Wednesday, 27 April 2016

PTI Veteran V K Naik Is No More

My ex-UNI colleague and PR veteran B N Kumar tells me that our PTI Mumbai colleague V K Naik is no more. Although I knew him, I did not have occasion to work with him. I only remember his mischievous grin reserved probably only for his UNI ‘rivals.’

Here is a tribute from Harish Joshi, his colleague  in Pune PTI:

I went down the proverbial memory lane when someone told me yesterday that VKN is no more. It is tough to accept the inevitable as my last links with PTI, Bombay nay Mumbai, keep snapping. For us juniors, Vasantrao was not just the namesake of the one of the Chief Ministers he covered extensively, but also a walking Mantralaya as his deep rooted bureaucratic contacts were all too known.

He belonged to that generation of PTI reporters who rose from the
ranks, starting as a technician, if I am correct, in Madgaon office. After landing  in Mumbai,  VKN became reporter in the office completely dominated by Keralites, Tamilians, and Catholics, with sheer dent of hard work and his great command over short hand, the greatest asset in those days to claim the journalistic grade in PTI.

Naiksaheb as our Chief Reporter S Ramkrishnan (SRK) used to call him,
had scant regard for ceiling on wordage of the copy he wrote feverishly on a typewriter, thanks to those mysterious short hand lines. The other stalwart who was armed with short hand was and S. Laxman.

Whenever a big political story broke, VKN used phone N.D.Prabhu (NDP)
, News Editor, to move the alert and magnitude of the story was judged by the corresponding movements of NDP in office as sometimes he personally used to rush to the teleprinter operator to hand over the copy.

After filing initial reports on the phone, VKN would march in and get glued to those faithful "Underwoods" or "Remingtons", hammering them with a vengeance absorbing the short hand. Projection of news point in the lead, of course, was the editor on duty's responsibility. VKN never bothered on that count. What he produced on paper was facts, and nothing but facts, as he heard and saw them and many times in that sequence.

"You should always give a positive lead
," he used to tell me. We were juniors and expected to be all ears to the seniors when their pearls of wisdom gushed out. VKN excelled as Mantralaya correspondent and remained a PTI heavyweight for a long time.

The company bosses would approach him
whenever the state government was involved in getting something done for PTI. Naiksaheb would then turn out in a "safari" befitting a minister and lead our GM to Mantralaya. He was duly rewarded for his long dedicated service when he became Regional Manager (West) before his retirement.

An ever enthusiastic senior colleague, jovial, mischievous but well meaning.

May god bless his soul.


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