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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 46 New Delhi November 5, 2016

Saral Patra is No More

Monday 7 November 2016

Veteran journalist Saral Patra, 93, passed away in New Delhi in the early hours of October 31, 2016. He leaves behind his wife, Protima, and sons, Arun and Sanjay.

Born in Bengal in April 1923, he went to Lahore to work in the UPI (United Press of India) news agency and stayed there till 1947. It is there that he became fluent in Punjabi.

After the partition he moved to Delhi. By that time he had been drawn into the communist movement. Being a Punjabi-speeking Bengali from Lahore, he remained close to the Punjabis in the Delhi CP cell. He started working in the New China News Agency. Through his Punjabi comrades he met the daughter of Gurbaksh Singh Preetlari, Protima, whom he married in 1955.

He worked for the Economist (Hong Kong) for sometime and then joined the IPA when it was set up in the 1950s. Later he joined the editorial team of Mainstream and wrote several editorials during the Emergency. He also assisted H.Y. Sharada Prasad in editing books. Subsequently, he worked for various news agencies, notably Prensa Latina. He functioned as a copy editor for various agencies/publishers right upto to his eighties.

While gratefully remembering Saral Patra, Mainstream offers its sincere condolences to his bereaved family.

A memorial function is due to be held at the Chinmaya Mission on November 13, 2016 (4 to 5 pm).