With the demise of veteran scribe Dinu Randive (95), an era is over in journalism.
Randive was committed to the democratic values, freedom of press and expression and was quite passionate about taking up issues concerning the Dalits, tribals and the working class.
He was born in 1925 in the tribal-dominated Dahanu, which was earlier in the Thane district and now a part of the newly carved out Palghar district. He started his career in 1956 in leading Marathi daily Maharashtra Times as a reporter and worked there as the Chief Reporter for years.
He participated in the freedom struggle, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement and the Goa liberation movement. In 1972, he wrote extensively on Bangladesh Mukti Sangram.
He never enjoyed doing stories sitting in his office but preferred to be on the field, mingling with the cross section of people. For co-journalists, Randive was literally an encyclopaedia not just on issues pertaining to Mumbai, Maharashtra or India but also for global issues.
In Marathi film Sinhasan (1979, journalist Digu Tipnis (Nilu Phule) uncovers a network of telephone tapping, relations between trade unions and politicians, shedding light on political corruption linked with Mumbai's entrepreneurial sector. Incidentally,"Digu" was modelled on Randive,
He preferred to live in a tiny room with his wife, who died a month ago, near Dadar station. The reason was he wanted to remain always acquainted with the ground reality. Although he retired from Maharashtra Times in 1985, he continued writing on various issues.
Randive was a silent warrior, who used his pen to secure justice for the poor and the most neglected sections of the society. He actively participated in many social agitations.
He used to enjoy the company of books apart from people. He was conferred with the lifetime achievement award of the Mantralaya Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh and Mumbai Press Club's RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement last year. In his demise, we have lost a firebrand journalist.