Indian business journalism has lost important voice in demise of Financial Express Managing Editor Sunil Jain
Sunil Jain was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on May 3 and had been battling COVID for almost two weeks before passing away on Saturday evening
The death of Financial Express Managing Editor Sunil Jain has shocked the journalistic fraternity. While you may have agreed or disagreed with him, there was never any denying that he was always right with his facts and his opinions were always based on good reason.
He served Indian journalism for two decades and was a firm votary of opening up India to market forces, believing that reforms would help India achieve its true economic potential.
In his demise, Indian business and economics journalism has lost an important voice.
An alumni of the prestigious Delhi School of Economics’ class of 1986, Jain worked in various sectors including FICCI before he joined the India Today group in 1991.
Son of veteran journalist Girilal Jain, Sunil held senior editorial positions in various organisations before taking over as the Managing Editor of the Financial Express in 2013.
Those who knew him remember him with great fondness. Former Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma remembered him as someone who had a deep understanding of the Indian economy.
“Recalling my many conversations with him. His sound understanding of economy and financial issues, intellect and incisive mind and amiable nature deeply impressed me. A great loss. My heartfelt condolences to the family,” Sharma tweeted.
Jain was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on May 3 and had been battling COVID for almost two weeks in the country’s premier healthcare facility.
He leaves behind a large body of work which reflected an important perspective on the Indian economy.
When he penned his last article, published on April 26, he was already in fever and his oxygen levels were in high 80s, but he remained balanced in his criticism of the government.
“The election rallies and the kumbh are a definite black mark, but on the entire political system, not just Modi. At the time of the Bihar elections, this newspaper argued for a constitutional change to extend the life of all assemblies, but no one – including Modi – took this up. The fact that the world’s other large democracy also decided to hold elections in the middle of a pandemic is of no solace,” he wrote.
While his views on the economy were almost always aligned to the reforms agenda, he remained balanced in his outlook. For instance, he supported the farm laws put forward by the Union government, but his support was driven by his conviction that Indian farm exports should be competitive in the global exports market.
Though you may not have agreed with the line he took, the points he made were valid and presented a counter-point with accurate data.
The second wave of COVID has hit India hard and the passing of Sunil Jain is a reminder of the suffering of millions have been through after losing loved ones in the past month.
We may choose to support or oppose the government, but we must never forget that as Indians, we share a common fate.
His passing also reminds us that we need to make huge investments in public healthcare so that every Indian has access to the mandatory minimums of life.