Politicians, journalists pay rich tributes to Vinod Mehta

New Delhi: Rich tributes were paid to Vinod Mehta, a distinguished editor and author who died on Sunday, by people from different walks of life, including politicians and journalists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death. "Frank & direct in his opinions, inod Mehta will be remembered as a fine journalist & writer. Condolences to his family on his demise," Modi posted on Twitter.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed her shock and deep anguish at the death of the Editorial Chairman of Outlook magazine and author of a few best-selling books.

"A fearless journalist, Mehta stood for and pioneered a journalistic stream that stood for liberal-progressive values and anchored itself in human conscience. He remained steadfast in his commitment even when the atmosphere was intolerant and adverse," Gandhi said in a message, while extending her condolences to his family and friends.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the death of Mehta, saying his demise has left a big void in the field of journalism. "I express my heartfelt condolence to Mehta's bereaved family. His demise has left a big void in the field of journalism," Singh said.

The Home Minister said he was saddened to know Mehta's passing away as he was a "sensible journalistic voice well known for his candid comments".

Noted journalist N Ram said he greatly admired Mehta who, he said, had unusual journalistic gifts, including an interest in investigative journalism.

"But above all was his independence and his courage in pursuing his own, personal journalism and also backing his journalists to the hilt. He was very unusual kind of an editor who was always accessible to his junior colleagues, who encouraged experimentation, who had a very liberal and progressive outlook. There was a serious inner commitment in him for the values for journalism," Ram said.

Mehta, who had been ailing for the past few months and was undergoing treatment at AIIMS, passed away here today at the age of 73.

Journalist-turned-BJP leader M J Akbar said, "Mehta had a marvellous career as not merely a print journalist but as an innovative idea man, a concept man."

"I think it's a very unique mixture of mind's aggression and a genuine wit and very perceptive and different view of reality," Akbar said, remembering Mehta.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley condoled Mehta's death, saying it's a loss to journalism. "His absence will be felt in every debate," Jaitley said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also mourned his death. AAP leader and former journalist Ashutosh remembered him as a "very very versatile and frank journalist" who was "an institution in himself".

Many Bollywood stars also fondly remembered him as they offered their condolences.

Anupam Kher said, "Vinod Mehta was one of the few editors I met in my early days in Mumbai. He was generous and direct. Will miss him and his straightforwardness."

Mehta was suffering from severe lung infection and was on life support. He died of multiple organ failure, an AIIMS spokesperson said. He wrote his best-selling autobiography 'Lucknow Boy' in 2011 and was a popular face in TV debates.

( Source : PTI )
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