KO pays homage to grand old man of journalism

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Srinagar: Ved Bhasin- the ‘grand old man of English journalism in Jammu and Kashmir’-breathed his last on Thursday night. The 86-year-old journalist, who remained an active journalist for six decades was suffering from degenerative brain disease for the last several months.

He was born in Srinagar and received his schooling in Jammu. He did his post graduation before 1947 from the Punjab University (Lahore).

The veteran journalist wrote for a range of newspapers, journals and columns. He started his journalism career with Naya Samja- an Urdu weekly from 1952-54. Later, he founded the Daily Kashmir Times in 1955 after his first newspaper; the Naya Samaj was banned by the authorities. Bhasin edited Kashmir Times till the year 2000. He had also worked with news gathering agency UNI as its J&K bureau chief from 1963-1969.

He also is known for his objectivity especially during the years of strident militant. He fearlessly and scrupulously reported and documented the happenings in militancy hit Kashmir.

Bhasin was President of J&K Association of Journalists, Jammu Editors Conference, and Press Club of Jammu twice and served on various Press bodies including Press Advisory Committees (as Convener) for a number of years.

The doyen of journalism in Jammu and Kashmir was known for his uncompromising secular views and support for the under privileged sections of society. He resisted and fought against the communalization and polarization of politics in Jammu and Kashmir vigorously and cut his teeth in the crucible of activism against communalism and autocracy. At the state level, Bhasin’s politics corresponded to the politics of the National Conference  for a long time and at the national level, he was associated with the Socialist Party of India and Jaiprakash Narayan.

Bhasin was held by many to be a living history of  Jammu and Kashmir in the sense of having seen and been through the convolutions of the politics of the state.

Ved Bhasin’s death has been widely condoled in the state. A cross section of society, from all walks of life expressed sorrow and distress over Bhasin’s demise.

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