To no one’s surprise, the passing of Sir Harold Evans, the legendary Editor of The Times, London, received less-than-enthusiastic coverage in English newspapers in India, most of which were happy to run a dry Reuters or AP obituary on the foreign page.
Only The Telegraph, Calcutta, in whose design in 1982 Sir Harry is rumoured to have played a bit role, had its resourceful London correspondent Amit Roy pay homage with a front page story that spilled into the inside pages.
Roy got a quote from Ian Jack, the former editor of Granta, an old India hand, on his former Times boss.
In the Dubai newspaper Khaleej Times, Bikram Vohra (above) had an obit, but for the vast ocean of Indian newspapers, it was barren business as usual.
Needless to say, most did little justice to the stellar journalism of Sir Harry Evans and told readers little if not nothing about the India connections of the late great Editor—or his extraordinary contributions to the world of arts and letters.
(Check out his latest book on writing well.)
The ‘Insight’ team of The Sunday Times, which broke the Thalidomide, Profumo and Kim Philby scandals, comprised among others of Phillip Knightley, who worked for Imprint in Bombay and whose wife Yvonne was Indian.
But American and British newspapers have had glowing tributes to Sir Harry, whose Times colleague-turned-wife Tina Brown was Editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, and was a regular visitor to India for a while for her women in the world summit.
Despite the bitter fallout of Evans with Rupert Murdoch over the independence of the Editor, The Times, London, ran a first-class two-page obituary.
Read Tunku Varadarajan‘s 2017 interview with Sir Harold Evans: “The decline of the printed newspaper is a great loss for English”