi Nivas Birla. She had contracted tuberculosis by this time, and she died in 1910. In 1912, Ghanshyam was married to Maheshwari Devi (also known as Mahadevi), daughter of Premsukhdas Karwa, again in a match arranged in the normal Indian way by parents.
  3. The Karwa family hailed from the village of Gedha Ramshe in Marwad. Two sons (Krishna Kumar and Basant Kumar) and three daughters (Chandrakala Devi Daga, Anasuya Devi Tapuriah and Shanti Devi Maheshwari) were born to Mahadevi. However, she also contracted the same disease (tuberculosis) as Durga Devi. By this time, Ghanshyam had educated himself on the causes and control of tuberculosis. He moved Mahadevi and all the children to Solan, a hill-station in the Himalayas, in the care of a dedicated personal doctor. However, the worst could be delayed but not prevented. Mahadevi died in Solan on January 6, 1926, leaving six children (five of them born to her), including three children who were less than five years old.
  4. Although he was hardly into his 30s, Ghanshyam did not marry again. Mahadevi's death caused the children to be separated from their father also, as he could not raise six children single-handedly. Indeed, the children were split into two groups: the four elder children (three boys and Chandrakala) were sent to be raised in the household of Brij Mohan Birla (GD's younger brother), while the two youngest (Anasuya and Shanti, both girls) were sent to Rameshwar Das Birla (GD's elder brother).

Additional Information

HSN Code 4901
Language English
Children Books : Age Wise 13 Years & Above (Teens), 6-12 Years (Young Readers)
Biographies & Autobiographies Business
Binding Paperback
Year Of Publication 2008
Pages 144
Publisher Manoj Publications
Bar Code 9788131007792

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