Shourie, legend of Mysore passes away

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New Delhi, Sep 2: Holenarsipur Yoganarasimha Sharada Prasad, aka H Y Sharada Prasad, popularly known as 'Shourie', the legendary Mysorean who served as media advisor to three Prime Ministers of India, passed away on Tuesday, Sep 2. He was 84 and is survived by his wife Kamalamma, and two sons. Sharada Prasad was born in Bangalore, educated at the University of Mysore and jailed during the Quit India movement. He joined the Indian Express group in Bombay in 1945, and was a Neiman fellow in journalism at Harvard University in 1955-56.

He edited Yojana, the journal of the Planning Commission, after which followed his stints at the prime minister's office between 1966-78 and 1980-88, under Indira Gandhi and later Rajiv Gandhi. During the Janata government, he worked with Morarji Desai for a few months before being posted as director of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

The ultimate exemplar of the "Mysore School of Writing"-not too light, not too heavy-that R.K. Narayan, R.K. Laxman, T.S. Satyan among others exemplify, Sharada Prasad wrote books on Karnataka (Exploring Karnataka with Satyan), on the Rashtrapati Bhavan (The Story of the President's House), and on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Selected Works).

For someone who shied away from the limelight, Sharada Prasad's last book was aptly titled The Book I Won't Be Writing, a collection of columns he wrote for The Asian Age. Although physically unwell in recent years, Sharada Prasad never missed a deadline, somehow managing to get to a computer and send off an artfully composed book review.


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