The National columnist Hari Chand Aneja dies aged 95

Regular commentator was an engaging voice and provided readers with a fascinating insight into Partition era life

Mr. Hari Chand Aneja.
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Hari Chand Aneja has died, aged 95, after a short illness. He was a regular contributor to this newspaper’s opinion pages.

Aneja was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai in the middle of last month with a lung infection. He passed away peacefully on August 28. A prayer meeting was held in his memory on Monday evening.

Aneja enjoyed a successful career in business, serving as vice president of an electrical company and as president of the Institute of Internal Auditors in India. After retiring he was active in charity work and became known to readers of The National as a perceptive commentator on south Asian history and current affairs.

Born in rural Pakistan in 1921, he arrived in India in 1947 after Partition. He was at that time, according to his family, penniless and lived on the streets. Slowly, he put these challenging circumstances behind him and built a more prosperous life for himself and his family in post-independence India.

It was the memory of these years that often infused his writing and his work for The National after he began contributing to the paper in 2011. His columns were full of recollections from the pre-war and pre-Partition era, making him a unique and engaging voice on the opinion pages. He was a fastidious contributor. Even as his eye sight began to fail him in later years, he would pore over his raw copy, checking every fact and figure.

Hari Chand Aneja’s final column for the paper will appear on Friday.