Kuldip Nayar was one of the few senior journalists of his time who worked tirelessly for the development of Northeastern India. In the early 1980s, Nayar, as a journalist, extensively covered the region and highlighted issues at both the national and international levels through his writings. His views related to the historic Assam Agitation, in particular, was well-known.
The veteran journalist, author, human rights activist and ‘friend of Northeast’ breathed his last in New Delhi on Thursay. He was 95.
“It was Nayar who highlighted the issue of illegal immigrants and helped members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) to make their demand of deportation of foreign nationals from Assam a national issue. Nayar was among a few senior journalists who was sympathetic to the Assam Agitation,” said Kumar Deepak Das, a former executive member of AASU. Das was also an MP representing Assam in the Rajya Sabha.
There were a number of human rights violation cases reported against the security personnel during the Assam Agitation. “Nayar, because of his deep respect and love for the people of the region, spoke about and wrote elaborately against these atrocities,” recalled Das.
As a nominated member in the Upper House of Parliament in 1997, Nayar contributed immensely for the development of the Northeastern region. He once allocated Rs 2 crore from his MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund for a computer literacy drive in Assam
As a nominated member in the Upper House of Parliament in 1997, Nayar contributed immensely for the development of the Northeastern region. He once allocated Rs 2 crore from his MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund for a computer literacy drive in Assam.
Nayar was also among the few journalists who staunchly opposed the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was also jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) for leading a protest against the excesses of the administration during that time.
A former editor of The Indian Express, Nayar was also the author of 15 books including Beyond the Lines, India after Nehru and Emergency Retold. In 2015, he was honoured with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to journalism at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence awards.
His last rites were performed at 1 pm on Thursday at the Lodhi crematorium in New Delhi. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
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