Russi Karanjia

15 Sep 1912
1 Feb 2008
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Rustom Khurshedji Karanjia (September 15, 1912 – February 1, 2008) was an Indian journalist and editor. He typically signed his reports as “R. K. Karanjia”. He founded the Blitz, a weekly tabloid with focus on investigative journalism in 1941, and ran it for the next four decades.

Karanjia was born in Quetta, now in Pakistan.

Karanjia began writing while still in college,and during the 1930s Karanjia was employed an assistant editor at The Times of India. He left The Times of India in 1941 to launch Blitz (newspaper), a weekly tabloid with a focus on investigative journalism. Karanjia served as a war correspondent during the Japanese Burma offensive in World War II, reporting on the action in Burma and Assam.Blitz folded during the mid-1990s and Karanjia retired from public life.

Karanjia died at his home, a seafront flat along Marine Drive, in Mumbai at the age of 95 on 1 February 2008.In a “departure from Parsi tradition, as per his wishes,” his funeral was held in Chandanvadi crematorium, in south Mumbai.Karanjia was survived by one daughter, Rita Mehta, the founder and first Editor-in-chief of Cine Blitz magazine. His brother, Burjor, was also a journalist, albeit in the film industry, editor of Filmfare

Karanjia was founder and owner editor of Blitz, a tabloid weekly published from Mumbai. Kulkarni narrates that the decision to launch Blitz was taken over a cup of tea, by three patriotic journalists B. V. Nadkarni, Benjamin Horniman and Karanjia at Wayside Inn, a restaurant near Kala Ghoda, in Mumbai.The first issue of Blitz was published on 1 February 1941 (the same day that Karanjia died in 2008). Kulkarni calls his journalism irreverent, investigative, courageous and a little titillating. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, writer and film maker, and P. Sainath, Magsaysay award winning journalist, were associated with Blitz. Blitz was radical and idealist, left leaning and pro-Soviet. Karanjia attacked the Congress party, and yet was friendly with Congress leaders Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Karanjia became disillusioned with communism and its anti-Hindu secularism. He became a strong sympathiser of BJP and the Ayodhya movement. Kulkarni claims that thus P. Sainath as deputy editor was replaced with him by Karanjia

In 1976 Karanjia became a devotee of Satya Sai Baba

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