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Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 48, November 14, 2009

Prabhash Joshi

Tuesday 17 November 2009, by Shree Shankar Sharan

A very eminent journalist, a man of strong principles and great courage of conviction has passed away. Most of us knew him as the editor of the renowned Jansatta, the Hindi number of the redoubtable Indian Express. He wrote powerfully and fearlessly. But you got a real measure of the man only when you heard him speak. He spoke with such passion and from the very depth of his heart that he would inspire the audience to return to the values of the freedom struggle and the spirited service of the nation.

I had the pleasure and privilege to listen to him on the centenary celebration of Lal Bahadur Shastri along with Atul Anjan of the CPI and Anil and Sunil Shastri of the Congress hosted by me at Patna. Each paid a fulsome tribute to Shastriji but the most memorable and impactful speech was by Sri Joshi who called Shastriji the last sentinel of Gandhian ethics and humility at the peak of power.

He raised the Hindi press to new heights of fame and plainspeaking. Indeed he relived the role of the Matrubhumi and other stirring Indian language journals that stirred your emotions and not just your minds. One of the reasons for the pervading gloom in the country is that we have stopped reading our language journals and try to adapt ourselves to the cold English way of thinking and communication.

We will not stop grieving over the loss of this dear and admirable public figure, even though in the fullness of his life, which we share with the bereaved family.

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