The media did not report the incident as it should have. The passing of a fearless journalist should be as much news as the incidents he reported/commented upon. Vinod Dua died early he was just 67 and leaves behind a body of work that will forever inspire young aspirants to the noble profession.
He was old school, even in late days he referred to handwritten notes, and he was meticulous in his references. Never had been any reportage in which he resorted to sensationalism. There are lessons in that.
Dua is survived by two daughters, the comic-actor Mallika Dua and Bakul Dua, a clinical psychologist. He was hospitalised in Gurugram along with his wife, radiologist Padmavati Dua, following a Covid infection during the second wave. Padmavati Dua passed away in June and Vinod Dua has struggled with his health ever since.
This information was provided to the media by his daughter Mallika. Last week he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit of Apollo Hospital in Delhi on the advice of doctors.
On her death Mallika said in her Instagram post: “Our irreverent, fearless and extraordinary father, Vinod Dua has passed away. He lived an inimitable life, rising from the refugee colonies of Delhi to the peak of journalistic excellence for over 42 years, always, always speaking truth to power. He is now with our mom, his beloved wife Chinna in heaven where they will continue to sing, cook, travel, and drive each other up the wall.” The cremation was held at the Lodhi crematorium in the Capital.
Dua, during his four-decade long career, revolutionised election coverage in India. NDTV’s Prannoy Roy, said: “Vinod is not just one of the greatest. He is the greatest of his era”.
Mr Dua specialised in Hindi journalism, and has stints with Doordarshan and NDTV. Recently, he was known for his political commentary over digital media platforms The Wire and HW News.
In 1996, he became the first electronic media journalist to win the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award. He was awarded the Padma Shri for Journalism in 2008 by the Government of India and 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.
Even as an astute political journalist, Dua held art, culture, music, and even food dear to his heart.
On NDTV he hosted ‘Khabardar India’ and ‘Vinod Dua Live’. He was also a specialised election commentator as his voice was one of sanity, among the biased broadcasts of the day. He was never scared of asking uncomfortable questions, while being polite.