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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Veteran journalist Karanjia laid to rest

The former Blitz editor was cremated at the Chandanwadi electric crematorium in the presence of scores of media personalities and eminent citizens.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2008 17:58 IST


Veteran journalist and former Blitz editor R.K. Karanjia was Saturday cremated at the Chandanwadi electric crematorium in the presence of scores of media personalities and eminent citizens.

Karanjia, who died Friday afternoon at his residence at age 95, was cremated in a departure from Parsi tradition in line with his wishes.

Senior journalists paid glowing tributes to Karanjia, saying he had changed the face of Indian journalism.

A former war correspondent, Karanjia was founder-editor of the firebrand weekly Blitz, which had a bulldog as its mascot. He later launched the Hindi Blitz, The Daily and a glamour magazine, Cine Blitz. Karanjia is widely regarded the pioneer of investigative journalism.

"He was into it way before anyone even knew or understood what investigative reporting was all about," said DK Joshi, editor of Hindi newspaper Jan Samachar. Joshi worked closely with Karanjia as chief reporter in Hindi Blitz.

P. Sainath, former deputy chief editor of Blitz, told IANS: "Karanjia thought first as a journalist and then as a newspaper proprietor. He allowed everyone in his staff to grow individually and never victimised anyone."

Asian Age editor Olga Tellis, describing Karanjia's journalistic skills, said: "He could sense a story break way ahead and could predict how it was going to pan out."

Farzana Contractor, former editor of

The Afternoon Despatch

& Courier

and presently editor of

Upper Crust

magazine, said: "An era has ended with the passing away of Karanjia."

She described him as the last of the journalists of that glorious era and genre - debonair, dashing and smart in every respect.

A self-learner, Karanjia started his journalistic writings as a college student in Mumbai. He joined The Times of India in Mumbai as assistant editor.

After launching Blitz, his aggressive style of writing earned him admiration and accolades in India and abroad.

During World War II he reported from Burma and Assam where fighting was raging. In 1945, he shot into limelight by publishing exclusive photographs of Indian revolutionary leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army.

He also launched a campaign and raised a sum of Rs.125,000 for the treatment, relief and rehabilitation of Indian soldiers at the British General Hospital in Pune.

During the Quit India Movement, Blitz ran a campaign to get Jawaharlal Nehru, who became India's first prime minister, released from prison. For this, he was fined Rs.3,000 - then a hefty amount - by the British rulers.

Karanjia was one of the few Indian media persons to have met Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle. He also conducted exclusive interviews with world leaders like Nehru, Gamel Nasser, Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, Zhou en Lai and Yasser Arafat.