Special Correspondent

Karpur Chand Kulish was the founder of the Rajasthan Patrika Group

JAIPUR: The doyen of Hindi journalism in Rajasthan and founder of Rajasthan Patrika Group, Karpur Chand Kulish, died here at noon on Tuesday. Mr. Kulish, who pioneered journalism in the State in the post-Independence era, had been ailing for some time. He was 80.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, including Gulab Kothari, Editor of Rajasthan Patrika, and a daughter.

The body was cremated with State honours at the Adarsh Nagar cremation ground in the afternoon. A large number of people joined the final journey of Mr.Kulish, who had become an institution unto him during his lifetime. Prior to the funeral procession the body was taken to Kesargarh, a fort along Jawaharlal Nehru Marg here, which Mr.Kulish had converted into a pulsating newspaper office, for "public darshan".

The large number of people from all walks of life who converged at the residence of the "Patrika parivar" on Hospital Road after hearing about Mr.Kulish's demise included Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Union Minister of State Namonarain Meena, the Leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan, B.D.Kalla, and half a dozen Ministers in the State Cabinet besides MLAs, littérateurs, scholars and senior bureaucrats.

Gujarat Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma placed a wreath on the body of Mr.Kulish. A wreath was placed on behalf of the Vice-President of India, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his condolence message termed Mr.Kulish as a "fearless journalist and sensitive individual". "His passing away is a big loss," he said.

Rajasthan Governor Pratibha Patil in her condolence message said the contribution of Mr.Kulish to society would be always remembered. Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Sumitra Singh, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former national treasurer of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Ramdas Agarwal, also condoled the death of Mr.Kulish. The functionaries of the Pink City Press Club, the Rajasthan Working Journalists Union and the Journalists Association of Rajasthan have expressed grief over the demise of Mr.Kulish.

Mr.Kulish, born on March 26, 1926, in Sodha village in Rajasthan's Tonk district, started his career with the "Rashtradoot" Hindi daily in 1951. In 1956 he founded Rajasthan Patrika. A newsman who knew the pulse of his readers as long as he remained active in journalism, Mr.Kulish toured Rajasthan villages during the Emergency to write his popular column, "Mein dekhta chala gaya" (I remained a mute spectator).

Shekhawat expresses grief

The Vice-President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, on Tuesday expressed a deep sense of grief over the death of the founder-editor of Rajasthan Patrika, Karpur Chand Kulish.

In his condolence message, Mr. Shekhawat recalled how the Vedic scholar with his daunting intellect, unwavering diligence and staunch commitment to journalistic excellence gave direction and leadership to Hindi journalism in general and the newspaper in particular.

In a hospital himself, Mr. Shekhawat informed Mr. Kulish's son that he wanted to visit Jaipur to pay tributes to the veteran journalist but doctors would not allow him to make the journey.