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OpinionsSudha Murty after a stellar role in Infosys enters Rajya Sabha

Sudha Murty after a stellar role in Infosys enters Rajya Sabha

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By Harihar Swarup

From being the person who stood behind Narayana Murthy as he lived his Infosys dream, Sudha Murty has over the years emerged as a more public person—as philanthropist, author of children's books, twice Padma winner, and now a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.

In 1981, she famously lent her husband Rs 10,250 that she had squirreled away, resulting in the creation of the $80 billion Indian IT Ltd. That image of Sudha Murty—as a woman behind the man, Narayan Murthy, who doggedly pursued success as the founder, CEO and Chairman of Infosys – stayed until her husband retired from executive roles in the company in 2014.

But those who have known Sudha Murty say Sudha was always her own person—the only woman in her engineering college in the 1960s in Karnataka's Hubballi, the first woman engineer at Pune's Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), now Tata Motors, and later the winner of the Padma Shri (2006) and Padma Bhushan (2023), philanthropist and writer of books for children, and mother-in-law of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, if that is an attainment, too.

On March 8, Sudha Murty was made a nominated member of Raya Sabha—one of 12 nominated by President Droupadi Murmu to the Upper House.

Speaking to media from Thailand, Sudha Murty said the news of the nomination had taken her by surprise. “I was not expecting it…. It is also a happy moment that the announcement (was), made on Women's Day. I believe this is a big platform for me. I will definitely try my best,” she said.

Over the past couple of years, Sudha Murty has made several public appearances and making news with her comments—on being “a pure vegetarian” and a woman of “simple tastes” – setting off Social Media trends and triggering speculation that she may be getting ready for a political debut.

Born on August 19, 1950 in Shiggaon in Haveri district of north Karnataka, Murty has often spoken of her father Dr R H Kulkarni, a surgeon who practiced at the government hospital in Hubballi and other parts of the state, as a major influence on her life. Her mother Vimla was a housewife.

After graduating in Electrical Engineering from BVB College in Hubballi, Sudha Murty pursued a Master's at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru where she received a gold medal in 1974. She was the first woman engineer to be hired at Pune's Tata Engineering and Company (TELCO). The recruitment was considered a watershed moment for women engineers since it was a to JRD Tata objecting to the firm's all-male employee policy that eventually led to her recruitment.

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, also an alumnus of BVB College, recalls that when he enrolled for Bachelor's in Engineering, SudhaMurty had graduated. “All I know was her name then—she graduated, she was the first girl student of our college. It was only after entering public life that I got the opportunity to meet and interact with her. Incidentally, her first job was at TELCO and so was mine,” he says.

Sometime in the 1970, Sudha Murty met Narayana Murty through a common friend. In 1978, the couple tied the knot despite Sudha's family having apprehensions about Murty, then an unemployed engineer heavily influenced by socialist values and looking to start his own business. (IPA Service)

 

 

 

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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