ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Neelabh Mishra (1960–2018)

A Brave and Generous Spirit

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Neelabh Mishra, editor-in-chief of the National Herald group of newspapers, passed away in Chennai on 24 February. He had been suffering from non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver for the last couple of years. However, his cheerful demeanour and ready smile never allowed anyone to guess the true extent of the illness that devoured him so early, at the age of 57, when his wisdom and wit were at their peak.

Born in a family that had been active in the freedom movement and had a close association with the Champaran Satyagraha, Neelabh seemed to have a political instinct in his genes. Although his family members were successful politicians in the electoral system in Bihar, Neelabh himself chose to stay away from party politics. Instead, he chose the political space offered by civil society intervention, and contributed to the political discourse through his writings in both Hindi and English. Growing up in Bihar as a young boy, he witnessed first hand the Jai Prakash Narayan-led movement against corruption for a much-needed total overhaul of the social and political system in the country. He also witnessed the harsh regime of the internal Emergency in the country. A great influence on him was his schoolteacher, Father Philip Manthra, who was an important exponent of the concept and practice of liberation theology in India. Manthra managed to subvert the moral science classes in his school into lessons on active democracy, which left a lasting impression on a young Neelabh.

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Updated On : 19th Mar, 2018
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