New Delhi: The mortal remains of noted Indian journalist and author Kuldip Nayar, who died on Thursday were consigned to flames, as grieving friends, families, admirers and a host of public figures bid farewell to a man often described as an “institution in himself”.
Nayar died aged 95 at a private hospital around 12:30 am and his funeral at the Lodhi Crematorium was attended by India’s former vice-president Hamid Ansari, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, photographer Raghu Rai, artist Jatin Das, and several journalists and former colleagues.
Manmohan Singh condoled Nayar’s demise, saying the former diplomat donned many hats in his decades of public life.
Raghu Rai, who worked with him during the 60s and 70s at The Statesman, described his departure as an “end of an era”. “He was the last of those editors, who stood for truth, honesty and commitment in their profession. And till the last days, he stood for integrity and commitment for his country that he loved so deeply,” the photographer said. In addition, the deceased journalist was a regular contributor to Pakistan Today.
Nayar, born in Sialkot in Pakistan in 1923, began his career in journalism with the Urdu press and went on to serve as editor of several newspapers, including Indian Express and The Statesman. He was arrested during the Emergency. He fought fiercely for press freedom and civil liberties and to improve ties between India and Pakistan, Rai said.
Following the demise, tributes and condolences poured in from all parts of the world, including Pakistan. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise of veteran Indian journalist and author Kuldeep
He said in a statement said that the deceased was a “shining star of lofty journalistic traditions and used the power of his pen for ending hatred and bringing the people of the entire region closer to each other”.