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Veteran journalist Vinod Dua passes away

The 67-year-old journalist had been hospitalised with COVID-19 earlier this year and was moved to the ICU last week.

Veteran journalist Vinod Dua passed away on Saturday (December 4, 2021) after a prolonged illness following a Covid infection. The cremation will take place on Sunday in New Delhi.

Announcing his death on social media, his daughter Mallika Dua said, "Our irreverent, fearless and extraordinary father, Vinod Dua has passed away."

The 67-year-old journalist had been hospitalised with COVID-19 earlier this year and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit of Apollo Hospital in Delhi last week. Earlier this year, he lost his wife, Chinna Dua, a doctor, to COVID-19. He is survived by two daughters, Mallika, a comic-actor, and Bakul Dua, a clinical psychologist.

With a career spanning over four decades, Dua was known to have revolutionised election coverage in India. He started his career with Doordarshan and worked in several news channels followed by digital media.

Apart from his hard-news coverage, Dua also hosted a food show for NDTV India 'Zaika India Ka' where he travelled across the length and breadth of the country sampling different cuisines.

In 1996, he became the first electronic media journalist to win the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award. He was also awarded the Padma Shri for Journalism in 2008 by the Government of India. In June 2017, for his lifetime achievement in the field of journalism, Mumbai Press Club awarded him the RedInk Award, which was presented to him by Devendra Fadnavis, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Known to speak truth to power, he faced legal troubles last year for criticising the government for its poor handling of the pandemic. In June 2020, Delhi Police’s crime branch registered an FIR against Dua accusing him of making “fun of the Prime Minister by using derogatory words as a scaremonger”.

This was followed by the Himachal Pradesh police charging him with sedition for making “bizarre allegations” on a 15-minute YouTube show on March 30, 2020 on the return of migrant workers from Delhi following the government’s sudden announcement of a lockdown. In a special hearing, the Supreme Court quashed the charges, noting that the sedition case had taken away the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of the journalist.