Kuldeep Nayar, Veteran journalist & former Rajya Sabha member dies around 1 am on Thursday in New Delhi. He was 95.
His last rites will be performed at 1 pm today at the Lodhi Road crematorium. Nayar is survived by his wife and two sons.
Nayar also served as India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
A veteran journalist, diplomat, parliamentarian and an author, Nayar wore many hats in his decades of public life.
He was born in 1924 in Sialkot, Punjab, and moved to India after Partition.
In his long career, he served as a press information officer to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri as well as veteran Congress leader and former Union Home Minister Govind Ballabh Pant.
As a journalist, he worked with a range of news agencies and media organisations in India and was also the correspondent of The Times, London, for more than two decades.
He wrote over a dozen books, and is best known for his works like: ‘Between the Lines’, ‘Scoop! Inside stories from Partition to the present’, ‘Distant Neighbours: A tale of the Subcontinent’, among others.
Ever since the news of his death broke out, tributes have started pouring in.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Nayar was an “intellectual giant” of our times. “His strong stand against the Emergency, public service and commitment to a better India will be always remembered,” Modi said in a tweet.
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 commitment to a better India will always be remembered. Saddened by his demise. My condolences.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 23, 2018
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Nayar’s contribution to the cause of free speech is unparalleled and that he will be remembered for opposing the Emergency.
Saddened by the death of the veteran Journalist Sh. Kuldip Nayar. His contribution to the cause of free speech is unparalleled. He is credited with breaking some of the most exclusive news stories. Will be best remembered for his struggle against the emergency.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) August 23, 2018
Noted author and historian Ramachandra Guha said Nayar was a journalist “who followed the dictates of his conscience rather than the lure of money or fame”.
Sorry to hear of Kuldip Nayar's passing. As I wrote here, he was a journalist who followed the dictates of his conscience rather than the lure of money or fame:https://t.co/zn8AL2sSx3
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 23, 2018
Speaking about his role during the Emergency unleashed by Indira Gandhi, Guha said his courage during the Emergency shines.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Senior journalist Sheela Bhatt remembered Nayar as a “mentor of scores of journalists and editors”.>
Veteran Indian journalist, author, human right activist and mentor of scores of journalists and editors passed away last night. His cremation is at 1 pm at Lodhi. pic.twitter.com/4EUiL6yYG4
— Sheela Bhatt (@sheela2010) August 23, 2018