We record with profound regret and grief the passing of G. Kasturi, former Editor of The Hindu and former Managing Director of Kasturi and Sons Limited, the proprietors of The Hindu Group publications. He presided over, and led from the front, the newspaper’s rapid expansion and innovative modernisation and growth on the editorial-technology-logistics fronts through the 1960s and on to the cusp of the 1990s.
The end came peacefully at 2 a.m. on Friday, September 21, at his home on Kasturi Ranga Road here. Alert and active till almost the very end, he was surrounded by loved ones. He was 87.
He is survived by his wife Kamala Kasturi, sons K. Balaji and K. Venugopal, daughter Lakshmi Srinath, five granddaughters and two great grandchildren. Mr. Balaji, Mr. Venugopal and Ms. Srinath, are whole-time Directors of Kasturi and Sons Limited.
The news was received with a sense of disbelief and anguish at The Hindu’s offices in Chennai as well as in other centres.
Son of Kasturi Gopalan, who was the second of S. Kasturiranga Iyengar’s two sons, Mr. Kasturi was Editor of The Hindu from September 1965 to January 1991 — for more than 25 years. It was the longest tenure for an Editor of the newspaper, which, as on September 20, 2012, is 134 years old. (Kasturi Srinivasan was the Editor from 1934 to 1959).
Born on December 17, 1924, he had his school and college education in Madras. After acquiring an M.A. degree from Madras University creditably, he joined the organisation in 1944. In 1959, he was designated Joint Editor.
The Hindu was his life, says N. Ram
In a tribute, N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and other group publications and Director of Kasturi & Sons Limited, said:
“My uncle, Shri G. Kasturi was a major figure in the post-independence history of Indian journalism and the newspaper industry. Along with his uncle, Shri Kasturi Srinivasan, under whom he trained as a newspaperman, he was the longest serving Editor of The Hindu. Earlier and more clearly and determinedly than most of his media contemporaries and fellow Editors, he saw the need for the newspaper industry and journalism to embrace new and state-of-the-art technology and adapt it to our conditions while preserving the core values of journalism. Many a leap in newspaper technology – offset printing, facsimile transmission of whole newspaper pages, photocomposition, full-page pagination, colour scanning – found its first Indian champion in my uncle, who was always hands-on, side by side with the technical experts. He was enthusiastic about internet journalism and digital technology and almost till the end was regularly on his iMac working on page design and photographs and savouring the best of international newspaper websites. He believed that Indian newspapers had to raise their game in terms of production values and must not take their readers for granted. Significantly, he lived to see the 134th anniversary of the founding of The Hindu on September 20 and passed away a couple of hours into September 21. The Hindu was his life.”