sans serif records with deep regret the passing away of Ethiraj Raghavan, an Indian Express stringer who rose to be Editor of the largest selling Kannada daily newspaper, Vijaya Karnataka, in Bangalore on Saturday. He was 61 years old, and is survived his wife Kumuda and their daughter Swathi.
After stints with the Express in Mysore, Bangalore and New Delhi, E. Raghavan, as his byline went, joined the newly launched The Times in Bangalore in 1984.
That newspaper launched with a truncated title to circumvent labour laws in pre-liberalised India later became The Times of India. He later came its resident editor. In the mid 1990s, he shifted next door to be resident editor of The Economic Times, Bangalore, and eventually for all the southern editions of ET, till his retirement three years ago.
After a short spell as editorial consultant to DNA, Bangalore, Raaaa-gha-van (as he sonorously pronounced his name on the phone) returned to The Times group, first as consulting editor to Vijaya Next, a weekly Kannada newspaper launched by TOI, and then as editor of Vijaya Karnataka, that had been acquired by ToI six years ago.
Raghavan was co-author with the academic James Manor, of Broadening and Deepening of Democracy, a study of Karnataka politics.
An obituary in The Times of India, Bangalore, captures the essence of the man:
“You have got to get the drill right… Then things will naturally fall into place.”
That was Raghavan’s standard line on a big news day.
He would pump himself with an extra mug of coffee and call the reporters and the desk into a huddle. Every small news deveopment would be examined.
“Reporters need to overreact. The desk needs to see it in balance.”