Veteran journalist, author Kuldip Nayar no more

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Aug 2018 08:13:28



President, PM send condolences

SENIOR journalist, author and human rights activist Kuldip Nayar died at a hospital here, his family said on Thursday. He was 95.

Nayar breathed his last at the Escorts Hospital at 12.30 am.
The mortal remains of Nayar, were consigned to flames, as grieving friends, families, admirers and a host of public figures bid farewell to a man, who was often described as an ‘institution in himself’. His funeral at Lodhi Crematorium was attended by former Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, photographer Raghu Rai, artist Jatin Das, and several journalists and colleagues.

Born on August 14, 1923, in Sialkot (Pakistan), Nayar was among the country’s first syndicated columnists and wrote several books.

He was appointed High Commissioner to the UK in 1990 and nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1997. Nayar started his journalistic career with the Urdu daily ‘Anjam’ in 1948. He worked in the Press Information Bureau as a Press Officer to then Home Ministers Govind Ballabh Pant and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind were among the leaders who condoled Nayar’s death. Modi termed him an intellectual giant and recalled his role as a staunch opponent of the Emergency. “Kuldip Nayar was an intellectual giant of our times. Frank and fearless in his views, his work spanned across many decades. His strong stand against the Emergency, public service and commitment to a better India will always be remembered. Saddened by his demise. My condolences,” Modi said in a tweet.Kovind described him as a determined champion of democracy.

“Sad to hear of the passing of Kuldip Nayar, veteran editor and writer, diplomat and parliamentarian, and a determined champion of democracy during the Emergency. His readers will miss him. Condolences to his family and associates,” he said in a tweet.


BEYOND any doubt, Mr. Kuldip Nayar was one of the true icons Indian journalism had. His death at a ripe old age has taken away one of the most celebrated chroniclers of our time. This loss cannot be compensated for by anything. The Hitavada bows its head in reverence on an institutional level as well, since Mr. Nayar had been writing his weekly column titled ‘Between The Lines’ (named after his book with that title) on the Editorial Page of the paper for the past forty years. Some of his views did not match with the paper’s philosophy, but that did not deter him or us from continuing to publish his column. For, as a newspaper, we recognised the man’s worth as a leader of journalists raising voice against the Emergency slapped by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, and one-man institution that fought for freedom of expression in India’s democratic polity. We will miss the man very much.

For generations of young journalists, Mr. Nayar was an icon of rare variety. Generations of young scribes learned their ropes under him, or motivated by his work for decades on end. Mr. Nayar had seen the excesses that took place at India’s Partition. He vowed to fight the tendency that divided the country, in whose pursuance he picked up his pen and never put it down until he breathed his last. In his death, a free voice now stands silenced. But we can say with certainty “Death, Be Not Proud” for this act of withdrawing an icon from our midst.

That Mr. Nayar was one of the world’s leading commentators on current affairs, was only a smaller part of his description. He was not just a writer or an author, but he was also an editor of incalculable merit when he edited some leading newspapers with aplomb of rare virtue. He was one of those early editors who realised the importance of photo-journalism as an integral part of media. Lensmen of the eminence of Mr. Raghu Rai, to name just one, will always remain indebted to Mr. Nayar for his motivation and leadership in their young days to turn in pictures that captured contemporary life so powerfully and effectively.
Mr. Nayar might have remained a columnist for long decades. Even in that capacity, he brought out many a news scoop to stun his readers on a global scale. Mr. Nayar’s death has caused us a grief of an extreme measure, and we dip our pen in tears to say this!!!