Vinod Mehta, one of India’s best known journalists, died in New Delhi on Sunday of multi-organ failure, doctors said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him “a fine journalist”. The 73-year-old Mehta, who at one time worked as factory hand in Britain, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), its spokesperson Amit Gupta told.
AIIMS said Mehta suffered from several neurological issues and had been bed-ridden for three to four months. He was admitted to AIIMS in critical state last week. Outlook group, which was the last major media group Mehta founded, announced the death of its founder-editor-in-chief “with deep sadness”.
Even after ceasing to be its editor, he was its editorial chairman.
Modi said in a tweet: “Frank and direct in his opinions, Vinod Mehta will be remembered as a fine journalist and writer. Condolences to his family on his demise.” Born in Rawalpindi before India’s partition, Mehta’s family moved to India when he was only three years old. He grew up in Lucknow, studying in the La Martinere school and Lucknow University.
His big moment came in 1974 when Mehta, at age 32, took up editing “Debonair”, a men’s magazine in India which boasted of serious articles as well as centre-folds. He later went on to launch other successful publications such as Sunday Observer, The Pioneer and Outlook. He also founded the Indian Post and The Independent newspapers.
A gifted writer, Mehta authored a biography of Bollywood actress Meena Kumari and Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son of slain prime minister Indira Gandhi. His much acclaimed memoir, “Lucknow Boy”, came out in 2011. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Lucknow, said: “I express my heartfelt condolences… His demise has left a big void in the field of journalism.” (IANS)