Congress-leaning veteran journalist Vinod Dua died today. He was 67. Dua earned his name, making programmes for Doordarshan in the 1980s, mostly defending the then government of Rajiv Gandhi including in the case of the Bofors scandal, and then for NDTV where he posed as a foodie.
His daughter Mallika Dua confirmed on Instagram the news of his death. “Our irreverent, fearless and extraordinary father, Vinod Dua has passed away. He lived an inimitable life, rising from the refugee colonies of Delhi to the peak of journalistic excellence for over 42 years, always, always speaking truth to power. He is now with our mom, his beloved wife Chinna in heaven where they will continue to sing, cook, travel and drive each other up the wall. The cremation will take place tomorrow (5.12.21) at Lodhi crematorium at 12 noon,” she wrote on Instagram.
Vinod Dua, who was hospitalised with Covid earlier this year, had earlier lost his wife, radiologist Padmavati ‘Chinna’ Dua, to the virus in June.
The journalist’s health had suffered since then. Dua had been in and out of hospitals. He was moved to the ICU of Apollo Hospital on 29 November, which his daughter Mallika had informed the people about via Instagram.
“Mama would not have given up on him or watch him give up on himself. She will guide us to do what’s best for him. My sister and I are okay. We were raised by the strongest,” Mallika had written in an Instagram post earlier.
The couple is parents also to elder daughter Bakul Dua, a clinical psychologist.
Vinod Dua: A career
Vinod Dua’s was brought up in some refugee colonies of Delhi. His parents were Saraiki Hindus who had migrated from Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after the partition of India in 1947.
In his school and college days, Vinod participated in a number of singing and debate events, and he also did theatres until the mid-1980s. Sutradhar Puppet of Sri Ram Centre for Art and Culture performed two plays that were written by Vinod for the children. He was a member of a street theatre group, Theatre Union, which used to create and perform plays against social issues like dowry.
Dua graduated with a degree in English literature from Hans Raj College and obtained his master’s degree in literature, both from the University of Delhi. In November 1974, Vinod made his first television appearance in Yuva Manch, a Hindi-language youth programme that was aired on Doordarshan (formerly called Delhi television).
Dua anchored Yuv Jan, a youth show for the youth of Raipur, Muzaffarpur, and Jaipur for Satellite Instructional Television Experiment, in 1975. That year, he began anchoring Jawan Tarang, a programme for youth that was telecast on the newly commissioned Amritsar TV. He continued his job until 1980.
In 1981, he started anchoring Aap Ke Liye, a Sunday morning family magazine, which he kept doing until 1984. Vinod, along with sophisticated communist apologist Prannoy Roy, co-anchored the election analysis on Doordarshan in 1984. This gave his career a boost, as it bagged him the chance to anchor an election analysis programme for several other television channels.
He anchored Janvani (People’s Voice), a show where common people had got the opportunity to directly question the ministers, in 1985. This show was the first of its kind. Vinod joined TV Today, a venture of the India Today Group, as its chief producer in 1987.
At the peak of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dua used to mock LK Advani by calling himself “pseudo-secular”.
To produce the shows based on current affairs, budget analysis, and documentary films, he launched his production company, The Communication Group, in 1988. Dua anchored the show Chakravyuha, the channel Zee TV, in 1992. Between 1992 and 1996, he was the producer of a weekly current affairs magazine, Parakh, which was telecast on Doordarshan.
In 1996, he became the first electronic media journalist to be bestowed with the esteemed Ramnath Goenka Award for excellence in the field of journalism. Vinod was an anchor for the show Tasveer-e-Hind, which was aired on Doordarshan’s cerebral channel, DD3 Media. He served as an anchor for the channel between 1997 and 1998. In March 1998, Vinod anchored the Sony Entertainment Channel’s show, Chunav Chunauti.
He was linked to the Sahara TV from the year 2000 to 2003, for which he used to anchor Pratidin.
Vinod used to host the NDTV India’s programme, Zaika India Ka, for which he travelled across the cities; stopped by the highways, roads; tasted several dishes from the roadside dhabas.
He started anchoring Jan Gan Man Ki Baat for The Wire Hindi. The show is a 10-minute current affairs programme that was telecast on the leftist propaganda website The Wire.