“I have realized that one should not wait to do what one wants to do.”
Internationally acclaimed journalist and columnist Anil Dharker pass away on Friday, 26th March 2021. His untimely demise has sent shockwaves among the literature fraternity.
The celebrated author was suffering from a heart ailment and was being treated for the same.
Born in 1947, Anil Dharker was an eminent personality with a number of accolades to his name. He is known to be a man who has donned many hats. He has carved a niche for himself in the world of architecture, literature, and sports.
In the field of architecture, it is said that he was the first to initiate the concept of fire safety in multi-story buildings in India, a then-unknown concept in the country.
Apart from architecture and design, his significant contribution to the world of literature was noted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, who then appointed him on the Advisory Board of the Film Censor Board. Subsequently, he headed the National Film Development Corporation. During his tenure, he brought metamorphic changes to the film industry. The industry saw the coming of age, world-class cinema, and contributions from noted directors like Govind Nihalani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Aparna Sen, and others. The most significant, globally acclaimed film being, Sir Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, which was co-produced by the Corporation.
His illustrious career as a journalist saw several significant international contributions. He was the editor of many prominent publications like The Illustrated Weekly of India, Mid-Day, and The Independent. Throughout his career as a journalist, he wrote popular columns for many Indian and Foreign publications. He is known for his unbiased political views and is celebrated for his impartial and unprejudiced interviews with political personalities including the Prime minister, Governors, and other noted celebrities.
As a writer, Anil Dharker has authored several books. Some of the distinguished publications being The Romance of Salt, The Possible Dream, and The Man Who Talked to Machines-The Story of Om Prakash Jindal among others. He founded the Mumbai International Literary Festival and Literature Live, platforms to celebrate the work of eminent writers and thinkers.
His interests did not end with writing. Anil Dharker was a noted sportsman who captained the Table Tennis Teams of London University and Glasgow University, during his time in the United Kingdom. Apart from table tennis he played other sports like cricket and badminton and achieved significant success here too.
His untimely demise has left a void in the literature and film world. A number of celebrated personalities took to social media to express their shock and disbelief over his sad demise.
Noted fellow columnist Shobha De wrote “Goodbye dearest Anil. An elegant mind, a stylish writer, and a loyal friend. You will be missed by all those whose lives you touched. RIP”
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Founder and Chairperson, Biocon Limited, expressed “I am deeply shocked as I have been exchanging frequent WhatsApp messages even as recently as Tuesday this week. He will be hugely missed by the entire literary community.”
Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, Prasoon Joshi mourned the demise of Anil Dharker “Saddened to hear about Anil Dharker passing away. I Will miss and cherish the discussions we had about life. A stimulating mind, a nurturer of literature and art who thrived on ideas.”
We pray that the Almighty grants strength to his near and dear ones to cope with such a great loss. May his soul rest in peace.