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05 August 2011

Senior Bhopal Journalist Nasir Kamaal passes away, laid to rest

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By Pervez Bari


Bhopal: Senior journalist and writer of Bhopal Nasir Kamaal, who passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon following a massive cardiac arrest, was laid to rest at Bada Bagh here on Thursday (August 4, 2011) afternoon.


Mr. Kamaal had recently joined Times of India (TOI) as Assistant Editor at Bhopal and was in Mumbai for the preparation of TOI’s Bhopal edition to be launched shortly.
He was 55 and is survived by his wife and two sons. His mortal remains were brought to Bhopal by air by his colleagues Mr. Arjun Singh Chouhan and Mr. Ashish Tiwari. His Namaz-e-Janaza was led by his elder son Hafiz Azmat Kamaal.


The funeral was largely attended. Apart from relatives and friends many from the scribes fraternity along with top officials from the Madhya Pradesh Directorate of Public Relation, (DPR), attended the funeral to bid a tearful farewell to the departed soul. Many of his journalist colleagues from Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Indore rushed to Bhopal to attend the funeral.
Madhya Pradesh Public Relation Minister Mr. Laxmikant Sharma and DPR Commissioner Mr. Rakesh Shrivastava paid floral tributes to late Mr. Kamaal by placing wreath over his mortal remains after the Namaz-e-Janaza was held.


Mr. Kamaal was fondly addressed as "Mamu" by friends and colleagues alike. A postgraduate in Urdu literature from prestigious JNU, New Delhi along with Diploma in Journalism, Mr. Kamaal was known for his jovial nature, easy going manners and old-worldly charms. He started his journalistic career nearly three decades back in 1983 and worked in several newspapers published from Bhopal such as MP Chronicle (now Central Chronicle), National Mail, Free Press Journal and The Hindustan Times. In the nineties he was also associated with Meantime magazine published from Bangalore as Coordinator. This scribe had the opportunity to work with Mr. Kamaal for many years slogging together at unearthly hours in night shift for more than a decade and as such had close relations with him.


Writer Nasir Kamaal’s beautifully-phrased weekly columns, “Bhopal Then and Now”, and later “Time Machine” which ran for more than a decade were a rich resource of wacky literary nuggets about the city’s glorious days as the heartland of the great Indian ghazal. It gave a graphic and gripping account of the culture and life of Bhopal in the olden times ruled by Nawabs and Begums.


Meanwhile Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed profound grief over the sudden demise of renowned journalist Nasir Kamaal.


In his condolence message, the Chief Minister said that late Mr. Nasir Kamaal enriched English journalism in Madhya Pradesh through his deep commitment. An exceptionally gifted journalist and writer, he sketched the social history of Bhopal city with higher degree of sensibility. His famous columns 'Bhopal Then and Now' and 'Time Machine' will be remembered long. Mr. Chouhan said that late Mr. Kamaal lived like a monk in his writings and commentaries on various issues keeping intact the sacredness of journalistic values. His journalistic career will remain a source of inspiration for the new generation.


The Chief Minister prayed Almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and give strength to the grief-stricken family to bear the irreparable loss.


Along with Madhya Pradesh Public Relation Minister Mr. Laxmikant Sharma, Minority Welfare Minister, Mr. Ajay Vishnoi and Women and Child Development Minister, Ms Ranjana Baghel also expressed grief over Mr. Kamaal's demise.


[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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