Eminent journalist V P Ramachandran passes away


Besides he has worked with Associated Press (AP) and United News of India (UNI). He was the Consulting Editor of Asian Lite International…reports Asian Lite News

Veteran journalist VP Ramachandran passed away at Kakkanad in Kerala on Wednesday. He was 98. Ramachandran, who reported big news events for agencies Press Trust of India (PTI) and United News of India (UNI) from 1950 to 1970s, had been bedridden due to age-related ailments. He also served as the editor of Mathrubhumi. He is popularly known as VPR.

Vettathu Puthenveettil Ramachandran’s life had been one incredible journey. He moved to Delhi at the age of 18. He later served as an army clerk in Pune before becoming a journalist. As Lahore correspondent of PTI, VPR was the first to tell the outside world about martial law following a coup in Pakistan by its Army Chief General Ayub Khan in 1958. He also covered the India-China war of 1962.

He joined UNI in 1964 and his coverage of the Emergency reportedly antagonised the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. After returning to Kerala, he served a brief while as Mathrubhumi editor, before taking up the role as course director at the Kerala Press Academy before becoming its chairman for two terms.

He was one among the former editors of Mathrubhumi daily and served in Lahore as international correspondent of news agency Press Trust of India. Besides he has worked with Associated Press (AP) and United News of India (UNI). He was the Consulting Editor of Asian Lite International.

VPR started his career as a typist. After the completion of matriculation, he learned shorthand typewriting and joined as Lower Division Clerk in Military accounts. It was in 1949 he started his journalist life by joining as a reporter. He was in Delhi for many years and could travel abroad as part of the profession. In 1964 he joined UNI as bureau chief and later became its deputy GM.

His reports were models for excellent journalism and he is the man who pioneered development journalism in India. In 1984 he left Mathrubhumi and joined as Media Academy Chairman in 1988.
His incredible journey as a journalist included covering historic events like India-China war of 1962, Emergency among other issues. He was honoured with the prestigious Swadeshabhimani-Kesari award by Kerala government. Wife Gouri had predeceased VPR. He is survived by daughter Lekha Chandrasekhar.

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