Chakravarty: TOI’s former diplomatic editor Chakravarty dies | India News

NEW DELHI: Subhash Chakravarty, who was with The Times of India for three decades, including as Chief of Bureau in Delhi and Diplomatic Editor, died in the early hours of Friday. He was over 90.
The legions of journalists worked with and mentored over the years described ‘Dada’ – as he was universally known – as a quintessential reporter who was deeply networked among the political and corporate class alike.
On the evening of May 21, 1991 for instance, when news broke of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, editor-turned BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta recalled everyone returning to office around 10 pm to change the next day’s pages. “Everyone was in a flutter. But Dada returned from his rounds around 11pm, and told Menon – his assistant – to take down the headline and write, ‘Congress Working Committee will probably elect PV Narasimha Rao as its next president’. And that is exactly what happened!” Dasgupta said.
Born and schooled in Kishoreganj, Mymenshingh, now in Bangladesh, Chakravarty moved to Kolkata for higher studies. He began his journalistic career as a trainee reporter at The Statesman before moving to TOI in early 1960s.
Among the first Indian journalists to meet the Dalai Lama before he moved to Delhi in 1959, Chakravarty, travelled to the border near Tawang and witnessed the arrival of Tibetans who had fled in fear of the Chinese regime after its annexation of Tibet. His recollections of the moment when he saw the fleeing Tibetan group cross the McMohan Line into India were vivid.
Chakravarty broke the story on the arrival of thousands of refugees in Tripura, who fled erstwhile East Pakistan at the start of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and his reports urged the Indian government to prepare for the arrival of more refugees. His report on the 1972 summit between India and Pakistan in Shimla gave a sneak peek into the probable terms on which the Simla Agreement was signed.
Remembered as a reporter’s editor, Chakravarty believed till the very end in the power of legwork. From being a frequent presence in the India International Centre library, poring over books and newspapers, to walking in Lodhi Garden, Chakravarty remained an active presence in Delhi’s journalistic circles until he suffered a stroke in 2021. Chakravarty will be cremated in Delhi on Monday.

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