Kuldip Nayar: Veteran Journalist, Political Commentator & Human Rights Activist Passes Away At 95
On Thursday, a veteran journalist, political commentator and human rights activist Kuldip Nayar died at the age of 95 in the national capital. The last right for the “fearless” journalist will be performed at 1 pm today at Lodhi crematorium in Delhi.
Kuldip was a former editor of the national daily, The Indian Express. He was known for his brave reportage and for fighting for liberal values and press freedom. He was also among the very first few journalists who had staunchly opposed the Emergency.
Mr Nayar was born in Sialkot, now in Pakistan, in 1923. He graduated with a law degree and later studied journalism. He began his career with an Urdu newspaper called Anjam. According to the Hindu, he was inclined towards bringing peaceful relations between India and Pakistan. He led peaceful candlelight vigils for the improvement of the frosty relationship between the two countries on the Independence days of Pakistan and India at the Wagah border since 2000.
In 2012, he published his autobiography called Beyond The Lines, where he wrote about his interview with Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. In the interview, the scientist revealed that Pakistan had a nuclear device well before it was thought to have had it, reports The Hindu.
Mr Nayar in his journalism career had documented many cases of human rights violations by the state. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha and was also the High Commissioner of India to the UK in 1990. The author of 15 books including, “India after Nehru” and “Emergency Retold”, Mr Nayar was honoured with the Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to journalism in 2015.
In 2015, in an opinion piece, while talking about the freedom of the press, he wrote, “Soft Hindutva is overtaking print and electronic media.”
“Seeing how conformist the press is today, I don’t think it would be necessary for the government to take any extra-constitutional measures. Newspapers and television channels have themselves become so pro-establishment that the government doesn’t have to do anything to make them fall in line,” he wrote.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ramnath Kovind and others expressed their condolences after the journalist’s demise
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
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 #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 23, 2018
We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kuldeep Nayyar. A veteran journalist, his career also included a tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP & as the high commissioner to United Kingdom.
Our deepest condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/tMtv0ODDHu
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 23, 2018
A filmmaker, Meera Dewan, made a film called, In His Inner Voice: Kuldip Nayar for Films Division, where he said, “I aimed to show the history of the partition and post-Independent India through the journey of a man who has been the nation’s conscience keeper.”
The Logical Indian community expresses condolence at his demise and extends support to his family.