A large number of journalists in the Capital of India and the rest of the country have felt a great loss in the passing away of Inder Gujral. He was accessible to the media persons, as Information Minister, Foreign Minister and Prime Minister and assisted in the development of news organisation, particularly Television, in the country.
Mr. Prem Prakash, a former President of the TV Programme Producers Guild of India, says that late Inder Gujral was very keen that that media flourished in the country".
He said: "I knew Mr. Inderji as very personal dear friend and an elder. He was very keen that all of us young people who were taking interest in media flourished and we brought vitality and improvement to the Indian media scene, more so television. It was he who was responsible for laying the foundations of what is today a booming private television service all over India.
Mr. Prem Prakash added: "There was nothing in northern India when I launched ANI and he laid the foundations for it. We had to set up everything ourselves. Those were the days when there was hardly and foreign exchange available with India and we had to do everything ourselves. And Gujral Saab was always in forefront to help us, assist us and make sure that Doordarshan became open to all independent producers to bring variety; that was the only way he could bring charm to the Indian media scene. He was a person with open mind and that's how I remember him always."
"Let me also say that when he became the Prime Minister-it is sad that he didn't last as long as he should have-but even in a short period, he was always accessible to media and he had great vision and dream about where and how this country should grow and develop. I pay my homage to him and I hope we will live up to the dreams and hopes that he had for all of us," Mr. Prem Prakash said.
Gujral, 92, passed away at Gurgaon's Medanta Hospital this afternoon after a prolonged illness.
Born on December 4, 1919, Gujral was the 12th Prime Minister of the country.
Gujral was Information and Broadcasting Minister in 1975 and served as Minister of External Affairs in the V.P. Singh Government. He became the Prime Minister on April 21, 1997 and remained at the post till March 19, 1998.
During this tenure, he propounded the doctrine for better relations with the neighbouring countries, which is known as 'Gujral Doctrine'.
Gujral, who also participated in India's freedom struggle, was also jailed in 1942 during the Quit India Movement. (ANI)