Guwahati, Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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Noted journalist Naresh Rajkhowa dead
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Nov 23 – Eminent journalist Naresh Rajkhowa, who had a distinguished career in The Assam Tribune, breathed his last this morning at his Nabagiri Road residence. The scribe, credited with several major newsbreaks from this part of the world, passed away due to old age ailments. He was 87.

His death has been widely mourned in the journalist fraternity in which he was recognised as a pioneer, who by grit and determination was able to come up with path breaking reports and analysis on a range of national and international developments.

He was the first to report on the Dalai Lama’s arrival on Indian soil, on Chinese incursions in erstwhile NEFA, and the 1971 war leading to creation of Bangladesh. Subsequently, he covered the fall of Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Besides, his reports chronicled a series of major events and incidents shaping the recent history of Assam and the rest of the Northeast.

The late Rajkhowa was born in Phukan Nagar, Sivasagar in 1922. After completing his schooling he did his intermediate studies in Cotton College, and completed his higher education from St Xaviers College, Kolkata. During his stay, he represented the Calcutta University in volleyball tournaments.

In 1946, he joined The Assam Tribune as a sub-editor, and in 1951 he started working in the newspaper’s Shillong office as a Special Representative. In 1973 he was deputed to work in New Delhi, the tenure during which he further consolidated his position as a journalist of repute.

A widely travelled man who befriended many well-known public figures such as former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Rajkhowa was known in international circles for his reporting from several areas in South Asia. He retired from The Assam Tribune in 1983. For some time he was a columnist for a Japanese newspaper, and wrote for The Hindu as well.

The writer of two books, Rajkhowa was a member of the Press Council of India for two terms, and a senior member of the Guwahati Press Club. A keen tennis and badminton player, he was the president of the Assam Badminton Association.

During and after his eventful life the veteran scribe was honoured with several awards and honours by different organisations of Assam.

He leaves behind his wife Aparajita Rajkhowa, three daughters and a son.

His cremation will take place at Nabagraha crematoriun tomorrow morning at 9 am.

Rajkhowa’s death has been widely mourned and since morning people have visited his place to offer their condolences. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in his condolence message recalled the late Rajkhowa’s contribution to journalism, and described his demise as an irreparable loss. Others who extended sympathies to the bereaved family include the Guwahati Press Club, the AASU, the Assam Tribune Employees’ Union, and Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust.