BHUBANESWAR: Veteran journalist, columnist and author Barendra Krushna Dhal passed away at his residence here on Tuesday. He was 77.
Dhal is survived by two daughters and a son. His wife predeceased him in January this year.
He was suffering from cardiac problems for some time. He collapsed while taking a stroll this morning and passed away, family sources said.
Born on March 17, 1939 at Banki in Cuttack district, Dhal began his journalistic career in 'Matrubhumi' in 1961 and worked there for about 25 years. He worked for different regional and national dailies during his five-decade long journalistic career.
He was editor of Odia daily 'Swarajya' for a brief period and worked as the Odisha correspondent for leading Bengali daily 'Aajkaal'. He was into column writing for several years. Dhal was also elected as the president of National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Dhal started the Bhubaneswar Book Fair in 1985 and received Sahitya Akademi award in 1993.
His last rites will be performed at Swarga Dwara, Puri on Wednesday. A large number of journalists, politicians, writers and others eminent personalities paid tribute to the noted columnist at his residence.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and several of his Cabinet colleagues, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and leaders from different political parties condoled the death of Dhal.
“Barendra Dhal was an eminent journalist and columnist. His analyses of contemporary politics, social and economic issues were very powerful and inspiring. He will continue to be an inspiration for young journalists. With his demise, Odisha lost a great media personality,” Naveen said in his condolence message.
He also conveyed his condolence to the bereaved family members.