Former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu condoled the death of M P Veerendra Kumar and said he was deeply saddened to learn the passing away of his longstanding friend in Kozhikode on May 28. Veerendra Kumar lived a full and multi-faceted life and that he was able to apply his gifts in full measure to every field he ventured into, especially media, politics, and literature, Ram said.
Veerendra Kumar retained his progressive and secular outlook through his political career as MLA, M.P., party leader, and Minister, even though his political career went through some twists and turns. His multiple interests prevented him from becoming a full-time politician and I think he is best regarded as a gifted progressive intellectual in politics, he said.
He was a distinguished leader in the media field, taking Mathrubhumi to new heights, serving as Chairman of the PTI Board, and championing free speech and freedom of the press at the national level over many decades. Ram says he particularly remembers his stand against the Emergency and his arrest during that dark period. Unusual for a newspaper proprietor, he was a noted Malayalam writer, authoring a dozen books and hundreds of articles over the years. Even more unusually, he was a powerful orator who could hold literary as well as general audiences spellbound.
He was a colourful personality and his close friends regarded him as a ‘character’, a sign of deep affection and a recognition of the singularity of his personal traits. There was not a single dull moment when you were with him. Ram said he would miss his amiability, his friendship, his enthusiasm, his progressive views, his ability to hold discourse on many subjects, and his singular personality.