Veteran journalist and the founder editor of The Week, Padma Bhushan TVR Shenoy passed away on April 17 in Mangaluru. He had a long association with Organiser Weekly as a columnist and his columns were always deep in scholastic knowledge and journalistic acumen.
Senior journalist Arun Lakshman remembering the doyen of Indian journalism
TVR Shenoy (1941-2018)
The passing away of Padma Bhushan TVR Shenoy came as a rude shock to me as he was one of the doyens of Indian journalism as well as one who can solve vexed social and political issues with his thought-provoking columns and articles where he drew clear professional and personal lines. The humour he had in him was unfound and it was interesting to note that he used to mock at himself and laugh which used to echo in the room.
A scholar with impeccable knowledge of Sanskrit and Indian tradition, Shenoy sir has never been a miser in sharing his treasure of knowledge to all and sundry for the benefit of the society and he used to provide all who approach him with the wisdom which he has gained over the years. A contemporary of senior Congress leaders Vayalar Ravi and A K Antony in Maharajas College days of Ernakulam, he used to proudly tell about the politics of love and compassion he had witnessed during his college days. He has contested the elections as an independent candidate during his Maharaja days and he has found his partner in his opposite candidate Saroja Shenoy.
A columnist of Organiser, his columns were always deep in scholastic knowledge and amazed the readers with the simplicity, ease and élan with which he used to write the columns which were treasure troves. Shenoy Sir was the bureau chief of Malayala Manorama in New Delhi and was founder Editor of The Week and Sunday Mail which he edited with grace and impeccable honesty as a professional.
A scholar with impeccable knowledge of Sanskrit and Indian tradition, Shenoy sir has never been a miser in sharing his treasure of knowledge to all and sundry for the benefit of the society and he used to provide all who approach him with the wisdom which he has gained over the years
Shenoy sir and his residence were always places of welcome for any budding journalist and he used to share love and serve food with each of us who used to visit him and has always been a great host. His wisdom, the wide knowledge he has amassed over the years in his journalistic life was always shared with his younger colleagues and I had come to know from his juniors that he was always a great boss who never indulged in harassing a junior and used to correct the mistakes the juniors ends up owing to the lack of exposure of sometimes sheer callousness.
He can be considered as the first right-wing journalist from among the mainstream journalists and he has never shed his image of being a right-wing journalist throughout his life. However, he has a circle of friends ranging from ultra-leftists to Congressmen and from all spheres of social, political, bureaucratic and business life. The wide contacts he had in the power centres of Delhi was of use to anyone who approached him with their genuine issues and he could find a solution immediately given the proximity he was enjoying with the power centres. Hitherto there was never an instance in his life, where he had indulged for undue favours from anyone even though they would only be happy to oblige him.
As mentioned earlier he has clear lines in his personal and professional life and he never compromised a story to please his personal relations and vice versa had never done any professional favour for his personal relations.
Being a native of Delhi through his profession, Shenoy Sir was always at heart a Keralite with his roots around Kochi and used to visit his hometown always. He was a regular at Bharath hotel, Kochi where he used to throw parties for his friends from across the political spectrum and I was witness to several senior leaders of Kerala politics enjoying his hospitality without any semblance of their political hostility in public sphere. That was TVR Shenoy, a person with great integrity in his professional life but having a wonderful network of friends right from the lowest level to the level of the movers and shakers of world politics and still grounded in his views and beliefs and a pure gentleman and a true nationalist. It will take ages for a person like Shenoy Sir to emerge. May his wife Saroja Shenoy, a pillar of strength to him all through his life and his children Sujatha and Ajith bear the loss of this doyen of Indian journalism. Adieu Shenoy Sir, a great journalist and greater human being.