Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar dead

New Delhi: Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, who fell foul of the establishment and was jailed during Emergency and a peacenik on Indo-Pak relations, died at a hospital here. He was 95. He breathed his last at 12.30 am at the Escorts Hospital, where he was brought for treatment of pneumonia five days ago. He is survived by his wife Bharti and two sons, Sudhir, who lit the funeral pyre, and Rajiv.
Nayar was cremated at the Lodhi electric crematorium in the presence of dignitaries including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, rebel Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav besides journalist-turned politician M J Akbar, senior journalists Arun Shourie and Siddharath Varadarajan.
Born on August 14, 1923, in Sialkot (Pakistan), Nayar was a multi-faceted personality who was among the country’s first syndicated columnists.
He had served as India’s High Commissioner to Britain in 1990 and was 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.
He was the editor and General Manager of United News of India (UNI) and also the editor of The Statesman. He also worked with the Indian Express, The Times, The Spectator and the Evening Star.
He had authored 15 books including Beyond the Lines, India after Nehru and Emergency Retold.
Senior journalist H K Dua, who knew Nayar for 54 years, described him as a “good friend”, a “great journalist” and said his death was a loss to the profession.
He said Nayar also made efforts for peace between India and Pakistan and organised candle-light demonstrations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, were among the leaders who condoled Nayar’s death. — IANS