Home Dehradun “No dull moments in Raj Kanwar’s Life”

“No dull moments in Raj Kanwar’s Life”


Rich tributes paid to veteran journalist Raj Kanwar


DEHRADUN, 5 Nov: A function titled ‘Celebration of his Life’ was held at a local club at Rajpur Road here today in memory of veteran journalist Raj Kanwar who passed away on 31 October this year. The function was organised by his family this evening, and rich tributes were paid to Late Raj Kanwar, the journalist, the author and the person. Speaking on the occasion former DG Police and writer Aloke Lal recalled his association with late Raj Kanwar. He recalled that Raj Kanwar had a spirit of a finest human being and that though he was kind to everyone he met in his life, he was also upfront and honest in his opinions about them. He was an outgoing person who was very particular towards looking after everyone he met and hosted. Lal also recalled his indomitable spirit and how he was so unique a person that he was writing even at the age of ninety and above. He had turned a publisher of books with Writers’ Combine and had started publishing books of other authors at such an age. Lal also recalled his books and in particular “Dateline Dehradun – Part Two’ which was written recently and recalled the sense of humour that Kanwar had. He said that there was never a dull moment with Raj Kanwar, as he had a peculiar sense of humour. Lal further recalled his sense of discipline and hard work as well his generosity and philanthropy.

Lal also paid a tribute to Kanwar on behalf of Satish Sharma, Editor & Publisher of Garhwal Post who could not make it to the function due to prior engagement and said that he had written a good account of his association with Kanwar in today’s Garhwal Post. Industrialist and philanthropist Dr S Farooq also recalled his association with Raj Kanwar and recited a number of Urdu couplets to describe the indomitable spirit and personality of Raj Kanwar. He said that the time spent with Raj Kanwar were moments to cherish. He also shared that he considered wife of Raj Kanwar, Ambar Kanwar as his sister and the entire family as his own family. Farooq also prayed for peace to the departed soul by reciting some relevant phrases from Quran.

Ganesh Saili could not make it due to a family engagement, but sent his message which was read out by Manav Kanwar, the elder son of Raj Kanwar. Saili focused on how he had accompanied celebrated author Ruskin Bond as an invited guest to the marriage of Minnie Kanwar, the daughter of Raj Kanwar and that was his first meeting with Kanwar and the beginning of his long association with Kanwar.

Uday Chatterjee recalled that Raj Kanwar was a strict disciplinarian who worked hard and partied hard. He had unique zest for life and was a multidimensional personality. He also described Kanwar as a walking encyclopedia who had an amazing memory.
Zarine, also recalled her association with Raj Kanwar and how despite not going out to meet for sometime, he still made it up at a function organised by her.
DGP Ashok Kumar reminded the gathering that though he came to know Raj Kanwar mainly through his writings in various newspapers including Garhwal Post, his meeting with Kanwar was arranged by Satish Sharma, Garhwal Post’s Editor in Delhi. This was the beginning of his association with Kanwar and through this association he got to know how full of life Kanwar was and how he inspired everyone around him.
Journalist Anupama Khanna also recalled her association with Raj Kanwar and the family.
Educationist Kulbhushan Kain also shared several meetings he had with Raj Kanwar and how Raj Kanwar wanted him (Kain) to write his obituary. He also recalled that Kanwar was writing a book titled Writer of Obituaries. Deepak Ramola currently living in Boston in US, also sent his audio message as a tribute to Raj Kanwar.
Raj Kanwar’s daughter Minnie Gautam shared some emotional moments with the gathering. She said that most of the people who spoke today spoke about him as a citizen, a writer and person, but to her and her siblings, he was a doting father. Though, for some years he was travelling twenty days a month, but still whenever he returned home, he showered all his love on the children and never forced his own desires on them. He would also often take them to book stores and buy them any number of books they wanted. Mini’s daughters Ambika and Kaveri also sent across an audio message sharing their tribute for their grandfather.
Younger son of Raj Kanwar, Gagan Kanwar briefed the gathering of some little known facts about Kanwar’s life, particularly his early life spent in Lahore in undivided India. He also shared how Kanwar as a fifteen year old boy had formed a club called Jai Hind Club to serve the freedom fighters. Gagan lives in the US.
Sameer Gautam, son-in-law of Raj Kanwar and husband of Minnie Gautam also recalled his association with him. He said that Kanwar was a very unique person who was more a friend to him than a father-in-law by being quite frank and friendly.
Manav Kanwar was the moderator at the function held to celebrate the life of his father. He shared his views last of all, and recalled how he was taught and coached at a young age by his father and how he was sent to Mumbai after his graduation to look after the business.

Vandana Shiva, Kuldeep Shiva, industrialist VK Dhawan and his wife Rakesh Dhawan, Educationist Ramesh Batta, retired senior bureaucrat N Ravi Shankar, retired Head of Forest Department PL Jairaj were among those present on the occasion.