Veteran film historian and cricket journalist Raju Bharatan passes away

Bharatan was also a columnist for The Hindu and Sportstar and was also a popular radio commentator for India’s cricket matches across the globe

Veteran film historian and cricket journalist Raju Bharatan passed away here on Friday following a prolonged illness. He was 86.

Bharatan was associated with the Illustrated Weekly of India for more than four decades, working along with the likes of stalwarts like Khushwant Singh, M.V. Kamath, Pritish Nandy and Anil Dharker. He was also a columnist for The Hindu and Sportstar. He was also a popular radio commentator for India’s cricket matches across the globe.

Bharatan covered India’s tour to England in 1952 as a teenager. The first of six books – Rivals in the Sun, revolved around the historic series. The other five titles he authored are Indian Cricket – The Vital Phase (1977), Lata Mangeshkar – A Biography (1995), A Journey Down Melody Lane (2009), Naushadnama: The Life and Music of Naushad (2013) and Asha Bhosle- A Musical Biography (2016). 

He also directed "The Victory Story" (1974) the first full-length cricket documentary for Films Division. The film chronicled India’s maiden series win against England during the tour of 1971 and was a super hit in theatres across the country. 

Besides cricket, he was a noted film historian. His passion for films and encyclopaedic knowledge was the common bond between him and his late wife, Girija Rajendran, who was a film journalist.

Bharatan is is survived by his daughter Shilpa, son-in-law Sriganesh Iyer, and grandchildren Sucharita and Sachinshankar.

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