Vinod Mehta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vinod Mehta
Born March 31, 1942[1]
Rawalpindi, British India
Died March 8, 2015(2015-03-08) (aged 73)
Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Education Bachelor of Arts
Alma mater University of Lucknow
Years active 1995 to 2012
Employer Outlook India
Known for Journalist, Radia tapes controversy in media.
Spouse(s) Sumita Paul

Vinod Mehta (1942 – 8 March 2015) was an Indian journalist who was the founder editor-in-chief of Outlook from 1995 to 2012. An eminent political commentator, he also wrote a number of books. He remained editor of several publications like The Pioneer, The Sunday Observer, The Independent and The Indian Post.[2]


Mehta was born on March 31, 1942 in Rawalpindi, in West-Punjab of undivided India. His family migrated to India in 1945 when he was three. [3] He grew up as an army boy from a Punjabi refugee family in the syncretic culture of Lucknow of the 1950s—an experience that turned him into an unflagging 'secularist'. He attended La Martinere school in Lucknow and the university there.

Mehta lived in New Delhi. He was married to Sumita Paul, a journalist who has worked for the Pioneer and the Sunday Times of India. He also has a daughter from an old affair from his younger days. He said nobody, other than his wife, knew about his daughter until he wrote about it in his memoir. He said he spoke to his wife and she encouraged him to write about it.[4]

Mehta died in New Delhi on 8 March 2015, after a prolonged illness.[5]


Leaving home with a BA third class degree, he experimented with a string of jobs, including that of a factory hand in suburban Britain, before accepting an offer to edit Debonair in 1974, a men's magazine. [3]

Mehta became one of India's most influential editors by launching a number of successful publications such as the Sunday Observer in 1981, Indian Post in 1987, The Independent in 1989, The Pioneer (Delhi edition) in 1990 and, finally, Outlook in 1995.[6] He was editorial chairman of the Outlook Group.[citation needed]

He was forced to resign from the editorship of the Independent newspaper in 1989, 29 days after launching it because of a story based on a dubious RAW report, calling Maharashtra strong man YB Chavan a spy, which Mehta ran with an eight-column banner headline. [7]

Vinod Mehta has authored a biography of Meena Kumari and Sanjay Gandhi, and published (in 2001) a collection of his articles under the title Mr Editor, How Close Are You to the PM? His much acclaimed memoir,[1] Lucknow Boy, was published in 2011.

Mehta was a TV Panelist and frequently appeared on TV shows like Newshour on Times Now and India at 9 at CNN-IBN. He was called upon by News anchors as a senior journalist and was sought after for his analysis of major issues and scenarios. He remained editor-in-chief of Outlook till February 2012. [8]

He was president of the Editors Guild of India and was, briefly, the writer and presenter of “Letter from India” on the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4. [9]

On February 9, 2015 he was awarded the Yash Bharti Samman 2015 by the government of Uttar Pradesh for his work in the field of Journalism. [10]

Law Suit[edit]

In 2012 the Indian Express slapped him with a Rs 100 crore defamation suit, after he hinted darkly in an interview with Open magazine, that the story on the movement of the two army columns and the alleged coup attempt was planted.[11]

Major works[edit]


External links[edit]