Delhi : Eminent journalist B G Verghese, a Ramon Magsaysay award winner and former editor of leading dailies Hindustan Times and Indian Express, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 87 after brief illness.
Verghese was diagnosed for dengue a month back and was suffering from low-grade fever and weakness for last couple of weeks. He was survived by his wife Jamila and sons Vijay and Rahul.
Verghese, who authored many books, was editor of Hindustan Times from 1969 to 1975 and The Indian Express from 1982 to 1986. He was also information adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1966 to 1969 but was critical of her for imposing the Emergency in 1975.
A crusader for civil rights, Verghese has long worked on problems of development. He was part of the Editors Guild of India Fact Finding Mission after the Gujarat riots in 2002.
His books include Waters of hope, India’s North East, Fourth Estate (2005) and his autobiography First Draft: Witness to Making of Modern India.
Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash said demise of Verghese was a big loss and recalled his fight for media rights during Emergency imposed by the then Indira Ganshi government in 1975. ]
“We have lost a great journalist and valliant fighter for media freedom. We can never forget his contribution to restoration of media rights during and after the Emergency in mid-70s,” he told media.
The Editors Guild of India tonight said the passing away of B G Verghese, a veteran journalist and a “sensitive chronicler” of post-Independence India’s triumphs and travails, is a grievous loss to the world of journalism and to public and humanistic causes in general.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described eminent journalist B G Verghese, who passed away on Tuesday, as an “accomplished writer and an insightful thinker.” Condoling the death of Verghese, Modi said “may his soul rest in peace”.