Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2013 > Fond Memories of an Eminent Editor

Mainstream, VOL LI, No 47, November 9, 2013

Fond Memories of an Eminent Editor

Tuesday 12 November 2013, by Bharat Dogra

One of my fondest memories of early days of free-lance journalism relates to my few but precious meetings with Nikhil Chakravartty, editor of Mainstream. Earlier as a student in Delhi University my teachers introduced me to Mainstream where some of our most recommended readings by top-ranking scholars were first published. So when I turned to free-lance writing as a profession soon after leaving college, possibilities of getting published in Mainstream appeared like a great hounour to me. So gathering courage I hesitatingly visited the Mainstream office to meet Nikhilji.

To my great surprise and greater happiness, Nikhilji not only found the time to meet me (I had gone without fixing an appointment) but he was also encouraging about my possibilities of writing for Mainstream. He had already seen some of my articles in other publications, and what he said helped greatly to strengthen my resolve to continue writing.

During subsequent visits Nikhilji was equally encouraging—not patronising, but genuinely encouraging. As a young writer with no other source of income, I also used to wait eagerly to receive payments for my articles. During one of the visits, he gently explained to me why it will not be possible for Mainstream to pay me for my writings, or pay very little. I understood.

After the Emergency was lifted I worked on some stories on what had happened during the Emergency in rural areas. One of the stories was published in Mainstream and incidentally presented a dark side of a powerful person. This person tried to make things difficult, but Nikhilji did not even mention this as a problem to me.

As I gained more experience of journalism, my high regard for the significant role played by Nikhilji and Mainstream increased further. His writings were so full of valuable insights that these remain relevant even today when these are read after a long time. So reading N.C. was for me very much a part of growing up in journalism. Later several eminent journalists of my generation told me about how they shared my high regard for the writings of N.C. and how N.C.’s columns had helped them to seek clarity in confusing times.

I’ll always cherish my few but invaluable meetings with N.C.

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62 Privacy Policy Notice Addressed to Online Readers of Mainstream Weekly in view of European data privacy regulations (GDPR)