Senior journalist and editor-in-chief of National Herald, Neelabh Mishra, passed away today at a Chennai Hospital.
Mishra, 57, was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai earlier this month and developed multiple organ failures before a liver transplant could be carried out.
In 2016, Mishra steered the re-launch of National Herald, the newspaper founded by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938, as a digital news website. In 2017, Mishra relaunched the National Herald on Sunday newspaper, and then National Herald’s sister publications Navjivan and Qaumi Awaz as news websites.
Before National Herald, Neelabh was editor of Outlook Hindi for several years. An MA in English Literature from Delhi University, Neelabh began his career as a reporter with Navbharat Times in his hometown Patna.
He then moved to Rajasthan as the Jaipur correspondent for News Time. He also set up Eenadu TV in Rajasthan in 1998.Over more than three decades in journalism, Neelabh mentored a generation of younger journalists, whom he schooled in his inimitable style of speaking truth to power and keeping their ears to the ground.
As a journalist committed to uncovering truth and to expansion of civil rights, he had worked very closely with the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in Bihar, Rajasthan and other states. He was considered as a great friend by many of India’s social movements. They always looked up to him for his advice and guidance. Among them are Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan of Rajasthan and the Right to Information movement. The feminist movement treated him as a dear comrade. Besides being a keen observer of politics, he was a great lover of poetry and fiction. History was another passion for him.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi condoled his death, describing him as one who spoke the truth to power. “An editor’s editor. A man who spoke truth to power. An institution builder. On Neelabh Mishra’s tragic passing away this morning, my deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and admirers,” he tweeted.