Veteran journalist Fatima R. Zakaria, the former Editor of the Sunday Times, Mumbai, and mother of renowned global media personality Fareed R. Zakaria, passed away here on Tuesday due to Covid at a private hospital, a close family friend said. Fatima R. Zakaria was the widow of former Maharashtra Minister and Islamic scholar Dr. Rafiq Zakaria, and had been admitted to a local hospital since the past few days, Aurangabad AIMIM MP Syed Imtiaz Jaleel told IANS.
She is survived by four children - Tasneem Zakaria-Mehta, an art historian, Manzoor Zakaria, Arshad Zakaria who is with a US-based global hedge fund and Fareed Zakaria, the US-based former Editor of Newsweek magazine and ex-Editor at large with Time magazine, and currently hosting the 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' show on CNN.
"This is shocking and an irreparable loss to the media fraternity. Details of her last rites and other formalities are being finalised in consultation with her family members in view of the stringent Covid restrictions imposed here," he added.
Conferred with the Padma Shri in 2006, she was associated with the Times of India Group for many years, and went onto become the Editor of The Sunday Times, the Bombay Times, and later edited the Taj magazine, a coffee-table publication brought out by the Taj Group of Hotels.
According to Jaleel, though hailing from Mumbai, since the past few years, Fatima Zakaria was mostly living in Aurangabad and handling the affairs of the reputed 'Maulana Azad Education Trust' (MAET).
The MAET was founded by her husband in 1963 - a prominent Congress leader and former state minister - and runs a chain of prominent educational institutions in the backward Marathwada region of Maharashtra, with branches elsewhere.
Fatima Zakaria carried forward her late husband's legacy and transformed these academic institutions, brought in foreign educational collaborations, and ultimately made them comparable with the best centres of learning in Asia.
Among the institutes of higher education are regular degree colleges, engineering, pharmacy, medical, catering, journalism, IT and Computers, business management, and other fields, plus schools and a women's college, for the upliftment of all sections of society, including the minorities.