Hyderabad: Ajay Gandhi, who played a significant role in taking the written word to the people at large through the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF), as well as the spoken word through ‘Manthan Samvad’, passed away on Thurday.
He was 65. He had been unwell for some time, and passed away at a private hospital in the city.
The funeral will be held at 9 am on Friday at Vaikunta Mahaprasthanam in Filmnagar.
Ajay Gandhi’s daughter Mansi Gandhi in a post on Facebook, announcing the passing of her father, said the funeral will be small, with only family and close friends. "A wake/celebration of life event will be on Sunday morning. Details of which will follow in a day or two," she said.
Considered widely as the harbinger of the literary world and socio-political debates to Hyderabad, Ajay Gandhi had once described how he, along with his friend M.R. Vikram had started Manthan Foundation. He had said that he and Vikram did not realise just how big their idea would become.
"We would generally crib a bit, that the city did not have a space where we could go beyond cricket, movies and entertainment. So, one day we said, ‘Enough of cribbing, let’s do something on our own’," he had recalled.
Jayesh Ranjan, the senior IAS officer who has been associated with the HLF as the chairman of its organizing committee, recalling his association with Ajay Gandhi, said: "His passing, leaves a big void to fill. He was really an institution builder. Whenever an institution builder passes away, the implications are severe. The loss of the person will be felt for a while."
He said "the best tribute to Ajay will be to continue to run the institutions and programmes that he was associated with and that started with the intention to create a unique space in the minds of people."
Ajay Gandhi, a chartered accountant by training and practice, also promoted Wings Infonet, an accounting software company.