“Our time on this earth is sacred, and we should celebrate every moment.” Paulo Coelho
The above quote aptly describes the life of Naozer Aga, first-generation entrepreneur, dear friend of Freedom First and former Hon. General Secretary of the Indian Liberal Group (ILG) who the liberal fraternity lost to a tragic road accident on February 19, 2018.
I came in touch with Mr. Aga in the late 1990s during the time when ILG was being revived and restructured. Though he was not involved in the day-to-day working of ILG, he remained its steadfast member, and later, as Director of LiberalsIndia for Good Governance, helped in ILG’s formation as a non-profit organization.
Mr. Aga was associated with the textile industry and was Promoter Chairman of several groups of companies and family businesses. I remember visiting their hand-embroidery workshop where he and his wife Sheila took us around and explained the nuances of sari embroidery and how it takes several days for a garment to be ready to wear.
I owe Mr. Aga a personal tribute as he was one of the few who guided me through our various trusts – in particular, the Adult Education Institute where he was a trustee – following the sudden demise of Mr. S. V. Raju. Mr. Aga was helpful in his own modest way, simple and unassuming. His kind hospitality at trust meetings and programmes was done in the quietest manner. His biographical record features in the 21st edition of The Marquis Who’s Who in the World (year 2004).
It was during my regular visits to his office on trust matters that I learnt of his passion for motorsports, specially his love for motorcycles, since the tender age of 8. Mr. Aga was an avid biker. In 1963, he won the motorcycle championship at Lohegaon, near Pune (Maharashtra), but quit racing soon thereafter owing to a promise given to his father.
His son Armand reminiscences “My father had a great passion for motorcycles … Right till the end, he said, Even if the bike causes my end, I will never give up riding sports bikes.”
Like all liberals, Mr. Aga too was optimistic about the revival of the Swatantra Party, or at least, a liberal party akin to Swatantra and willingly stepped in as mentor to such efforts.
Freedom First offers heartfelt condolences to Armand, daughter Ayesha and other family members. May his soul rest in peace!