Surendra Nihal Singh lives on in memories

Surendra Nihal Singh lives on in memories

S Nihal Singh

Veteran journalist Surendra Nihal Singh, who passed away at the age of 88 after a brief illness here on Monday, lives on in the memories of his colleagues, admirers and the media fraternity even after his death.

A democrat liberal to the core in his editorial outlook, Singh was one of the finest editors of his time and "a fearless" journalist.

He won the prestigious International Editor of the Year Award in New York for his role in opposing Emergency, imposed under then prime minister Indira Gandhi regime in 1975.

"He was one of the finest editors in India and a distinguished foreign correspondent — a breed that is vanishing now. He was a strong defender of press freedom, besides being a fine human being,” former editor-in-chief of the Press Trust of India M K Razdan said.

Singh started his journalistic career as a reporter with The Statesman.

During his stint as a correspondent, he covered politics in India and later wrote from Moscow, London, the US and Indonesia as a foreign correspondent. Most of his foreign assignments were for The Statesman.

He later came at the helm of the affairs of The Statesman after he was appointed as its editor-in-chief.

"He was a gentleman editor. He welcomed the media revolution that came in this country (with the advent of news channels and news portals) after his retirement. He was one of the finest editors who always encouraged his reporters when they needed it," newly-appointed president of the Editors Guild of India and well-known journalist Shekhar Gupta said.

Singh became an independent columnist and commentator after he served as the editor of the Khaleej Times of Dubai in 1994. He has also served as the editor-in-chief of the Indian Express and as the founding editor of The Indian Post.

Vijay Nayak, consulting editors with the Sakal papers, described Singh as a "veteran of veterans" in the field of journalism in India.

"Journalism has lost a doyen with his demise," he said.

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