Last Rites Of Eminent Author Gita Mehta Today; Some Unseen Pictures Of Odisha CM’s Sister

Bhubaneswar: Eminent author and daughter of legendary leader Biju Patnaik Gita Mehta will be cremated at Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi on Monday.

The elder sister of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Mehta had been ailing for quite some time and passed away at her residence in New Delhi on Saturday evening at the age of 80. Naveen left for Delhi on Sunday. “I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks to those who have offered their condolences,” he told journalists after reaching Delhi.

The family was waiting for her elder son Aditya Singh Mehta to arrive in India from the US for the last rites, which sources said would be performed in a very low-key manner in presence of close acquittances of Naveen. Only close family members were allowed to pay tributes to Mehta at her Delhi residence on Sunday.

Born in 1943 to Biju and Gyan Patnaik in New Delhi, she had her education in India and University of Cambridge. Mehta was a war correspondent for US television network NBC during 1970-71 and extensively covered the creation of Bangladesh. Dateline Bangladesh, her work on Bangladesh, is well regarded. She also produced and directed at least 14 television documentaries for UK, European and US networks.

She has written five books — Karma ColaSnakes and Ladders: Glimpses of Modern IndiaA River SutraRaj, and Eternal Ganesha: From Birth to Rebirth.

Mehta was married to former head of the Alfred A Knopf publishing house Sonny Mehta, who died in 2019 in New York.

In 2019, Mehta “politely declined” India’s fourth highest civilian honour Padma Shri bestowed on her by the Narendra Modi government, as she felt that its timing could be “misconstrued” in an election year. “I am deeply honoured that the Government of India should think me worthy of a Padma Shri but with great regret I feel I must decline as there is a general election looming and the timing of the award might be misconstrued, causing embarrassment both to the Government and myself, which I would much regret,” she had then said.

Some unseen pictures of the author



At the demise of legendary leader and his father Biju Patnaik
Geeta Mehta visiting a private museum in Bhubaneshwar in 2018. PC: Sudarshan Sahu.



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