AMN / NEW DELHI
Veteran journalist and former editor of the Statesman Indian Express and Khaleej Times, Surendra Nihal Singh is no more. He passed away Monday evening in New Delhi.
Singh was suffering from kidney-related ailments.
“He was ill for quite some time. But he turned critically ill for the past one week,” Indu Nihal Singh, his sister-in-law said.
He will be cremated here Tuesday at 12 PM, she added. The journalist is survived by four sisters.
S Nihal Singh had worked with several leading newspapers including The Indian Express as its editor-in-chief, The Statesman as chief editor and Khaleej Times as editor. He was the founding editor of The Indian Post in 1987.
He was awarded the prestigious International Editor of the Year Award in New York for opposing the Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Nihal Singh was also Director, Press Institute of India and a senior associate Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, New York City. He was also President of the Press Club of India.
He worked as foreign correspondent in Moscow, London, the United States and Indonesia.
Singh was the first correspondent allowed to represent an Indian newspaper in Pakistan after the 1965 war, the veteran editor recalled in an interview in 2013.
He met Indira Gandhi before leaving for Pakistan and felt she was “rather pessimistic about the likelihood of better relations” between the two countries. “I brought up Kashmir for instance and she said, “What solution can there be on Kashmir considering the Pakistani attitudes?”
Singh wrote extensively on both domestic and foreign affairs in his columns after his last stint as editor with Khaleej Times.
His books include “The Rocky Road to Indian Democracy: Nehru to Narasimha Rao”, “The Yogi and the Bear: Story of Indo-Soviet Relations” and “The Gang and 900 million: A China Diary”.
He cast a critical eye on his own profession in “Your Slip is Showing: Indian Press Today” and recalled his life in journalism in “Ink in My Veins”.
“Ink in my Veins” is an autobiographical account which the veteran journalist dishes out in his inimitable style
It is said that a politician is presumed to be dead after he stops opening his mouth. Similarly a journalist, to prove that he is alive and kicking, has to keep writing.
Paying his tributes, senior journalist H.K. Dua said Nihal Singh was one of the most outstanding journalists and an excellent commentator on national affairs and foreign policy.
He said Nihal Singh was always fair in his approach in commentary and could be incisive in comment without malice.
Senior journalist Kuldip Nayar said Nihal Singh would not only be remembered for his contribution to journalism but also to public life.
Nayar said he and Nihal Singh were colleagues in The Statesman for many years and described him as a serious writer.
“He was posted at Singapore when I joined the The Statesman. We used to wait for his dispatches which were read with great interest,” Nayar said, adding that he gave whole perspective on China and Southeast Asia.
I am saddened to know about the passing away of veteran journalist, Shri S. Nihal Singh, today. I express my deepest condolences to the members of the bereaved family. May the Almighty grant peace to departed soul. #NihalSingh pic.twitter.com/M0n4NUa0gW
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) April 16, 2018
RIP S. Nihal Singh, one of a great succession of editors I had the privilege of working under at The Indian Express in my 1st innings 1977-83. Big-hearted gentleman who never resented but celebrated the post-‘91 media revolution and the generational shift it brought
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) April 16, 2018