Veteran BBC broadcaster Kailash Budhwar passes away | World News - Hindustan Times
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Veteran BBC broadcaster Kailash Budhwar passes away

Hindustan Times, London | By
Jul 11, 2020 10:37 PM IST

Hailing from Kanpur, Budhwar was the head of the BBC’s Hindi service and a prominent figure among listeners in India and the UK. A theatre buff, Budhwar was described by colleagues as an inspiring presence in the newsroom.

Kailash Budhwar, who had a distinguished career in BBC in London since 1969, became the first Indian to head any BBC section in 1979 and mentored a generation of journalists over the decades, has died aged 88, his former colleagues said.

Kailash Budhwar, had a distinguished career in BBC in London since 1969
Kailash Budhwar, had a distinguished career in BBC in London since 1969

Hailing from Kanpur, Budhwar was the head of the BBC’s Hindi service and a prominent figure among listeners in India and the UK. A theatre buff, Budhwar was described by colleagues as an inspiring presence in the newsroom.

Vijay Rana, senior journalist who worked with Budhwar from 1982-1992, said: “Sitting with him was an education in itself. He became very popular among listeners in India due his factual reporting during the Emergency. He was a doyen of Hindi journalism”.

Speaking to Hindustan Times in 2016 on changes in Fleet Street over the years, he said an Indian journalist in a leading role in London was such a novelty in the 1970s that when he was appointed the first Indian head of any BBC section in Bush House in 1979, it became national news.

Also read | Stop press: India never far from romance of Fleet Street

“There was no space for us Indians on Fleet Street. The BBC in fact held a press conference to announce my appointment as the head of Hindi service, it was reported widely. Until then, Indians were only contributors, not at the top editorial level,” he had said.

Budhwar, who retired from BBC in 1992, was a prominent figure in Indian community circles, striving to uphold Indian perspectives in BBC news discourse in relation to anti-India elements based in the UK, and attending independence day and other events of the Indian high commission.

Budhwar leaves behind wife Binodini, three daughters and one son.

Budhwar often oversaw elections of the Indian Journalists Association (established May 1947), besides actively participating in its engagements.

IJA president Rupanjana Dutta said: “He was one of our most prominent and senior members. We remember him as an ever-smiling and pleasant person, often regarded as a beacon of knowledge. It is a great loss for IJA today”.

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