Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain

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Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain
Born 22 May 1911
Died 27 October 1977(1977-10-27) (aged 66)
Occupation Industrialist and Philanthropist
Years active 1944–1977
Spouse(s) RamaRani Jain
Children Ashok Kumar Jain
Alok Jain
Manoj Jain
Alka Jain
Family Shreyans Prasad Jain

Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain was an industrialist and philanthropist of India. He was the son-in-law of Ramkrishna Dalmia and former chairman of Bennett, Coleman. His family, Sahu Jains, owns the Times of India newspaper group.

Early age and education[edit]

He was born in the Sahu Jain Family at Najibabad in Uttar Pradesh on 22 May 1911. His grandfather was Sahu Salekh Chand Jain who was involved in religious and charitable activities. His parents were Sahu Diwan Singh and mother Murti devi. Sahu Shanti Prasad received his primary education in Najibabad and his college education was first in Meerut and later at Banaras Hindu University. He did his B.Sc. from Agra University.


He founded Bharatiya Jnanpith on 18 February 1944 at the suggestion of many scholars who had gathered at Varanasi for All India Oriental Conference. He was the Trustee-Founder and his wife Rama Dalmia Jain was Trustee-president. Since 1965 Bharatiya Jnanpith has been awarding Annual Literary Award Jnanpith Award for the best creative Indian Literary work of a specified period.[1]

Though he belonged to an illustrious family of landlords and financiers, it was his father-in-law Ramkrishna Dalmia's who heralded his entry into big industrial business by handing over charge of the famous Rohtas Industries Ltd at Dalmianagar in Bihar. Under his stewardship, Dalmianagar, developed into a massive industrial town with factories producing sugar, cement, paper, chemicals, vanaspati etc. employing top professionals of the country.

Bennett Coleman[edit]

In 1947, Ramkrishna Dalmia engineered the acquisition of Bennett, Coleman by transferring moneys from a bank and an insurance company of which he was the Chairman. In 1955, this came to the attention of the socialist parliamentarian Feroze Gandhi who was part of the ruling Congress party headed by his estranged father-in-law Jawaharlal Nehru. In December 1955, he raised the matter in parliament, documenting extensively the various fund transfers and intermediaries through which the acquisition had been financed. The case was investigated by the Vivian Bose Commission of Inquiry.[2]

In the court case that followed, where Dalmia was represented by the leading British attorney Sir Dingle Mackintosh Foot, he was sentenced to two years in Tihar Jail. Upon his release, Ramkrishna approached his son-in-law Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain to whom he had entrusted running of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd for taking back the command. But Sahu rebuffed Ramkrishna's efforts to resume command of the company.[2]


He was a major supporter or founder of these organizations.

  1. Prakrit Research Institute, Vaishali (Bihar)
  2. Syadvad Mahavidyalaya (college), Benaras
  3. S. P. Jain College, Sasaram Nagar, Bihar
  4. Non-violence Expansion Committee, Calcutta
  5. Varni Sanskrit Vidyalaya (school), Sagar
  6. Sahu Archaeological Museum, Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh
  7. All India Digambar Jain Holy Places Committee, Mumbai
  8. Digambar Jain Committee
  9. Sahu Jain College, Najibabad
  10. Moorti Devi Saraswati Inter College, Najibabad
  11. Moorti Devi Kanya Vidyalaya, Najibabad
  12. Indian Art Jain Research Institute, Moodabidri
  13. Shraman Jain songs Pracharak Sangh (inspired by Muni Vidyananda ji

FERA violation charges[edit]

During Nehru's regime, the trade with other countries and the foreign currencies were strictly regulated. Jain was caught, and subsequently arrested, at Palam airport (in latter day Delhi) for bringing in foreign currency. The event was blacked out by the Times of India, even though other newspapers carried the story.[3]

In a repeat of sorts, Jain's son Ashok was indicted and arrested in 1998,a year before his death, in connection with an alleged violation of the FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act). Again, the Times was accused of distorting facts pertaining to the case, even giving Ashok's indictment by the Enforcement Directorate the tint of a larger conspiracy against the Jain community in general.[3] Adding to the controversy were sacked editor H.K. Dua's claims that his dismissal was retaliation for his refusal to comply with Ashok Jain's request to help him out by using his editorial position to build up public support besides lobbying with politicians.


He was awarded the Shravak Shiromani title by the Jain community.


He died on 27 October 1977, two years after the death of his wife. His work was continued by his brother Sahu Shreyans Prasad Jain and also his son Sahu Ashok Kumar Jain. Today the Times Group that runs Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. has turned out to be a huge media empire with interest in newspaper, radio, TV and internet and run by his grandsons Sahu Samir Jain and Sahu Vineet Jain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'Progressive Jains' by Mr. Satish Kumar Jain
  2. ^ a b Auletta. Page 55.
  3. ^ a b White-Collar Crimes - Girish Mishra, Braj Kumar Pandey - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 

External links[edit]