Sharada Prasad, Media Advisor to Indira Gandhi, dies

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New Delhi, Sep 2 (UNI) Noted Gandhian and Media Advisor to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, H Y Sharada Prasad, died after prolonged illness at his New Delhi residence this afternoon, family sources said.

He was 86 and is survived by wife and two sons.

Sharada Prasad, who was part of the freedom movement right from his student days in Mysore, served Ms Gandhi for nearly 15 years and her son Rajiv Gandhi.

He was a contemporary of noted Indian novelist R K Narayan, renowned photojournalist T S Sathyan and cartoonist R K Laxman.

The Bangalore born Sharada Prasad, affectionately called as 'Shourie', was one of the trusted student leaders enjoying total confidence of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. He underwent imprisonment in the Quit India Movement also.

He began his journalistic career with Indian Express and then became the editor of Yojana, before joining the offices of Ms Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He was also Director of Indian Institute of Mass Communications during the Janata Party regime headed by Morarji Desai.

Sharada Prasad, who was one of the editors of select works of Jawaharlal Nehru, also came out with a collection of his writings titled 'A Book I Won't be Writing'.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, former Union Minister Arun Shourie and Treasurer AICC Motilal Vora were among those who paid their last tributes at the Lodhi Road Crematorium this evening.

A recipient of Padma Bhushan in the year 2000, Sharada Prasad was also the head of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

In a condolence message, Vice-President Mohd Hamid Ansari said Sharada Prasad served the nation with distinction in his various roles as a journalist, an editor and as Information Advisor with many Prime Ministers. ''In his death, the country had lost an eminent commentator on the issues of our times and the concerns of the common citizen,'' he added.

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