Veteran columnist and former Principal Information Officer(PIO) to the Government of India G.S. Bhargava passed away here following illness. He was 85 and survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. The funeral took place on Tuesday evening.
Mr. Bhargava, served as the PIO from June 1978 to April 1980, during the Janata Party regime. He was a noted political commentator who served as the Resident Editor of the Indian Express, Hyderabad and as the Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times.
He specialised in matters related to Defence and authored several books on the subject. He is remembered for his column ‘Blue Pencil’, keeping an eagle eye and underlining deficiencies creeping in daily journalism.
“Mr. Bhargava was an active member of the [Editors] Guild, who took active interest in the issues of press freedom and standards of journalism. Blue Pencil, his column on media reporting was looked forward by journalists with both eagerness and uneasiness, as he was fair, but strict on the norms of journalism and writing skills,” the Editors Guild of India said in a statement mourning his death.
According to former PIO, I. Rama Mohan Rao, Mr. Bhargava’s four decades of journalistic experience was capped by his stints at the Centre for International Studies, Harvard, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York and the Centre for Policy Studies, New Delhi. He also spent a year as a visiting scholar at the Institute of Oriental Studies.
“He was a person with wide travel experience in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and worked as a correspondent in Pakistan, Sri Lank and Nepal,”, Mr. Rao said adding that among his books was an account of the India-Pakistan war of 1965.