प्रयागराज। ख्यातिलब्ध पत्रकार और नॉर्दन इंडिया पत्रिका के पूर्व संपादक 89 वर्षीय वी एस दत्ता का मंगलवार की शाम लगभग चार बजे निधन हो गया। वे कैंसर से पीड़ित थे। नाजरेथ अस्पताल मे इलाज के दौरान उन्होंने अंतिम सांस लिया। मंगलवार की देर शाम ही उनका अंतिम संस्कार कर दिया गया।
1938 में वीएस दत्ता का जन्म पंजाब के उस हिस्से में हुआ था, जो आज पाकिस्तान में है। उनकी प्रारंभिक शिक्षा कराची के सेंट पैट्रिक हाईस्कूल में हुई, इसी स्कूल से पूर्व उप प्रधानमंत्री श्री लाल कृष्ण आडवानी ने भी शिक्षा हासिल की थी।
ग्वालियर से पिताजी का तबादला इलाहाबाद होने पर यहां आकर सेंट जोसेफ में पढ़ाई की, फिर यहां जीआईसी और फिर इलाहाबाद विश्वविद्यालय से स्नातक और फिर इकोनामिक्स से एमए किया। छात्र जीवन से ही लेखन के प्रति रूझान था। सबसे पहले ‘संपादक के नाम पत्र’ लिखना शुरू किया और पहला पत्र ‘पत्रिका’ में छपा।
पढ़ाई पूरी करने के बाद सन 1962 ई. में पत्रकारिता में प्रवेश किया। अंग्रेज़ी अख़बार ‘लीडर’ में पत्रकार की नौकरी के लिए लिखित परीक्षा ली गई। परीक्षा पास करने के बाद 162 रुपये
प्रति माह पर नौकरी मिल गई। 1973 में एनआईपी ज्वाईन किया। तब से एनआईपी में ही नौकरी करते रहे। हालांकि बीच-बीच में कई बार एनआईपी बंद होता रहा है।
उन्हें पत्रकारिता में योगदान के लिए 17 अगस्त 2013 को साहित्यिक संस्था गुफ़्तगू द्वारा पत्रकारिता सम्मान दिया गया था।
उनके निधन पर पर पूर्व कमिश्नर बादल चटर्जी, वरिष्ठ पत्रकार, मुनेश्वर मिश्रा, इम्तियाज़ अहमद ग़ाज़ी, अनिल निगम, वीपी तिवारी, विशाल तलवार, अक्षय सिंह, मोहित मिश्रा, आरके प्रजापति, मनोज पांडेय आदि ने गहरा दुख व्यक्त किया है।
पढ़िए पत्रकार और वकील परमानंद पांडेय की श्रद्धांजलि-
Veteran journalist and the former editor of Northern India Patrika (NIP) Shri V S Dutta passed away this afternoon at the ripe old age of nearly 90 years. I knew him for more than 40 years when he was an Assistant Editor of the newspaper and I was appointed as an apprentice by its former editor, the late Shri SK Bose, who incidentally was also my teacher of journalism at the Banaras Hindu University. Shri Bose attached me with Shri Dutta, who used to improve my copies with his blue pencil.
I have never seen any other editor correcting the copies of a novice journalist with so much patience as Shri Dutta used to do. Northern India Patrika was, in those days, the most respected and a household English newspaper of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Western Bihar, and Northern Madhya Pradesh. It was very popular in cities like Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi and Gorakhpur, Jabalpur, and Satna. A news item of even a few lines in the NIP was enough to awaken the authorities to wake them up from their slumbers.
Shri Dutta had an extremely good command of the English language. The initial lessons that he gave me about English grammar always stood me in good stead. Later Shri SK Bose got me inducted to the newly launched Amrit Prabhat newspaper of the same media house. At one point in time, it was an honour to be a journalist in that group which was part of the historic Amrit Bazar Patrika. The freedom that was available in Northern India Patrika and the Amrit Prabhat was the envy of most of the journalists of other newspapers. The news editor of Amrit Prabhat Shri KB Mathur has been a thorough gentleman who always encouraged the newcomers to give their very best to make a mark in the profession.
The late Shri VS Dutta and his family had migrated from the western part of Punjab, which is now a part of Pakistan to Allahabad. When his family migrated to India, he was not even 15 years old, but he had a very vivid memory of his native place. He used to take pride in saying that Dutts were Mohyal Brahmins whose ancestors fought for the cause of Shia Muslims against the atrocities of Sunnis. That was why they were also known as Warrior Brahmins or Hussaini Brahmins.
Some 8 or 9 years ago, he telephoned me and asked me to write a column on legal issues for Northern India Patrika, I could not say ‘no’ to his offer, although it was very little remunerative monetarily. He used to publish my fortnightly column ‘Judicial Panorama’ A few times he asked me to write on some issues in detail. When I told him that it would be too lengthy and boring for any newspaper reader, he told me that he was publishing my articles for the benefit of the legal community. It was a compliment to me.
Once I met Justice Markandey Katju, who was then the Chairman of the Press Council of India (of which I have also been a member for two terms i.e., six years), he fondly remembered the late Shri VS Dutta and told me that he was like his Guru, as he also learnt the legal reporting under his able guidance. The praise for Shri Dutta coming from the mouth of a cynical judge like Justice Katju is indeed very flattering.
Shri Dutta was a lover of old Hindi film songs and Bhajans, which he used to sing during leisurely hours. He was a Veetragi in the real sense of the term and had no greed for anything. He used to regularly write even in his old age and had told me many times that writing was like de-stressing medicine for him. He had got many lucrative offers from many big organisations and cities but politely declined them as he used to have a deep love for the city of Ganga and Yamuna. He must have trained a very large number of journalists but never flaunted his position or power. Shy by nature, laborious by habit, well behaved by upbringing, a good connoisseur of music and literature, fastidious in writings, a lover of nature and its beauties, Shri Dutt lived a full life of nearly ninety years May his soul find a place in Heaven.