Editor of world's only Sanskrit newspaper dies of cardiac arrest at 64
Khaleej Times recently featured the bid by Sudharma editor K Sampath Kumar Iyengar and his wife KS Jayalakshmi to overcome the growing digital challenges
K Sampath Kumar Iyengar, 64, the editor of the world’s only Sanskrit newspaper Sudharma, died in Mysuru in the southern Indian state of Karnataka on Wednesday following a massive cardiac arrest.
He is survived by his wife, KS Jayalakshmi.
Iyengar’s end came suddenly while he was working on the design of the back page of Sudharma’s latest issue. Jayalakshmi was seated at the adjacent computer and was designing the front page of the daily.
Iyengar, who had undergone surgery for his heart condition a few years ago, collapsed at his worktable at around 12.45pm.
Iyengar took over the reins of Sudharma after his father and the founder of the four-page Sanskrit daily K Varadaraja Iyengar died in 1990.
Iyengar had started the offset press, Srikantha Enterprises, in Mysuru in 1988 and launched the colour edition in 2009.
He always believed in teamwork and many Sanskrit writers and scholars would regularly share editorial inputs and feedback.
He was awarded Padma Shri — the fourth highest civilian honour — jointly with Jayalakshmi in 2020.
His monumental work has been mentioned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio talk Mann ki Baat and also by actor Amitabh Bachchan in his popular TV quiz programme Kaun Banega Crorepati. He was also the recipient of several awards in his native Karnataka for his work in Sanskrit journalism.
At times, he worked as a reporter, editor and designer rolled into one, and if the situation demanded he would also deliver Sudharma to his loyal readers, who lived adjacent to the press.
He also published the only Sanskrit calendar in the world with an almanac and several other features.
Khaleej Times had published a feature on Sudharma recently, which was deeply appreciated by the late Iyengar during a telephonic conversation with this correspondent.
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