Chennai, Sep 21: G Kasturi, who was the longest-serving Editor of The Hindu, and had played a leading role in its expansion and modernisation, died early on Friday.
Kasturi, 87, is survived by his wife Kamala, sons K Balaji and K Venugopal and daughter Laxmi Srinath, all of whom are whole-time Directors of Kasturi and Sons limited.
The end came peacefully at 0200 hours at his home here.
Alert and active till almost the very end, he was surrounded by his loved ones. He lived to see the 134th anniversary of the paper yesterday.
Kasturi had a long association with PTI having remained as its director on the board till 1990.
Announcing his death, the paper said he had presided over and led from the front the newspaper’s rapid expansion and innovative modernisation of growth on the editorial-technology-logistics front through the 1960s and 1990s.
Son of Kasturi Gopalan, who was the second of S Kasturiranga Iyenger’s two sons, Kasturi was the Editor of The Hindu from September, 1965, to January, 1991, for more than 25 years.
It was the longest tenure for an Editor of the 134-year-old newspaper.
Kasturi Srinivasan, who was the Editor from 1934 to 1959, almost matched his record.
Born on December 17, 1924, Kasturi had his school and college education in Madras. After acquiring an MA degree, from Madras University creditably, he joined the organisation in 1944.
In 1959, he was designated joint Editor.
In a tribute, N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and other group publications and Director of Kasturi & Sons Limited, said:
“My uncle, Shri G. Kasturi was a major figure in the post-independence history of Indian journalism and the newspaper industry. Along with his uncle, Shri Kasturi Srinivasan, under whom he trained as a newspaperman, he was the longest serving Editor of The Hindu. Earlier and more clearly and determinedly than most of his media contemporaries and fellow Editors, he saw the need for the newspaper industry and journalism to embrace new and state-of-the-art technology and adapt it to our conditions while preserving the core values of journalism. Many a leap in newspaper technology – offset printing, facsimile transmission of whole newspaper pages, photocomposition, full-page pagination, colour scanning – found its first Indian champion in my uncle, who was always hands-on, side by side with the technical experts. He was enthusiastic about internet journalism and digital technology and almost till the end was regularly on his iMac working on page design and photographs and savouring the best of international newspaper websites. He believed that Indian newspapers had to raise their game in terms of production values and must not take their readers for granted. Significantly, he lived to see the 134th anniversary of the founding of The Hindu on September 20 and passed away a couple of hours into September 21. The Hindu was his life.”
Photo: The Hindu