30 October, 2020

The Last Great Editor

When the cliche "the end of an era" trips off the obits, make no mistake: it has.

Illustration by Saahil
The Last Great Editor

You are how you live

So much has been said of Vinod Mehta’s genius and quirks that it would have frankly embarrassed the man. But at precisely 3.25 pm on Sunday, March 8, 2015, he let the world see the real essence of his persona. As his lanky frame left his house for the final time—for the first time horizontally, after ‘Editor’ had squealed goodbye to his master—it struck not a few who had assembled that here was a true great of the profession, for 40 years the top dog, not being majestically carried out from a giant bungalow or an expansive farmhouse but being lowered carefully down the stairs of a two-bedroom, first-floor apartment, albeit in tony Nizamuddin East. At a time when the integrity of journalists has become a joke, that’s a powerful message to send with your eyes closed.

Not a Padma awardee, not a Rajya Sabha nominee, not an Ambassador or a High Commissioner, not a media advisor, not a member of a think-tank, not on any company’s board, the word was Mr Mehta’s most valuable asset. So...



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