Renowned journalist Kuldip Nayar passed away in a New Delhi hospital on Wednesday night. He was 95. Nayar, a former Delhi resident editor of The Statesman, was also a well known author and human rights activist.
He is survived by his wife and two sons. Nayar died around 12.30 am at a private hospital, according to his elder son Sudhir Nayyar. His last rites will be performed at 1 pm today.
Nayar had served as the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom in 1990.
Nayar was born on August 14, 1923, in Punjab’s Sialkot (now in Pakistan). Having started his career with an Urdu newspaper, Anjam, Nayar went on to work with a number of news organisations. Apart from The Statesman, Nayar had worked with The Indian Express among other newspapers.
Nayar was an Urdu press reporter when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency in 1975. He was among the journalists who had staunchly opposed the Emergency, and was jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) for leading a protest.
“Emergency was a curse. People were killed, but their families were not given any recognition. Riot victims got some claim, but what about widows and children who were left orphan, nobody even talk about their grievances,” Nayar had said once.
Meera Dewan, a filmmaker, had made a film, In His Inner Voice: Kuldip Nayar for Films Division.
In 2015, Nayar was honoured with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to journalism at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence awards.
Nayar had authored 15 books including “Beyond the Lines”, “India after Nehru”, and “Emergency Retold”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over his demise. In a tweet, he wrote: “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.”