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Senior journalist Kuldeep Nayyar dies at the age of 95; President, PM pay tributes

Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayyar passed away aged 95 at a Delhi hospital on Wednesday night.

India TV News Desk Reported by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: August 23, 2018 12:46 IST
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Kuldeep Nayyar

Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayyar passed away aged at the age of 95 at a Delhi hospital on Wednesday night. 

Nayar breathed his last at the Escorts Hospital at 12.30 a.m., and his cremation will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

Born on August 14 in the year 1923, Nayyar kick-started his career in Urdu journalism. Nayar, who was also a human rights activist, served as High Commissioner to the UK in 1990 and was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha. 

A syndicated columnist, he has written several books including "Beyond the Lines" and "India after Nehru".

Kuldeep Nayyar was also 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. 

Offering condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Nayyar an "intellectual giant" and recalled his work, backed by frank and fearless views.  

"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," he tweeted.

Here's what the President said: "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."

Nayar started his career with the Urdu newspaper "Anjam" and was the author of 15 books including "Beyond the Lines", "India after Nehru" and "Emergency Retold".

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was "saddened by the sudden demise of senior journalist, columnist and former MP, Kuldip Nayar". 

"As a columnist he candidly expressed his views in his widely read column ‘Between the Lines'. His contribution to journalism will be remembered. My thoughts are with his bereaved family," Rajnath Singh tweeted.

Remembering his meeting with Nayar a few months ago, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah said "he was full of energy and humour". 

"My condolences on the sad demise of veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha member, Kuldip Nayar ji... Nayar ji's firm stand against Emergency can never be forgotten. His passing away is a loss to India's journalism."

The Congress Party also expressed sadness over Nayar's demise. 

"We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kuldip Nayar. A veteran journalist, his career also included a tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP and as the high commissioner to United Kingdom. Our deepest condolences to his family," the party tweeted.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal said the death of Nayar was a "huge loss to the nation". 

"Sad news coming in about the passing away of noted journalist and human rights crusader Kuldip Nayar. He will be missed for his fight for press freedom and democratic values in these testing times."

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee extended her condolences to his family, admirers and colleagues. 

Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said: "Champion of our democratic rights, civil liberties and at the forefront of those battles, Kuldip Nayar served India with distinction. His advocacy of people to people ties with Pakistan was special. His presence in current battles would have been a source of strength. Condolences."

CPI-M politburo member and MP Md Salim said Nayar was an "exemplary human being, a true champion of peace, an uncompromising fighter for secularism, democratic and human rights and free speech. A huge loss for the subcontinental fraternity".

Nayar's cremation will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.



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