Tuesday, Aug 09, 2022

Delhi Historian RV Smith Passes Away; Kejriwal Says It's A 'Huge Loss'

Smith wrote extensively in many leading publications on Delhi's intricate histories tucked in its old markets, streets and historical ruins.

Delhi chronicler R V Smith Twitter

Noted author, historian and chronicler of Delhi, R.V. Smith, passed away Thursday morning in the national capital. He had been in the hospital for the past two days, heritage activist Vikramjit Singh Rooprai had tweeted.

Smith (81) was suffering from age-related ailments for the past four months, his family said

Smith wrote extensively for many leading publications, including Outlook, on Delhi's intricate history tucked in old markets, streets and historical ruins. 

The 'True Chronicler of Delhi' was the recipient of the Canon Holland Prize and the Rotary Award for general knowledge and journalism award (1997-98) from the Michael Madhusudan Academy.

Two of his noted books on the national capital are 'Delhi: Unknown Tales of a City' and 'The Delhi that No-one Knows'.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed condolences to Smith's family, saying it was a huge loss, adding the author had kept alive the stories and memories of Delhi. 

Born in Agra in 1938, for Smith, who made Delhi his second home and was recognised as the city's greatest chronicler, history runs in his family. He was a descendant of Col Salvador Smith (1783-1871), the soldier who trained the troops of Daulat Rao Scindia. His father was Thomas Smith, a noted journalist.

After graduating in English literature in Agra’s St John’s College, Smith came to Delhi in the 1950s and started working at the Press Trust of India in 1961. Two years later, he joined The Statesman and retired as news editor in 1997. He also freelanced for several publications and wrote weekly columns.

Smith wrote a column called "Heads & Tales" for Outlook. Here are some of his articles:

How Akbar And Jehangir Celebrated Christmas

Riddle Of Samadhis: Continuing Legend Of Prithviraj Chauhan's Daughter Bela Sidhi

When Delhi Had Three Red-Light Areas And Tommies Made Merry

Diwali or Jashan-e-Chiraghan During Mughal Reign