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Tribute: D. R. Goyal

Friday 15 February 2013, by SC

Desh Raj Goyal, 84, passed away in New Delhi after a brief illness in the afternoon of February 3, 2013. A veteran journalist and academic, he was the editor of Secular Democracy. From 1963 to 1967 he edited Mainstream. He leaves behind his son Ashit. His wife and younger son had predeceased him.

We had invited him to attend a meeting at the India International Centre, New Delhi on January 29 to mark fifty years of Mainstream with a discussion on ‘Indian Media Scene Today: Potential and Reality’. We had planned to felicitate him alongwith some other personalities associated with this journal in its early years. He could not come because of age-related problems. But he was in good spirits when he received the invitation for the meeting on January 25.

Goyal-sahb was a crusader against the growing menace of communalism in the country since he fully comprehended the threat it posed having himself been a full-time RSS pracharak in his youth. He later eschewed his connections with the RSS and joined the Communist Party. He also taught in Kirorimal College. He played a vital role in the struggle against Hindu communalism through the vehicle of late Subhadra Joshi’s Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee, and became the editor of Secular Democracy.

While offering our sincere homage to his abiding memory we reproduce here, for the benefit of our readers, an article he had written for the Independence Day Special of Mainstream (August 16, 1997) on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of our freedom. This article brings out his metamorphosis from an RSS activist to a Communist with a broad national outlook, and calls for rooting out communalism. —S.C.

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