Journalist S Nihal Singh Honoured in UK

Journalist S Nihal Singh Honoured in UK
Veteran journalist S Nihal Singh has been conferred with the Indian Journalists' Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Rajesh Prasad, India's acting High Commissioner to Britain, presented the award to Singh in the presence of a galaxy of high profile invitees here last night.

"Last year, IJA instituted an IJA Lifetime Achievement Award. This was intended to recognise an exceptional person who has either served as an Indian Journalist in the United Kingdom or as a British Journalist in India," the citation said.

Singh was the editor of the Statesman, The Indian Express, The Khaleej Times in Dubai and The Indian Post.

Accepting the award, Singh who was also a former President of IJA, said, "It is a great privilege and honour to receive the Award. I am humbled and elated. The greatest honour you can have is to be recognised by your peers."

Noting that he had just completed his memoir, Singh said, "In journalist's life in India there is never a dull moment. We have survived the emergency and now we have a comic opera.

He was critical of the comments made by Press Council of India Chairman Justice (retd) Markandey Katju that the media is anti-people and divided the country.

"The former Judge of the Supreme Court and Press Council of India Chairman has been talking fantastic things. We will survive this present dispensation also." He also noted that "we have great amount of freedom than many other countries."

Acting High Commissioner Prasad spoke about the huge strides India made during the last two decades and also growing Indo-UK bilateral relations.

Referring to the India-UK bilateral relations, Prasad said, "On our (India's) part, the endeavour remains to make our strategic partnership more concrete, to give greater strategic context to our ties and to take it beyond a mere transactional relationship."

"On the economic front, our relations have come a full circle. Today, India is among the top three investors in the UK with a company like the Tata being the largest employer in the UK."

Eric Pickles, MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, was the Chief Guest on the occasion.

Among others who attended the event were Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Lord Bilimoria, Lord Meghnad Desai, Lord Hameed, Priti Patel, MP, Baroness Usha Prashar, Kartar Lalvani, Chairman of Britain's leading vitamin producing company Vitabiotics, S P Hinduja, Chairman of the Hinduja Group and his brother Ashok Hinduja.

In his address, Pickles, who had visited India recently said, "Every time I visit India I am struck by the vibrancy, the beauty, the dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, the sense of a nation confident in itself".

"Imagine my pleasure, then, at becoming part of a Government committed to further strengthening an already powerful bond of cooperation and friendship between our two countries."

Referring to India's investment in the UK, he said Tata's investment in steel production and car manufacture is safeguarding jobs from Teesside to Wolverhampton.

Pickles said Britain has been a "vocal supporter of India's desire to take a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
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