Senior journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik passes away at 78

Ved Pratap Vaidik was one of the most prominent names in Hindi journalism for nearly six decades. Being an editor in Delhi, he had good relationships with prominent leaders in the country’s politics.

“Due to his simple nature, he mixed with people very easily. He was friendly with many leaders of the country and abroad, especially South Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and the sub-continent. However, despite being a supporter of BJP and Sangh ideologies, his neglect in the new-old BJP has been surprising to many,” said Umakant Lakhera, the president of the press club of India.

Born on Dec 30, 1944 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Vaidik was a fearless Hindi journalist who worked with the Press Trust of India: for a decade as the Founder-Editor of its Hindi news agency ’Bhasha’. He also held the position of editor (views) at Navbharat Times of the Times Group. He was also the last chairperson of Bharatiya Bhasha Sammelan, an organization working to protect the rights of Indian languages.

Vaidik’s love for Hindi language can be gauged from the fact that in 1957, at the age of just 13, he did a ’Satyagraha’ for Hindi and stayed in Patiala jail. He was also well-versed in Russian, Persian, German and Sanskrit languages.

Vaidik pursued Ph.D. in International Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of International Studies, and did research at New York’s Columbia University, London’s ‘School of Oriental and African Studies’ and Afghanistan’s Kabul University among others.

In 2014, Vaidik was embroiled in a controversy when he interviewed terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of Mumbai terror attack, during his visit to Pakistan. The issue of his visit to Pakistan was also raised in Parliament. However, defending his meeting with Saeed, Vaidik had then said that being a journalist, he had interviewed Saeed and it was his duty.

Vaidik, who will be remembered for setting new standards for Hindi journalism, is survived by a son and a daughter.

Image courtesy of (Image: Janta se Rishta)

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