By; Prasanta Patnaik
Bhubaneswar,23/08/18:internationally famous media person, writer, diplomat Kuldeep Nayar left for his heavenly abode today at Delhi. I feel it as a great personal loss to me because his love and affection and guidance.
He was 95. Mr Nayar was admitted to Escorts Hospital five days ago. He had been suffering from pneumonia. He died at 12:30 am today, his elder son Sudhir Nayar said.
Born at Sialkot (now in Pakistan), Kuldip Nayar graduated with a law degree from Lahore before moving to India after Partition. He served as high commissioner to Britain in 1990 and was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Mr Nayar is survived by his wife and two sons. He will be cremated today at Lodhi crematorium in south Delhi.
In his autobiography published in 2012, he wrote about the collapse of trust between communities after Partition and how he was forced to migrate to Delhi across the blood-stained plains of Punjab.
"From his perilous journey to a new country and to his first job as a young journalist in an Urdu daily, Nayar's account is also the story of India," the introduction to the book reads.
From a young journalist in Anjam, he went on to head the news agency, UNI. His syndicated column, "Between the Lines", was appreciated for how he always stood for the freedom of the press.
He has covered several historical turns that the country has seen, from the 1971 war with Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh to the Emergency of 1975.While working as the Editor of Indian Express his book the Judgement narrating the state of the country and the people after Mrs Indira Gandhi had declared national emergency following the judgement of Allahabad High Court.
People tweeted condolences on hearing about the death of the senior journalist, some of them remembering the effectiveness of the journalism Mr Nayar pursued.
Historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, "...he was a journalist who followed the dictates of his conscience rather than the lure of money or fame... Nayar was not a prose stylist, and prone to the odd conspiracy theory, yet his commitment to interfaith harmony, his professional commitment and integrity, and his courage during the Emergency absolutely shine."
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh gave his condolences in a letter to Bharti Nayar, the wife of Mr Nayar.
President Mr Kovind as well as the Prime Minister Modiji have also condoled in his death praising his contribution to India and Indian Journalism. During my visit to Deli I was feeling proud and excited to meet him at his residence, sharing tea and food witth him. When Nayar was visiting Odisha he used to inform me and we were meeting.
During tenure of J.B. Patnaik Government , he visited Odisha as a member of the Editor Guild of India along with veteran journalist K. R. Malkani to probe into the allegation of atrocity on media persons and had submitted the report titled "Car rot and the Stick".
The great journalist was having a very good personal library at his home, where I used to meet him to pay my regards. I pay my high tributes to this “VISMA PITAMAHA” of Indian Journalism and pray the almighty to rest his immortal soul in peace.