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Kuldip Nayar dies at 95: PM Modi, President Kovind, Rajnath Singh condole death of veteran journalist

Kuldip Nayar, an eminent journalist and former editor of The Indian Express, passed away in Delhi on Thursday. The 95-year-old was suffering from pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital five days back, his elder son Sudhir Nayar said. Nayar, a widely-known columnist and author of 15 books was also the recipient of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence awards in 2015.

Expressing his condolence over the death of Kuldip Nayar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter wrote, “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.” President Ram Nath Kovind called him “a determined champion of democracy during the Emergency.”

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condoled the veteran journalist’s demise. “I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of your beloved husband Shri Kuldeep Nayar. He served the country in various capacities with great distinction. He was a veteran journalist, diplomat, parliamentarian and author. He wore many hats in his decades of public life. I write to convey to you and members of your family my heartfelt condolences on this sad occasion. May God give you the strength to bear this great loss with courage and fortitude,” he wrote to Nayar’s wife.

BJP national president Amit Shah called Nayar’s death a loss to India’s journalism. “My condolences on the sad demise of veteran journalist & former Rajya Sabha member, Kuldip Nayar ji. I had met him a few months back, he was full of energy and humor. Nayar ji’s firm stand against Emergency can never be forgotten,” he tweeted.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh too tweeted to say that Nayar’s contribution to journalism will be remembered. “Saddened by the demise of senior journalist, columnist & former MP, Shri Kuldeep Nayyar. 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,” Home Minister said in tweet. Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said tweeted that Nayar will be remembered for his immense contribution in journalism.

Minister of State (Independent charge) for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore in a tweet said, “Saddened by the demise of veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar. A scholar, a prolific author and former MP, he leaves behind a rich legacy in the field of journalism.”

“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kuldeep Nayyar. A veteran journalist, his career also included a tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP & as the high commissioner to United Kingdom. Our deepest condolences to his family,” the Congress party said in a tweet.

AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Nayar a human rights crusader and tweeted, “He will be missed for his fight for press freedom and democratic values in these testing times. A huge loss to the nation.”

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “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.”

Rajya Sabha member and RJD national spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha said that with the demise of Kuldeep Nayyar, the nation has almost lost the last pillar of a journalism which never ever bowed down before power and its diktats. “He was a textbook example of what a free and fearless journalism should be. The nation shall forever remember his fight against emergency as well as against the communal and sectarian politics of BJP. while we pay tribute to this stalwart, we must try to imbibe at least some of the values he always stood in solidarity with,” RJD leader said.

Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member Surendra Nagar said that Nayar was a statesman in journalism and his death was a loss to the nation and his contribution to journalism will be remembered always.

Nayar fought fiercely for press freedom, specially during Emergency. e authored 15 books including “Beyond the Lines”, “India after Nehru” and “Emergency Retold”. He was also known for his efforts to improve frosty relationship between India and Pakistan including leading peace activists to light candles on the Independence days of Pakistan and India at the Attari-Wagah border near Amritsar.

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