By: Parmanand Pandey

Alok Tomar, a well known journalist died young. Killer cancer snatched him on the day of Holi festival, which is celebrated with joy and gaiety soaked in colours. If I am not mistaken, it was the most liked festival of Alok, which gelled well with personality, affability and temperament.

Alok and I were selected in the first batch of Jansatta newspaper in 1983. Both of us were in twenties; he was in early and I was in late twenties.

He was a vivacious, talkative, full of energy and always impatient. Although he was a junior reporter but was the best in the reporting section of the newspaper in the sense that he had wonderful command over the language and had assiduously developed inimitable style, which was highly compelling and absorbing. No body could afford to ignore his stories largely because of his engrossing presentation. It is an altogether different matter that his stories used to be laced with heavy spicy doses. His imaginations often overtook the factual realities and this was the reason; sometimes it was difficult for ordinary readers to sift the facts from fiction. In the process facts, in general; were the casualty.

Alok was very well-read journalist, a quality that is difficult to find among most of the journalists. He was helpful and humane. But in certain respects he was very much like his mentor Prabhash Joshi; who was more like a subaltern propagandist of his master than a journalist. A woolly headed and boastful Prabhash Joshi had no qualms for self respect before his highly corrupt, dishonest and exploitative master Ram Nath Goenka. He had no hesitation in bending backward to please that cunning and clever Lala.

Alok used to narrate about his high connections with people from politics, film, literature, bureaucracy, media and industry. At one point of time he had shown some interest in trade unionism also. In fact, both of us had contested elections to the Executive Committee of Delhi Union of Journalists in 1985. Both of us were new to Delhi journalists’ circle; yet we both won the election. This was something remarkable in the sense that we had contested the Union’s election for the first time; we were from the same newspaper and both of us had no clout, nevertheless, our victory margin was very comfortable.

We had our differences during the strike in Indian Express in 1987. He brazenly sided with Ram Nath Goenka’s cohorts led by Prabhash Joshi and I vehemently opposed them. As a result of which, I lost my job of the Roving Special Correspondent. He was like most of other journalists with strike breakers. However, after sometime he also fell foul with the wily management for the reasons not know to me, and had to leave the Jansatta newspaper. To the best of memory; except three journalists; me, Achche Lal Prajapati and the Late Sujanpuria all journalists of Indian Express Group had gone to the management in sackcloth and ashes.

Alok was very jovial, innovative, spin master journalist and wordsmith. It is very difficult to find a person and journalist like him. It is, no doubt, a huge loss to journalism. May his soul rest in peace! May God give enough strength to his wife, daughter and the whole host of his relatives and admirers to bear this irreparable loss! Adieu Alok.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


© 2024 Judicial Panorama– 565 Lawyers’ Chambers, Western Wing, Tis Hazari Court Complex, Delhi – 10054

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?