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Vinod Mehta passes away

MUMBAI: Outlook India’s founding editor-in-chief, veteran journalist and author Vinod Mehta passed away after a prolonged illness in New Delhi on Sunday.

Mehta, 72, who was ailing for some time, breathed his last at the AIIMS.

Vinod MehtaHe is survived by his wife Sumita Paul, a journalist who worked for the Pioneer and the Sunday Times of India, and his pet dog named Editor. While the couple did not have any children, as per his book, ‘Lucknow Boy’, he has a daughter from an old affair from his younger days.

During his journalistic career spanning decades, he had been editor of various publications including The Pioneer, The Sunday Observer, The Independent, and The Indian Post. He also authored multiple books.

He was founder of the Outlook Magazine and served as its editor-in-chief for 17 years and was also editorial chairman of the publication.

He started his journalistic career editing the magazine Debonair and went on to write biographies on Sanjay Gandhi and actress Meena Kumari. He also wrote two memoires, ‘Lucknow Boy’ and ‘Editor Unplugged’.

When he was three years old, his family migrated to Lucknow from Rawalpindi. After getting his BA degree, he did multiple jobs before joining Debonair in 1974 as editor. Later, he shifted to Delhi and launched the Delhi-edition of The Pioneer.

Paying his condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Frank & direct in his opinions, Vinod Mehta will be remembered as a fine journalist & writer. Condolences to his family on his demise.”

Many journalists and politicians also took the Twitter route to pay their homage to the veteran.

Shekhar Gupta wrote, “#VinodMehta, we agreed often, disagreed sometimes. With principled passion & beliefs. Most of all, a fellow dog lover. You’ll be missed. RIP”

Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted, “An iconic editor and friend passes away. Brave and irreverent till the end. Vinod Mehta RIP. In an age of Pygmy editors who won’t stand up to be counted, Vinod Mehta was exceptional. The old school of Mumbai editors.”

Sagarika Ghose said, “My much loved @Outlookindia boss Vinod Mehta is gone: we will miss you greatly Vinod, and India will miss your irreverent valiant voice. RIP”

Dr Chandan Mitra wrote, “Shocked. Vinod Mehta no more. Wonderful writer, dear friend. Preceded me as editor of Sunday Observer and Pioneer. Last of the Great Editors.”

In its message, the Editors’ Guild said the media world had lost a “liberal, independent voice and the world of public discourse in India, a reflective contributor who spoke his mind without rancour or fear.”