Friday, June 14, 2024

Veteran Journalist BRP Bhaskar Dies at 93

BRP Bhaskar, a towering figure in Indian journalism and human rights activism, passed away this morning at the age of 93 in Thiruvananthapuram. He had been suffering from age-related ailments. 

Over his seven-decade career, Bhaskar headed several prestigious news publications and carved out a legacy as a champion of press freedom and civil liberties. He began as a 20-year-old reporter at The Hindu’s Chennai bureau in 1952 before going on to work at The Statesman,and Patriot, and served as news editor for the United News of India for 18 years.

Bhaskar retired from The Deccan Herald in Bengaluru in the early 1990s but continued working as a consultant for media houses like Asianet and Gulf Today. His unwavering commitment to ethical journalism was recognized with the Kesari-Swadeshabhimani Award, Kerala’s highest honour for the field.

“BRP Bhaskar was more than just a journalist – he was a tireless activist who fought for the rights and dignity of all people,” said former colleague Meera Srinivasan. “Whether it was leading protests or penning hard-hitting exposés, he never shied away from speaking truth to power.”

Indeed, Bhaskar’s byline could be found in coverage of nearly every major human rights and social justice movement in Kerala over the past 70 years. His 2022 biography Newsroom provided an engrossing first-hand account of the stories behind the news.  

“He had an unmatched moral courage and steadfast belief in using the press as a force for positive change in society,” said Abhinav Kashyap, secretary of the Editors Guild of India. “Bhaskar’s passing leaves an immense void in Indian journalism.”

Bhaskar is survived by his wife Sharada Devi and two sons. His family has announced that his last rites will be performed tomorrow by his wishes for a low-key ceremony.

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