Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar passes away

As a journalist, Kuldip Nayar has documented in detail, human rights violations by the State.

Updated - June 09, 2020 12:26 pm IST

Published - August 23, 2018 09:03 am IST - New Delhi

 Kuldip Nayar

Kuldip Nayar

Veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha member Kuldip Nayar passed away at 12.30 a.m. on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 95.

Mr. Nayar was known for his stand against the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency as the Editor of The Statesman . He was arrested for his vocal protest during the time.

His first job was with an Urdu daily. He served in a leadership role in The Indian Express , too, and had written columns in over 80 newspapers, including the Pakistan-based Dawn and The Express Tribune .

Read: Kuldip Nayar and other gentlemen of the press

Apart from his work as a journalist, Mr. Nayar will also be remembered as a human right activists and peacenik, and a former High Commissioner of India to United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “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 his commitment to a better India, will always be remembered. Saddened by his demise. My condolences.”

President Ram Nath Kovind also remembered Mr. Nayar. #PresidentKovind tweeted: “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.”

Many of Mr. Nayar’s former colleagues also remembered him fondly. Shekhar Gupta, founder of news website The Print , tweeted, “He [Mr. Nayar] taught a generation the craft of the trusted, source-based ‘inside’ political/government scoop.”

His early books, Between The Lines , India: The Critical Years and Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent are considered valuable insights on the unstable post-Nehru decade.

“RIP Kuldip Nayar, India’s first reporter to become editor in an era when top newsroom jobs were reserved for editorialists. A genuine scoop-man and Ind-Pak peace visionary. You will be missed by journalists and peace activists,” Mr. Gupta tweeted

The Editors Guild of India is planning to commemorate Mr. Nayar’s contributions. “His legendary news scoops will continue to inspire generations of young journalists for their sharpness, credibility, speed and standards of due diligence,” the Guild noted in its condolence message.

Mr. Nayar had admirers beyond the world of politics and journalism, too. Calling him an inspiration, actor-director Nandita Das tweeted, “Kuldip Nayar was and will always remain an inspiration. Optimistic about a hopeful world till his last breath. Regret he won’t see Manto [her upcoming film], as he so wanted to. He played a big part in my engagement with issues of peace and violence. May he rest in peace after a life fully lived.”


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