Remembering Eminent Journalist Bishan Kapoor On His 40th Death Anniversary
On his 40th death anniversary on September 7, I would like to share with you all that all through his life Bishan Kapoor believed in philosophy of " living dangerously". Whether as a student leader in Agra or Underground Communist leader or as a journalist Bishan Kapoor lived dangerously.
He also fought battle against blood cancer and had almost won but became victim of criminal negligence of a doctor who gave injection of five time more than prescribed dose of anti-cancer drug.
Almost 50 years back Bishan Kapoor would have been jailed for writing story in Blitz news magazine on scandal of a lady minister but he survived due to his friendship with Syed Ali Zaheer and minister Chaturbhuj Sharma and others.
He was an expert on Chambal valley dacoits. He wrote a book on Chambal valley dacoits Badmen Of Badland. Wife of dacoits Mansingh and mother of Putlibai frequently visited our home in Agra. My father was in touch with dacoits leaders Mohar Singh and Madho Singh before they surrendered before JP.
His love for architecture of Agra is evident from his books Glimpses of Agra and Agra Darshan and Taj ki nagri Agra. Bishan Kapoor was an excellent news photographer as well. His picture of dog eating human skull in the background of Taj Mahal appeared on front page of HT which created furore in Parliament. Kushwant Singh mentioned this episode in his column in Illustrated Weekly of India.
His book on Naxalites movement is also referred by research students. His passion for people's poet Nazeer is also well known. He was instrumental in organising annual utsav at the Mazar of Miyan Nazeer at Tajganj Agra during Basant.
He visited Agra for the last time for Nazeer Mela much against the wishes of his doctor .Similarly he used to organise festivals in the name of Urdu poet Ghalib. He wanted an academy on people's poet Miyan Nazeer and museum at kala mahal where Ghalib was born.
He enjoyed acting in plays directed by his close friend Rajendra Raghuvanshi of Agra IPTA. Later on in 1973 he became president of UP IPTA. I would like to mention that many people came to know that father was fighting against blood cancer when bollywood director writer author KA Abbas sab devoted his famous Last Page page column in Blitz on Bishan Kapoor who believed in living dangerously by putting up brave fight against dreaded disease.
Along with his close friends Maj Gen E Habibullah and Dr Dauji Gupta Bishan Kapoor formed 1857 Freedom Fighters Struggle Committee which organised annual function in the memory of first war of Independence.
Whether as a student leader or underground communist leader or as a journalist or cultural activist Bishan Kapoor worked on his terms and never compromised all through his life which was very short as he died at the age of 56 years only.