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Rajya Sabha deputy chairman election: NDA’s Harivansh a journalist who took up social cause

Janata Dal (United) leader Harivansh wore many hats — editor, author, bank official, public servant — before making his debut as Rajya Sabha MP in April 2014.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2018 01:12 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajya Sabha,deputy chairman,Harivansh
A former editor of Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar, Harivansh served as the additional information advisor to socialist veteran Chandra Shekhar, who was India’s Prime Minister between November 1990 and June 1991.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Janata Dal (United) leader Harivansh wore many hats — editor, author, bank official, public servant — before making his debut as Rajya Sabha MP in April 2014. But he wasn’t new to Delhi’s corridors of power.

A former editor of Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar, Harivansh served as the additional information advisor to socialist veteran Chandra Shekhar, who was India’s Prime Minister between November 1990 and June 1991.

Born to a modest family in socialist icon Jai Prakash Narayan’s Sitabdiyara village in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia, Harivansh earned the reputation of an author-journalist who espoused the cause of social justice.

Harivansh got his first job with Dharmayug magazine in Mumbai in 1977 and developed a strong bonding with other socialist leaders. Harivansh took banking services exam and became an Official Language Officer with the Bank of India in Hyderabad and later in Patna between 1981-1984.

He was associated with the Reserve Bank of India, but resigned and returned as assistant editor of Hindi weekly Ravivar — launched by the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group — and stayed in Kolkata for the next couple of years.

Gyan Ranjan, a Congress veteran from Jharkhand, had just sold Prabhat Khabar to an industrial house, having base in Kolkata and Ranchi, and Harivansh was offered the editor’s job of the paper published from Ranchi.

A year later, he moved to New Delhi to work in the Prime Minister’s Office. He returned to Ranchi in June 1991 and stayed there until 2016, formally ending his association with the newspaper.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, a fellow socialist leader, offered him a Rajya Sabha berth in 2014, and appointed him the party’s general secretary in 2016. Harivansh has edited or written 19 books, and has been a member of the World Editors Forum.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 01:12 IST