PM Modi Condoles Kuldip Nayar’s Death

Veteran journalist died at a Delhi hospital early this morning. He was 95

NEW DELHI, August 23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described Kuldip Nayar as an “intellectual giant” and said the veteran journalist would be remembered for his fearless views.

He said he was saddened by the journalist’s demise.

“Kuldip Nayar was an intellectual giant of our times. Frank and fearless in his views…His strong stand against the Emergency, public service and commitment to a better India will always be remembered,” Modi said on Twitter.

Mr. Nayar died at a Delhi hospital early this morning. He was 95.

He was hailed as a veteran  journalist, syndicated columnist, human right activist, author and ex-High commissioner of India to United Kingdom noted for his long career as a left-wing political commentator. He was also nominated as a Member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament in 1997.

Nayyer was born at Sialkot, Punjab, British India on 14 August 1923 to Gurbaksh Singh and Pooran Devi. He completed his B.A. (Hons.) from the Forman Christian College Lahore and LL.B. from the Law College Lahore. He is father to Senior Advocate of Supreme Court, Mr. Rajiv Nayar. In 1952, he studied journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University on a scholarship.

Nayar was initially an Urdu press reporter. He was editor of the Delhi edition of the English newspaper The Statesman and was arrested towards the end of the Indian Emergency (1975-77). He was also a human right activist and a peace activist. He was a member of India’s delegation to the United Nations in 1996. He was appointed High Commissioner to Great Britain in 1990 and nominated to the upper house of Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha in August 1997.

He has written columns and op-eds for over 80 newspapers in 14 languages  including Deccan Herald (Bengaluru), The Daily StarThe Sunday GuardianThe News, The StatesmanThe Express Tribune PakistanDawn Pakistan, PrabhaSakshi and many more.

Every year since 2000, Nayar had been leading peace activists to light candles on the Independence days of Pakistan and India (14/15 August) at the Attari-Wagah India-Pakistan border near Amritsar.

He had been working to free Indian prisoners in Pakistan and Pakistani prisoners in India, who have completed their sentences, but have not been set free.

As a political commentator, Nayyer wrote his views freely on most politically current issues. He had supported the movement of Anna Hazare and chided the Pakistan Government for not apologizing for the army atrocities in East Pakistan in 1971 that led to the formation of Bangladesh and for allowing drugs to be smuggled into India.

Mr. Nayar’s passing marks the passing of an era of outstanding journalism. He will be remembered fondly by his admirers and followers.

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