The Weekend Leader - Veteran Journalist Ajay Upadhyay Passes Away at 66, Cremated in Varanasi

Veteran Journalist Ajay Upadhyay Passes Away at 66, Cremated in Varanasi

New Delhi


Photo: IANS

Ajay Upadhyay, a distinguished and pioneering journalist, was cremated at the Harishchandra Ghat in Varanasi on Sunday following his sudden demise from cardiac arrest on Saturday evening. He was 66.

Upadhyay, renowned for his extensive knowledge across various subjects and popularly known as an intellectual titan, held prominent and leading editorial positions in several national newspapers. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Hindi daily 'Hindustan' for a significant period.

Breathing his last in Varanasi following a cardiac arrest, he is survived by his wife Manju Upadhyay, son Vartik, and daughter Shaynika.

Hailing from Varanasi, Upadhyay settled in Delhi, where he established himself as a stalwart of journalism through knowledge and hard work.

Originally from Onia village in Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar district, he spent his formative years in Varanasi and received his education there. Upadhyay held significant positions in prominent newspapers such as 'Hindustan', 'Dainik Jagran', and 'Amar Ujala'. He is fondly recalled for his exceptional editorial acumen by his colleagues in these organizations.

A former General Secretary of the Editors Guild of India, Upadhyay was known for his scholarly traits, determination, and polite demeanour as a journalist. Starting his journalistic journey at the Varanasi-based Hindi daily 'Aaj', he also held a B.Tech in electrical engineering from MACT Bhopal.

Colleagues fondly remember him as a scholarly journalist and a beacon of journalism with unparalleled leadership qualities and a vast reservoir of knowledge. His friend Dilip Cherian paid tribute to Upadhyay, noting the rarity of journalists who matched his scholarly stature. Condolences poured in from various quarters of the media and society mourning his loss.

The Press Club of India issued a condolence message on X: "We are sorry to hear about the passing away of veteran journalist, Ajay Upadhyay. He was 66. He had worked with several leading publications – Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Hindustan & Aaj Tak. May the almighty give strength to the family members at this time of sorrow and grief."

"There were few journalists or editors of his erudition, a quality he yet wore lightly. No one had his multiplicity of sources Ajay-bhai could summon up on any issue. Economics, politics, geo-security, technology he could access fountains of wisdom on all. He wrote on many, edited with conviction and courage. Owners quailed, sources sighed, readers understood and journalists and journalism stood taller, each time," Cherian penned in his heartfelt tribute to the departed soul on his X handle.

The Editors Guild of India has also condoled Upadhyay’s death. In a press statement, it said: "The Editors Guild of India condoles the passing away of senior journalist Ajay Upadhyay, member of the Guild and former General Secretary. Mr Upadhyay, 66, passed away on July 6, 2024, in Varanasi. He was associated with several leading dailies and media houses. A versatile journalist, he had professional contacts across the political spectrum. Friendly and affable by nature, he guided a generation of younger journalists in his long professional journey."

Shashi Shekhar, the editor-in-chief of 'Hindustan', reminisced about his time with Ajay Upadhyay in the past, praising him for his diligence, intellect, and expertise. “Ajay, you have departed, but there is one thing that never fades, and that is the past. A significant part of my past belongs to you. You will be remembered!”, he posted on social media.

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