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Celebrating the life and times of Naresh Mohan ji

Even before the prayer meet to celebrate the life and times of Shri. Naresh Mohan begun at the Chinmaya Mission.

Lodhi Road on Saturday, the big hall was almost filled with his friends, admirers and family members. They keep on pouring there till the end. After soul- stirring bhajans, Indian Newspaper Society President (INS) Rakesh Sharma, veteran journalist and former cabinet minister of Delhi, Rama Kant Goswami, Anupama, the daughter of Naresh Mohan ji and others paid glowing tributes to somebody who was considered as the Bhisham Pitamah of Indian media world. A delegation from The Tribune from Chandigarh was also there.

Post prayer meeting, it was time for ex- HTites to remember those carefree time when Naresh Mohan ji was the Executive President of HT. Those were the days when we used to feel so contended and happy working there.

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Naresh Mohan served as Executive President of HT for nearly a decade. But that’s not the big deal. It’s also not a big deal that he began his career in a small role in the Newsprint Department of HT in mid 1966s. The real story is that he gave jobs to hundreds of people at HT. He stood by his employees. He never fired anyone. He became the guardian of the Hindustan Times employees during his time there. He became a companion in its difficult times. Naresh Mohan joined HT when it was published from the Bombay Life building in Connaught Place. It was the era of G.N. Sahi and R.N. Sinha, who were the supreme authorities after the owners of HT. However, through his hard work and leadership qualities, Naresh Mohan ji became an important figure in the Hindustan Times. He oversaw the construction of the magnificent Hindustan Times building. He will be remembered as one of the most remarkable managers in the 100-year history of HT. The HT Group came into the hands of the Birla family in 1924.

Naresh Mohan would arrive at the office every morning at 11 am. He would leave after the first edition of the paper was published at night. Every Sunday, he would go to Patna and oversee the work there. Under his guidance, HT’s expansion and profits increased manifold. His passion for his work was unmatched.

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I vividly remember one gloomy evening in 1997. It was already known that it was his last day at HT. When he descended the stairs to go home that evening, all the Hindustan Times employees came to bid him farewell. Even as he was leaving the office, many employees had tears in their eyes. A few years ago, Naresh Mohan told me at a reception for the wedding of Akhouri Suresh Prasad Sinha’s son at IHC that after leaving HT, he never passed through Kasturba Gandhi Marg. Naresh Mohan ji also served on the boards of the Tribune Trust, UNI, and INS.

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