Senior journalist and author Kuldip Nayar, widely respected for his columns and reportage, died at a Delhi hospital early this morning, his family said. He was 95. Mr Nayar was admitted to Escorts Hospital five days ago. He had been suffering from pneumonia. He died at 12:30 am today, his elder son Sudhir Nayar said.
Born at Sialkot (now in Pakistan), Kuldip Nayar graduated with a law degree from Lahore before moving to India after Partition. He served as high commissioner to Britain in 1990 and was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Mr Nayar is survived by his wife and two sons. He will be cremated today at Lodhi crematorium in south Delhi.
In his autobiography published in 2012, he wrote about the collapse of trust between communities after Partition and how he was forced to migrate to Delhi across the blood-stained plains of Punjab.
"From his perilous journey to a new country and to his first job as a young journalist in an Urdu daily, Nayar's account is also the story of India," the introduction to the book reads.
From a young journalist in Anjam, he went on to head the news agency, UNI. His syndicated column, "Between the Lines", was appreciated for how he always stood for the freedom of the press.
He has covered several historical turns that the country has seen, from the 1971 war with Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh to the Emergency of 1975.
People tweeted condolences on hearing about the death of the senior journalist, some of them remembering the effectiveness of the journalism Mr Nayar pursued.
Historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, "...he was a journalist who followed the dictates of his conscience rather than the lure of money or fame... Nayar was not a prose stylist, and prone to the odd conspiracy theory, yet his commitment to interfaith harmony, his professional commitment and integrity, and his courage during the Emergency absolutely shine."
Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh gave his condolences in a letter to Bharti Nayar, the wife of Mr Nayar.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh expresses his condolences to Smt Bharti Nayar, on the passing of Shri Kuldeep Nayar. pic.twitter.com/qFeq6oQmqu- Congress (@INCIndia) August 23, 2018
Sad to hear of the passing of Kuldip Nayar, veteran editor and writer, diplomat and parliamentarian, and a determined champion of democracy during the Emergency. His readers will miss him. Condolences to his family and associates #PresidentKovind- President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 23, 2018
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.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 23, 2018
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Mr Nayar's contribution to journalism will be remembered. "My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," Mr Singh said.