Editorial

A free, frank and fearless icon

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/26/2018 11:58:59 AM IST

 Indian media lost a towering figure on August 23,2018 when the longest surviving veteran journalist, writer, commentator and human rights activist Kuldip Nayar passed away after battling pneumonia at the age of 95. Late Kuldip had also visited Nagaland during early 90s to show solidarity with Nagas in their quest for solution and also addressing the issue of human rights. It may also be pointed out that as the then Indian High Commissioner to the UK, late Kuldip helped to overcome serious hurdles put in the way against bringing home the body of late Z.A.Phizo. He was appointed High Commissioner to the UK in 1990 and nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1997.It is said Kuldip wore many hats as a eminent journalist, diplomat, parliamentarian and author. Yet he still remained a journalist at heart who remained firm in his convictions about the ideals of a free and egalitarian society. Despite having achieved much name and fame across India and abroad, Kuldip did not change. He remained humble, accessible and always ready to help out those in need. As one of the pioneers of Indian journalism, Kuldip had the opportunity to know all the top leaders of the Indian freedom movement besides other eminent persons. He also covered a host of events in his years as a journalist in a career spanning over six decades. He penned experiences and observations about major figures in India and the neighbourhood involving the eras of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jai Prakash Narayan, Indira Gandhi, Zia-ul Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Kuldip Nayar, who was a media advisor to late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, was a witness to the Tashkent Accord signed between India and Pakistan. Shastri had died the same night following a heart attack. Kuldip knew former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi so well that he was almost on first name basis with her. Even though he personally knew the Nehru-Gandhi family since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, yet Kuldip could not remain silent when emergency was imposed during 1975. He could have played safe and retained his pre-eminence as a respected veteran journalist, author and diplomat but he chose to fight for the ideals that he so dearly loved and remained committed to. He took up cudgels against Indira Gandhi for imposing emergency and suspending civil liberties and press freedom and had to suffer the consequences by being jailed during the period(1975-77). Tihar jail those days was like a dungeon where only notorious criminals were incarcerated. Kuldip did not waver but accepted imprisonment as an unavoidable but necessary price that had to be paid for upholding his belief in a free and democratic India , for which thousands had given their lives. Kuldip was a votary of recognition and accommodation of the aspirations of various people such as the Nagas, Kashmiris, Mizos etc. The write-ups of Kuldip will surely be missed by millions of those who obtained reassurance and inspiration from his free and frank opinions. Kuldip did not only express opinions but was ever ready to be physically present when it required. Indeed the beacon of light shed from a free, frank and fearless giant of Indian journalism has gone and his absence will always be felt for a long time.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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