Ramoji Rao, the founder Ramoji Film City, died on Saturday at his residence in Hyderabad. The news of his passing came as a shock to the Telugu Film Industry. Celebrities like Chiranjeevi, Jr NTR, Ram Gopal Varma, Vishnu Manchu, and Manoj Manchu, among others expressed their grief on social media. Meanwhile, filmmaker SS Rajamouli, in his condolence post demanded a Bharat Ratna for the media baron.

Taking to his X handle, SS Rajamouli wrote, “ONE man with his 50 years of resilience, hard work and innovation provided employment, livelihood and hope for millions. The only way we can pay tribute to Ramoji Rao garu is conferring him with “BHARAT RATNA”.

Meanwhile, expressing his grief, Padma Bhushan awardee Chiranjeevi compared Ramoji to Mount Meru. He wrote on his X handle, “Mount Meru, which does not bow to anyone… Divi Kegindi. Om Shanti.”

RRR star Jr NTR penned a long note expressing his grief and wrote on X, “Visionaries like Sri Ramoji Rao are one in a million. A media tycoon and a giant of Indian cinema, his absence is irreparable. The news that he is no longer with us is very sad.”

He added, “I will never forget the memories when I was introduced to the Telugu film industry with the film ‘Ninnu Chhadalani’. May his soul rest in peace and convey my deepest condolences to his family.”

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Ram Gopal Varma wrote, “Ramoji Rao’s death is unbelievable because he metamorphosed from an individual into an institution. The Telugu states won’t be the same without his towering personality looming over the horizon. More than a man, he is a force and I find it difficult to imagine the death of a force.”

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Actor Manoj Manchu took to his X handle and wrote, “Deeply saddened by the loss of Ramoji Rao Garu. Since I was a child, I always looked up to him. His remarkable journey and legacy inspire us all. May his soul rest in peace. Sending strength to the family and loved ones. Om Shanti. Will miss you dear sir.”

Vishnu Manchu, who is currently shooting for Kanappa, wrote on X, “Deeply saddened by the passing of Ramoji Rao garu. Every time I had the fortune of meeting him, it was a profound life-learning lesson. His wisdom, courage, and righteousness left an indelible mark on me. He also was always supportive of the film industry. He built an empire that set unparalleled standards in journalism and entertainment. Today, there is a great void in the hearts of Telugu people and all who knew his immense contributions. India has lost one of its greatest media barons. His legacy will forever inspire us. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

Prime Minister Modi too took his X handle to share a photo of himself with the businessman from one of his meetings. He wrote, “The passing away of Shri Ramoji Rao Garu is extremely saddening. He was a visionary who revolutionized Indian media. His rich contributions have left an indelible mark on journalism and the world of films. Through his noteworthy efforts, he set new standards for innovation and excellence in the media and entertainment world.”

Born on November 16, 1936, into an agricultural family, Cherukuri Ramoji Rao went on to become a business tycoon, media entrepreneur, and a film producer. He was the head of Ramoji Group, which owns the world’s largest film production facility Ramoji Film City, Eenadu newspaper, ETV Network, and film production company Usha Kiran Movies.