Veteran journalist Barendra Dhal passes away

Bhubaneswar: Veteran journalist, eminent columnist and noted author Barendrakrushna Dhal passed away at his residence in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday morning. He was 77.

According to sources, Dhal had been keeping ill for the past few days.

Family sources informed that Dhal’s last rites will be performed at Puri’s Swarga Dwara tomorrow.

Many journalists, politicians and eminent personalities from various walks of life reached his residence to offer their last tributes to the departed soul.

Dhal carved out a special place for himself with his incisive writing. During his long journalistic career spanning four decades, he worked for a number of vernacular and national publications. He was Editor of Swarajya and worked as the Odisha correspondent for leading Bengali daily Aaj Kaal for a number of years. Towards the end, he had restricted himself to writing thoughtful columns in leading Odia dailies like Sambad and Dharitri.

He was also actively involved with various forums fighting for the interests of media persons and was president of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Apart from being a leading journalist of his generation, Dhal was also an author of repute who wrote many novels and novellas in Odia.

Denizens of the capital city, however, know him best as the father of the Bhubaneswar Book Fair, which he started in the early 1980s and continued organising till the very last. Bhubaneswar Book Fair spawned the book fair movement in Odisha with many clones, not just in Bhubaneswar, coming up in the subsequent years.