New Delhi: Veteran journalist Padmanand Jha, who was one of the founding members of The Pioneer, died of a heart attack at the age of 66 in Goa Monday.
Known by his nickname ‘Paddy’, Jha was also the political editor at The Pioneer. He was a close colleague of former editor-in-chief of The Outlook Vinod Mehta.
Journalists across the industry remembered Jha for his “unbiased demeanour” and his political analyses. Some also spoke about an accident that he met with in 1997 in Noida, one that had left him with grievous injuries.
Senior journalist Ajay Bose told ThePrint, “Jha continued his journey in the industry despite that fatal accident. He has been one of the country’s finest political editors. It is upsetting that we don’t have him amid us anymore. I knew him as a solid correspondent and the chief of bureau at The Pioneer where he showed a keen sense of political analysis.”
Bose also said Jha understood the political scenario across North India well and always mentored young colleagues.
“He specialised in getting good political scoops and I don’t remember any cover story that he was not a part of. His unbiased demeanour towards work was popular among peers and when Vinod Mehta left The Pioneer, there were efforts to lean the publication towards the BJP. Jha ardently fought against that, this will be his legacy,” Bose added.
Senior journalist and wife of Vinod Mehta, Sumita Mehta, told ThePrint, “We were all part of the founding team of The Pioneer. Although I worked in the features department there were no barriers and we built a strong culture. Paddy took great pride in his team and work, his views and understanding of situations politically were razor sharp. Despite being such a serious journalist he had a great sense of humour.”