Kolkata, July 23: C R Irani, Editor-in-Chief of The Statesman and a champion of press freedom, died at a city hospital today following multiple organ failure.
75-year-old Irani, who is survived by wife and three
daughters, was admitted to R N Tagore International Institute
of Cardiac Sciences on July five with complaints of acute
He died this afternoon following multi-organ failure,
doctors attending on him said.
A chronic kidney patient, Irani developed serious renal
problem within a few days of admission in the hospital.
Irani`s body would be brought to `The Statesman House`
tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. Where it would be kept for public
veneration till 12:30 p.m. Before performing the last rites.
Irani was twice chairman of the Press Trust of India. He
was a member of the PTI Board till the time of his death.
Paying tribute to him, PTI chairman Philip Mathew said
Irani`s contribution to the growth was immense.
"I worked closely with Mr Irani in the International
Press Institute where his remarkable commitment to press
freedom was lauded," Mathew said.
Sources close to Irani said that he was in good health
till last month, but he developed complications immediately
his return from England trip.
Irani: A champion for press freedom
A relentless champion of freedom of
the press, C R Irani, who died here today, will be best
remembered for defying the government during the emergency in
The Statesman, of which he was the Managing Director and
the Editor-in-Chief, was among the handful of newspapers that
did not obey orders of the censors during the emergency. The
paper left blank spaces in the space meant for news items and
photos that were censored.
Born in 1930, Cushrow Russy Irani not only guided The
Statesman for many years but was also the chairman of Press
Trust of India (PTI) for two terms. He was a member of PTI
Board for 20 years till the time of his death.
Irani also held several other important posts during his
chequered career and was the first Indian to be the chairman
of the International Press Institute in 1980 and 1981 and was
again re-elected in 1990.
Irani was also the vice-president of the World Press
Freedom Committee, the apex body of press freedom
organisations all over the world and a member of Unesco`s
advisory group on press freedom. He was on the board of the
International Press Institute (IPI).
Known for his tough stand against corruption in public
places, Irani was also the recipient of a number of national
and international awards including the "Knight Commander of
the Order of Isabella Catholica" by the King of Spain for
highest loyalty to democracy in 1983.
He was a prolific writer and apart from authoring a
number of books on current issues he used to regularly write
his personal column `Caveat` despite his poor health in recent
He had also written books like, `Pax America-The War That
Lost Iraq Its Freedom`, `Ayodhya- Demolishing A Dream` and
`Bengal-The Communist Challenge.`
Irani was also a member of the National Commission to
Review the Indian Constitution.
He was educated in Mumbai, where he was born and London.